Priorities:James Madison University Student Priorities

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Project Pitch Video

Informing James Madison University About Areas of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Across Campus

James Madison University Cohort 4A Video Pitch

Promoting Innovation & Entrepreneurial Opportunities at James Madison University 

Strategy #1

Create two new majors for the University: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Tactic #1: Grant Writing, Start-Up, Interdisciplinary Classes

  • Description: Create academic opportunities for students to learn skills related to innovation and entrepreneurship that could then develop into a more formal program. 

Tactic #2: Establish contacts and a Network of interested parties within and outside of JMU

  • Description: We would need faculty and professors to facilitate classes, and reaching out to interested professors and faculty at JMU and in the surrounding Harrisonburg Community is a good way to create those connections. 

Tactic #3: Create an Interdisciplinary Group of Professors to Create a Rich Learning Environment

  • Description: Innovation and Entrepreneurship are interdisciplinary subjects, and therefore require knowledge from all departments on campus. 

Strategy #2

The X-Labs Files

Tactic #1: Maintain a Social and Engaging Learning Environment Despite Virtual Classes

  • Description: Support students and faculty during this extremely stressful time, and make the most of the opportunities and challenges presented by online learning. 

Tactic #2: Create Resources for Faculty to make their Teaching more Innovative

  • Description: We will create a compilation of resources and tutorials for these existing resources for professors to utilize in their classes to make them more effective and conducive to learning. 

Tactic #3: Give Faculty the Confidence to be Innovative

  • Description: By providing tutorials and easy-to-access resources for faculty, we will encourage faculty to be innovative in their teaching style for virtual learning, and when classes return to normal. 

Strategy #3

A program that partners students and external non-university associated businesses for experience with start ups, employment, and entrepreneurial resources.

Tactic #1: Establish Connections within the Community and Beyond Harrisonburg

  • Description: We will reach out to local businesses, corporations, as well as national and international businesses to partner with the university and university students. 

Tactic #2: Maintain and Grow Relationships with the Harrisonburg Community

  • Description: Partnerships between the university and local community will strengthen those relationship and encourage future collaboration. 

Strategy #4

Create an Entrepreneurship Department

Tactic #1: Centralize and Emphasize the Importance and Possibility of Entrepreneurship

  • Description: The creation of an Entrepreneurship Department will emphasize the significance of entrepreneurship as well as create a centralized locality for resources related to entrepreneurship. This will allow students to have greater access to funds and opportunities as well. 

Tactic #2: Give the Current Entrepreneurship Minor and potential Entrepreneurship and Innovation Majors a Basis

  • Description: Creating an Entrepreneurship Department will open the door to more resources for the Entrepreneurship Minor. 

Strategy #5

We recognize that the institutions and resources for innovation and entrepreneurship already exist at James Madison University and that we must strive to increase the utilization of these facilities. In addition, we will work to improve and update areas of the university that may not receive as much attention as some.

Tactic #1: Marketing of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Survey Method

  • Description: Incentivize students to participate in a survey to learn more about Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs available on campus with free food. 
    • D-Hall Commons gets a lot of foot traffic every day making it an easy location to consider when implementing this survey. This is also a place that many organizations already utilize for similar ways of capturing students’ attention.
    • Festival Conference Center is the equivalent of commons, but on East Campus, allowing students who are not on the main campus to access the same information we are providing.
    • Showker Hall is where most of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs are since it is the business school, but since there is construction currently in that area, it could get a little hectic trying to find these I&E resources. Setting up a survey station there would also be beneficial in that aspect. 

Tactic #2: Funding for Programs All Over Campus That Have Innovators

  • Description: A new, interdisciplinary, course hosted by XLabs that focuses on teaching students successful business practices, agile team management, human-centered design, and much more. The class would ask for students to form into teams and progress through the design of a project by hitting bi-weekly deadlines and then giving a final pitch to a panel of judges that would then decide on whether or not they want to financially support the teams’ project/business.

Tactic #3: Updating and Innovating on Liberal Arts Curriculums

  • Description: Liberal arts majors, like history, writing, english, etc. have been largely left behind by the advances in higher education. 
    • Brainstorm possibilities: it is easy to dismiss the need to improve these courses because they have been taught the same way for so long. It might even be hard to imagine, for example, learning history by any other means than reading and lecturing. A wide, creative swath of ideas should be proposed to revamp these curriculums.
    • Demonstrate ideas: design a single lesson or a fraction of a class to show proof of concept. Test this plan on an objective, unbiased selection of students to determine its effectiveness.
    • Propose solutions: with these insights and data in mind, create a concise and clear plan and propose to one of the academic deans or a similarly influential figure in one of the liberal arts departments. 

Tactic #4: Centralization of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programs around Campus

  • Description: An organization and summit dedicated to creating connections between various organizations on campus with interests in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 
    • This organization would be a board with liaisons from various clubs on campus that would serve as connections, and representatives, for each of these I&E organizations.
    • Additionally, an annual Innovation Summit would be held for faculty and students to discuss how to implement I&E in higher education as well as the opportunities present on campus. Events could include presentations, landscape canvases, inter-group projects, and more.

Tactic #5: Funding the Patenting Process for Students.

  • Description: An organization dedicated to assisting students with unique, innovative ideas in the process of getting their creations patented, trademarked, or etc., as well as providing funding for this costly, time-consuming process.
    • This program would be open to any student with a passion for creating but would work closely with STEM majors who sometimes require specialized creations to be made for their Jr/Sr Capstone project.

Strategy #6

Provide students with more innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities by exposing them to the Landscape Canvas & Wiki Pages. This would be executed by making information easily accessible and intuitive for students campus-wide.

Tactic #1: Interactive Panels and Tablets Across Campus

  • Description: Install fun to use tablets in areas on campus where foot traffic is heavy.
    • Dining Locations
    • Residence Halls
    • Libraries
    • Maker Spaces

Tactic #2: Information Posted on Student Websites

  • Description: Make information more available on student websites in a more accessible fashion.
    • MyMadison
    • Canvas

Tactic #3: Print Out Versions of Information

  • Description: Provide an easy to read flowchart of innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities on print outs to distribute to students.
    • House in Libraries
    • Have University Innovation Fellows and or University Faculty distribute print outs to interested students.

Tactic #4: Hold Seminar Targeted at Underclassmen

  • Description: Hold seminars open to all students walking through the different opportunities found in the Landscape Canvas.
    • Have representatives from courses, programs, and organizations speak about how they inspire innovation and entrepreneurship type thinking.
    • Give out small brochures describing the information on the landscape canvas.

Tactic #5: Mock Case Study

  • Connect case study to the local community surrounding James Madison University
  • Make it a competition where individuals compete against each other on teams

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    • Recognition of students through rewards, prizes, or opportunity to implement a project
    • Can lead to real projects and solutions that aren’t apart of the engineering curriculum

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      • The ability for students to gain experience that allows them to distinguishes themselves and gain valuable skills


      • Make it open for all years (Freshman - Senior)

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        • Teams intermingled with students from all different years so knowledge and wisdom can be exchanged
        • Opportunity for students to showcase their problem-solving abilities



        Strategy #7

        Bring international students to James Madison University for a 2-week summer program focused heavily on innovation and entrepreneurship.

        Tactic #1: Course Variety

        • Description: Provide courses in various fields of study to encourage a wider audience of students.
          • Examples:
            • Engineering
            • Business Start-Up
            • Rapid Prototyping

        Tactic #2: University Exposure

        • Description: Introduce students to campus and University life in the United States.
          • JMU Dining
          • Student Organizations
          • Residential Life
          • University Recreation
          • Speaking with Professors

        Tactic #3: Hackathon Connections

        • Description: Provide students with the opportunity to make connections through a hackathon that would take place during the summer school program.
          • Sponsors could incorporate prizes.
          • Company employees and James Madison faculty would serve as mentors during the innovative process.
          • Students can search for potential jobs or internship opportunities.
          • Participants are given the opportunity to engage in design thinking.

        Tactic 4: Programming Competition/Workshop

        • Description: 24-hour programming competition. Every level of programming experience you have, you are welcome to attend this competition. There will be various programming workshops taught during the competition to sharpen your skills. Companies will sponsor the event for prize money and recruiting opportunities. Judges will consist of CS, CIS, Engineering or any related discipline professors.
        • Takeaways:






          • Get students more interested in programming at a low stakes level.
          • Give students the opportunity to talk with recruiters to get an idea of what careers involve programming.
          • Open for all years (Freshman - Seniors) and for all majors





            • Programming is starting to become a valuable skill in many different professions, not limited to Engineering, Computer Science, Data Science, etc.



            Strategy #8

            Expand X-Labs space within Lakeview Hall and throughout campus to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

            Tactic #1:Convert Office Spaces

            • Description: Transforming the current offices in Lakeview Hall into an expanded collaborative work and maker space.
              • Remove non-innovative spaces in Lakeview Hall to provide more room for innovation and space for more technologies.

            Tactic #2: Implement Into JMU General Education Curriculum

            Create a new cluster of required classes for JMU students that will enhance the innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus.

            • Description: The entrepreneurial mindset is an important tool for all incoming and existing students as a form of engaged learning.

            Tactic #3: Satellite Maker Spaces

            • Description: Convert or improve current lab spaces around campus into X-Labs affiliated maker spaces.
              • Help to promote X-Labs names and encourage participation in innovative opportunities.
              • Further, establish X-Labs as an asset to the JMU ecosystem.

            Strategy #9

            Create Collisions amongst entrepreneurially minded students and the general population amongst all disciplines, in order to organically spread innovation, collaboration, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

            Tactic #1: Theme Based Think-A-Thons

            • Description: Cultivate talent in theme-based hack-a-thon style events that correlate to the various colleges of academics, but appeal to the general population. We would want to create a brand that does not alienate or intimidate students that don’t necessarily think of this as “their” thing.
              • 1-2 times per month
              • 24hr Think-A-Thons
              • Various themes/prompts that represent the interests of all the colleges of academics
                • College of Education:
                  • Reinvent the classroom
                • College of Health and Behavioral Studies:
                  • Create low-cost products that meet the basic needs of the world's poorest people
                • Integrated Science and Technology / School of Art, Design, and Art History:
                  • Designing for a sustainable campus
                  • Fashion Think-A-Thon
              • The theme of these thinker-mixers/hack-a-thons would vary each time and would touch on topics that are up-to-date with current events to help attract students from all colleges within JMU. This, in turn, would help continuity of participation and the dismantlement of silos.
              • Gathering participant information gives us a more defined target audience to project some marketing efforts towards.
              • Approaching these events with hopes of there being multi-disciplinary teams does not expedite the view that these are hack-a-thons or "techie" events.  This merely generates exploratory and problem-solving experiences for any given area of study.

            Tactic #2: Make the I&E Network Accessible to Students

            • Description: Launch a heavily marketed website that establishes a network for students looking to collaborate and pursue a business or product idea. This JMU affiliated website would help spread awareness of funding opportunities, resources available on campus, upcoming I&E events, and clubs/groups.
            • Replicate a Landspace Canvas for I&E or create a landscape map to guide students through the process of finding relevant resources on campus for their prospective entrepreneurs. 
              • Daniel Phonelath will spearhead this project.

            Tactic #3: 100 Level Collaborative Course 

            • Course Description: A 100 level course that will bring freshmen across a variety of majors together to help with the transition from high school to college. This course will utilize group discussions and short-term projects with teams made of diverse disciplines to foster collaborative and teamworking skills growth. 
            • Emphases on leadership, creativity, and design thinking through 3 week-long projects.
              • Leadership: Through the use of the JMU Dux Center students will benchmark their leadership/teamworking skills style at the beginning of the course. Throughout the course, as they finish a 3-week project cycle, the group leader will receive 4-5 leadership reviews from their team members and each team member will receive reviews from their team members. At the end of the course, a student will have participated in 4 groups, lead one, received feedback and completed the leadership challenge workbook.
              • Creativity: During class students will practice creativity exercises, learn it's application and further their understanding through the text; "Creative Confidence" By David and Tom Kelly. 
              • Design Thinking: The course will be project-based with the application of light design thinking. In 3 weeks students will have had to discover more about a problem they have to solve, ideate solutions, prototype solutions and select the best idea for presentations.
              • Public Presentations: At the end of a 3-week cycle each team will present their process, idea, and prototype in a public space such as TDU. Each student will be required to bring at least 2 guests (no repeats) to this public event. 
            • Course Plan
              • Find the best way to register the course on MyMadison by Oct. 23, 2018 
              • Continue interviewing professors who show interest in co-leading the course until Nov. 6, 2018
              • Meeting with all stakeholders and potential course leaders to create a plan of action-Nov.9-13, 2018

            Tactic #4: Internship Workshop

            • Description: Address pain points with internships and gauge interest for future workshops from first and second-year students.
              • This workshop’s purpose is to be an introduction to summer internships available for engineering students. Through this workshop participants will learn about what types of internships their peers have attended previously, the different types of internships available per discipline of engineering, and will participate in a discussion to gauge what content future workshops will cover.
            • Have an open discussion with students about what it is like to be an intern and some advice for applying/ interviewing
            • Topics to talk about with students:
              • Tailoring your classes/ electives to score your target internship
              • How to make your interview stand out
              • Ask students if they would be interested to have a career advisor come in from CAP services to teach them how to make resumes and cover letters

            Strategy #10

            Establish an entity on campus where any student with a creative idea can get the resources needed to become the entrepreneur they want to be, and test, launch, and grow their business.

            Tactic #1: MadX Labs

            • Description: Test, iterate, and scale MadX Labs, JMU’s first seed-stage startup accelerator.   
              • MadX Labs will serve JMU’s most talented student founders, giving them the opportunity by leveraging the resources of a University and its potential contacts. We will give young entrepreneurs at JMU the opportunity to experience a traditional accelerator program; with the mentorship, training, space, and funding they need in order to test, launch, and grow their business.
              • Students are encouraged to apply to MadX Labs accelerator two times a year in the beginning of each semester during "The Entrepreneurment Procurement". After 12 weeks, the program culminates in a Demo Day, where they will have the opportunity to pitch an invite an only audience of JMU investor
              • Agenda for planning:
                • Begin idea generation for funding - January 2018
                • Finalized Idea - February 20th, 2018
                • Generation of interest/Advertisement - May 2018/August 2018
                • Planned Event Time - September 10-14

            Strategy #11

            Provide opportunities for incoming students and underclassmen to become introduced to innovation and entrepreneurship as well as recognize their potential to become entrepreneurs at an early point in their collegiate careers. This strategy will revolve around creating and marketing well-known opportunities and physical spaces for students to express their innovative minds as well as stimulate team collaboration. 

            Tactic #1: Pop-Up Courses

            • Description: Continue the spread of several “test courses” that can provide the administration with an example of how a pattern of entrepreneurial and innovative courses in the General Education Program can lead to escalating forms of venture creation.
              • February 2018
                • Continue to host the "Pop-Up" classes in the JMU X-Labs maker space.
                • Work on gaining feedback through response forms and questionnaires. 
              • April 2018
                • Expand Pop-Up courses to a large capacity for more involvement.
                • Increase the range of topics in the Pop-Up classes outside of typical STEM classes.
              • May 2018
                • Work on continuing Pop-Up classes outreach and schedule more Pop-Up classes for the Fall semester.

            Tactic #2: Summer Program

            • Description: Continue a four to five-week ideation and entrepreneurship summer program for incoming freshmen and rising sophomores. This apply-for and optional course would not only fuel the entrepreneur mindset for these underclassmen early in their college career but it would also help mix students and provide infrastructure for a network of collaborators. The program would be open to all majors.
            • Timeline: 6-Week program led by the Center for Entrepreneurship at James Madison. This 'Accelerator' helps students start ventures and allow them to grow in the X-Labs space.

            Tactic #3: Spread the Word

            • Description: Create a medium-scale marketing campaign for the JMU X-Labs. 
            • Tools: The following tools will be used to help spread the word of the Labs.
              • Social Media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
              • On-Campus Resources such as flyers, banners, and post-cards.
            • Timeline: It can start immediately in February 2018. This could take place as a flash-marketing campaign or a long term strategy.

            Strategy #12

            Create a culture on campus that elevates JMU national visibility in I&E in order to attract the most talented entrepreneurially minded faculty and students.

            Tactic #1: Develop a Hub

            • Description: Develop, design, fundraise, and build a hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation that includes living space, maker spaces, open workspace, etc.
              • To prove a need for this hub, we plan to use the spaces that currently exist on and around campus to establish smaller-scale environments in which student thinkers and entrepreneurs can come to work on their projects and collaborate on ideas.
              • Through this beacon of entrepreneurship, offer a wide variety of programs and engagement opportunities for students to learn about and engage in all phases of the entrepreneurship and innovation process.
                • “Idea mixers” or “idea factory workshops” that are heavily marketed

            Tactic #2: Mentorship Program

            • Problem: There is a clear gap between underclassmen and upperclassmen engineers. It is very clear that after engineering 101, first-year students are not connected with upperclassmen ab VB resources on campus to help guide them and find their passions.
            • Proposal: I think we can help bridge this gap by implementing an engineering mentorship program. This would be conducted by pairing first-year students with third-year students and second-year students with fourth-year students based on their specific interests. This would help to bridge a gap within our interdisciplinary engineering bbbprogram but B.B. b.  B. B. Ben and bbbb and allow students to create relationships with older students, have guidance from someone who has been in their place, and to help them network!
            • Prototyping:
            • Feedback
              • I told Dr. Callie Miller about this idea and she completely agreed that there is a gap here between underclassmen and upperclassmen. She told me that I would have to speak with Dr. Paterson, the department head, and Dr. Gipson who is in charge of a lot of the first-year students to get some feedback.
              • This idea started when I was a TA for a first-year class, ENGR 112, and many students approached me for advice and help with their first-year concerns and classes. They expressed gratitude for my help and said that it was nice to have someone older than them that has been through these struggles/classes and can give them some insight and advice. THIS WAS MY PROTOTYPING PHASE. I realized that after Engineering 101 these kids are on their own. If every student had an older mentor, they would feel more a part of a community and more likely to get involved on campus!

            Strategy #9

            Provide opportunities for students to engage in entrepreneurship and innovation with the greater local and regional community.

            Tactic #1: Regional Meet-up

            • Description: The regional meet-up will bring UIF students from campuses within a 5-hour driving distance to James Madison University campus. Through various workshops, students will understand JMU’s campus and share their own experiences from their respective campuses. Current James Madison University UIF members will create a collaborative environment for students to share ideas with each other. 

            Tactic #2: Corporate Outreach/Integration Efforts

            • Description: The goal is to connect corporate environments with higher education. We will approach this by connecting with well-known and widely respected corporate entities such as Google in order to organize "high-demand/interest" events and talks out of our ICE resources. All events should be informational, interactive and the hope is to connect students with corporate resources as they progress through their course-load and approach graduation.

            Strategy #13

            Provide students with the opportunity to gain global competencies throughout a semester-long course

            Tactic #1: Implement a Tech-Elective "How to Engineer Abroad"

            • This course will provide students with techniques for realizing and pursuing international engineering opportunities. These opportunities will include a series of collaborative mini-challenges, a project pitch, and a case study.
            • This course will include lectures on global issues, a collaborative project with an international university, exposure to international opportunities and learning to market your international experiences. 

            Tactic #2: 8 Week Design Challenge with International University 

            • Week 1: Getting to know your team and the design challenges
            • Week 2: Define problem statement, determine scope and stakeholders, set team expectations
            • Week 3: Discover phase of IDEO design process
            • Week 4: Ideate phase and conceptual design
            • Week 5: Alpha prototype
            • Week 6: Beta prototype
            • Week 7: Testing and refinement 
            • Week 8: Project presentation

            Tactic #3: International Career Fair

            •  Provide students the opportunity to interact with international organizations

            Related Links

            James Madison University

            James Madison University Student Priorities

            James Madison University Innovation Spaces

            Strategy #14

            Provide students with the opportunity to gain sustainability through innovation and entrepreneurship dedicated to a competition-style program

            Strategy #15

            Create a space that invites and facilitates creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

            Tactic #1: Implementation of a Creative Corner

            • Expand X-Labs into the rest of Lakeview Hall
            • Create discovery spaces where students can "play" and be innovative
              • Learn the fundamentals and tactics of being creative
            • Provide spaces where students can study and hangout to promote collaboration and community

            Tactic #2: Annual Creative Innovation Conference

            • Plan and execute an annual conference for JMU students, faculty, and staff
            • Hold workshops that teach creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
              • Faculty guide students to create and develop ideas.
            • Provide opportunities for students to team build, collaborate, and meet new people.

            Tactic #3: Re-design and re-brand the current X-Labs

            Strategy #16

            Improve Ecosystem for minority students on JMU campus (by race, gender, ethnicity, level of degree, etc.).

            Tactic #1: Develop a networking app for minorities (based on their interests languages, sports, free time activities, etc.)

            Tactic #2: Develop a chatbot that would address the most typical questions minority students have (resources on campus, community finding and building, etc.)

            • Encourage non-STEM students to be innovative by re-designing the space to be more inviting to those who are unfamiliar.
            • Focus on re-branding in order to reach more students.
            • Provide a space with an emphasis on brainstorming and creativity.
            • Teaching creativity, and then teaching creative people how to execute their ideas.


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