Priorities:Spelman College Student Priorities

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Hackathons are great way to encourage creativity and competition for new ideas on campus. Getting students into the lab to build around an idea for a set time period would be a great way to get students in the entrepreneurial mindset. The #FashionHack here at Spelman is something that is in the works. A student felt as though it was time to bring the culture of Hackthons on campus for Spelman students to become engaged in the activity. The #FashionHack would be a hackathon that would be annually hosted on campus  in the innovation lab for students to come together and be able to think about new ideas utilizing innovation lab materials and machinery to create a new design for Spelman clothing. The idea is that students will think of a design and implement it so that it can be presented to a group of judges for them to determine the best design. The design that wins would be sold in the Spelman College bookstore to other students.


  1. Picking a weekend that most students are on campus and would be able to allocate their time to the competition the same time every year. (Usually the beginning of the semester.)
  2. Spreading the word so that at least 40 students with diverse majors (not just computer science and engineering majors) are engaged and are ready to participate.
  3. Getting faculty involved would be great because they can serve as the judges for the portion of the competition that needs to be judged. Faculty could sign up or they can be chosen so that there is a group from with candidates from different departments.
  4. Designate the time period that the students will be working. Work out the kinks. Allocate time specifically to working on their project. Plan out the itinerary of the event and how the room will be managed to be dedicated to everyone’s needs.
  5. Allow for a lot of help. Putting on an event like this can go wrong and we want it to be great the first time around so that it can become a tradition (maybe with different themes each year). Make a sign-up sheet and blast out the event when promotion is solid to all campus students interested in helping. Those who help should have attended a hackathon at least once and should attend a workshop on how the event will run prior to the real thing.
  6. Make sure that there is plenty feedback from the event to make sure that the program gets better as it is continued in the future.

Spelman & Company

Students would have the opportunity to be partnered with companies outside of the school community to get a better understanding of how startups operate. This would include students sitting down with managers/business owners of real companies and understanding the business model and getting to know every aspect of the company. The student should then think of ways to make the company better whether that be adjusting the business model to increase earnings or to come up with ideas to make increase the consumer base. Students will get the skill set they need to learn how to run and begin their own business. The purpose of this project would be for students to be involved in the business and learn about entrepreneurship through real world problems.


  1. First there would have to be a list of companies that sign up to take students into their business and learn the operations of the business. These companies would have to have to be a startup and exhibit a cutting edge environment that promoted innovation.
  2. Then students who are interested in getting experience in this industry would be able to sign up to be matched. There would have to be a process to match candidates with the best fit company for them.
  3. Students will then learn the business model of the company and the ins and outs of it. They will become well acquainted with the whole business so that they understand how the business actually operates.
  4. Students will then utilize the lab to create and become innovative and think up ideas on how to create a better environment and better the company.
  5. Students will be compensated from a grant proposal to work on these projects.
  6. Students will present their contribution of the work they’ve done to a group of people to show the impact and entrepreneurship skills they possess.


Students would engage in a project that is iterative and gave them the opportunity to solve a real world obstacle. They would undergo a certain training to develop and idea, iterate on it, and then implement it. They would then be able to present it to a group of judges that held high positions and are well versed with pitching. These individuals might be VC’s or investors and could potentially invest in the idea. This will encourage a startup culture on campus and encourage students to actually implement their ideas.


  1. Students will attend an orientation introducing them to different concepts around entrepreneurship.
  2. Students will receive a guide that will introduce them to the concept of entrepreneurship and intensive steps on how to solve a problem.
  3. Students will dedicate time to the innovation lab and make their idea come to life.
  4. They will then layout a plan to implement a business model.
  5. They will prepare a speech for their pitch.
  6. There will be a pitch competition for students to pitch to VC’s.

Related Links

Spelman College

Spelman College Student Priorities

University Innovation Fellows

Spring 2016:

Brianna Fugate