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The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Office for Access and Success (OAS) announced the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative (IEC). The HBCU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative will be a cohort of 15 HBCUs (both private and public) that are committed to participating in a multi-year collaboration that will foster innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship on their respective campuses. This collaborative will build upon the momentum that was established by the UNCF lead 2013 HBCU Innovation Summit that was held at Stanford University.

Virginia State University (VSU) is one of the selected universities that will have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative community seeking to increase innovation and entrepreneurship across disciplines (i.e., Agriculture, Business, Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology, etc.) in order to build an innovation ecosystem among institutions, administrators, faculty and students, the federal government and private industry. This cohort of HBCUs will be able to access current and future funding opportunities that will be available only to those universities that commit to participate in this unique collaborative. 

Strategy# 1: Changing the Potential Value on Virginia State University's Campus

Tactic #1: 3DS Springboard

Description: 3 Day Startup’s mission is to kick-start new student-run companies and build entrepreneurial capabilities in students and their university communities. We rent work space for 3 full days, recruit 45 student participants from a wide range of backgrounds, cater food and drinks, and bring in top-notch entrepreneurs and investors. The participants pick the best ideas for startups during the Day 1 brainstorming session and deliver prototypes and investor pitches on the final night. 3DS Springboard is an interactive workshop focused on the beginning steps of launching a company or a project through on-campus innovation. During four 90-minute sessions over  one week, you will learn-by-doing with the 3DS team, Epicenter University Innovation Fellows leaders on your campus, and other students in your community who are passionate about starting something!

What can I start with 3DS Springboard?

A company, a project; a movement–3DS Springboard teaches entrepreneurship skills such as ideation, customer discovery, and pitching in the context of making real-world progress on anything you want to start.

Who is eligible to participate? 

20-40 current students at each of the participating schools.

What is the cost to participate?

This workshop is free but you must complete all modules to get your pitch in front of the global audience of influencers, investors, and innovators.

Tactic #2 : Student-led Innovation and Entrepreneurship Club

This will:    

  • This will get students motivated to translate classroom principle and theories into global solutions.
  • This will also provide an extracurricular platform for an Innovative and Entrepreneurial environment.

Tactic #3: Create/Establish an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Space on Campus

This will:

  • Engender and foster idea-generation and creativity among students; across disciplines.
  • Enhance sustainability of the I & E culture on campus.
  • Promote venture creation/commercialization.

Strategy #2: Executing  Effectiveness in the Reframing Value at VSU

Tactic #1: Infuse Entrepreneurship and Innovation into Introductory and Core Curricula

Description: Faculty will work on the NCIIA grant that is due in May to develop a course/program/curricula to infuse Innovation & Entrepreneneurship into VSU's culture.

This will:

  • Inculcate the Innovation and Entrepreneurship culture and thinking in students.
  • Ecourage the Innovation and Entrepreneurship culture and thinking in falculty.

Identification of College Course(s): Contemporary Global Studies

Reginald F. Lewis College of Business

1. MGMT 444 – Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management  

2. FINC 446 - Entrepreneurial Finance

College of Agriculture

1. AGEC 140 - Introduction to Agribusiness Entrepreneurship

2. AGEC 340 - Agribusiness Entrepreneurship

College of Engineering, Technology, and Science

1. INLT 443 - Engineering and Technology Entrepreneurship

Tactic #2 : Capacity-Building of VSU's Research Foundation

Description: This will promote and attract industry-identified projects/problems/issues for students to work on (with faculty guidance). VSU will plan to become a member of NCIIA (VentureWell) to enhance partnerships both in the industry and with such government and regulatory agencies as: Veterans Affairs, USPTO, Small Business Admin, other HBCU partners etc.

Encouragement of the following:

  • Developing and encouraging academia-industry partnership in a mutually beneficial way.
  • Whetting the creativity and problem-solving appetite of students and faculty.
  • Showcasing and promoting intellectual capital within VSU.
  • Promoting venture creation/commercialization.

Tactic #3: Establish Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge Competitions

This will:

  • Encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration and robust problem solving skills across campus
  • Build, sustain and promote Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
  • Enhance VSU visibility.

Related Links

Virginia State University

Ulysses Knight

Reginald Burroughs