Priorities:UVA University Student Priorities

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2015 UIF Leadership Circle

Fall 2015

Project Pitch Video

Top priorites:

1. Increasing Health mentorship

2. ReinventED Lab

3. Crowdfunded Student Ventures

  1. Health UnBound
    1. Description: Promote medical innovation and entrepreneurship at the University by centralizing resources in a student organization. Health UnBound has already been working this past year to accomplish these goals through various competitions and industry tours. For this year, we want to emphasize student team mentorship to encourage students to stick with projects and get hooked on medical entrepreneurship.
    2. Goals: + Timeline:
      1. We will host a medical design competition near the beginning of the semester that spawns project teams and offer money and mentorship as the main prize
        1. This has already been completed
      2. Through the semester we will host “health community office hours” at a local community workspace to touch base with projects
      3. We will help competitive projects apply for funding near the end of the semester.
        1. Our main goal for this stage will be to prep teams for University  entrepreneurship cup to gain $1000 in funding.

  1. ReinventED Lab
    1. Description: ReinventED Lab aims to build a community of creative problem-solving in education. We do this by hosting signature programs (24 Hour Challenge and Startup Weekend EDU: Problem-solvathon Edition), developing a customizable creative problem-solving process (drawing on design thinking, lean startup tactics, and 4.0 Schools methodologies), and growing impact-driven education innovation projects. Recognizing the net potential of education innovation at UVA, in Albemarle County, and in the Charlottesville community, ReinventED Lab aims to convene stakeholders for productive ideation and collaboration. To this end, ReinventED Lab leverages student voices, design thinking, and community building best practices, with the objective of establishing the Charlottesville area’s pre-eminence as a leader in the national movement towards locally-grown, early-stage education innovation.
    2. Goals:
      1. Attract a significant number of attendees to ReinventED events
      2. Bring multiple stakeholder groups into conversation with one another
      3. Support the growth of education innovation projects
      4. Identify the needs for users engaged in early-stage education innovation
      5. Establish strong testimonies and examples of ideas surfaced and supported by ReinventED programs
      6. Develop strong relationships with Albemarle County Public Schools, UVA, and Charlottesville community members
    3. Timeline:
      1. ReinventED Kickoff Party: August 2015
      2. Co-create UVA ( proposed: September 2015
      3. ReinventED 24 Hour Challenge: October 9-10, 2015
      4. ReinventED joins Albemarle County Schools Team for XQ Super Schools ( Challenge: Mid-October, 2015
      5. National Policy Breakthrough Lab commences research on early-stage education innovation”: Mid-October, 2015
      6. ReinventED Startup Weekend EDU: Problem-solvathon Edition: November 13-15, 2015
      7. ReinventED Project Cohort: Spring 2016

  1. Create crowd-funding source for student ventures
    1. Description: I will partner with Venture Fund at UVa to create a crowd-funding source that provides base-level funding to student ventures that are not ready to reach out to investors/compete for money. This will create more student ventures, thereby tackling a large problem facing the I&E community on Grounds which is that students don’t apply to UVa because of innovation. By having increased amounts of student ventures, the reasons people apply to UVa will hopefully be more and more about innovation. Additionally, student ventures are another vehicle by which experiential learning can be spread on Grounds, an educational style that many professors face institutional challenges in implementing. The crowd-funding will be piloted alongside a design course on Grounds that has semester-long projects, many of which can be translated easily (relatively speaking) into ventures.
    2. Goals:
      1. Encourage creation of more student ventures
      2. Provide base-level funding for student ventures that are not ready to reach out to investors/compete for money
      3. Provide more ways for real experiential learning, the vehicle being student ventures
    3. Timeline
      1. Reach out to all stakeholders - Early October
      2. Draft necessary resources, proposals - Late October
      3. Secure course for pilot  - Early November
      4. Finalize Initiatives with Venture Fund - Late November
      5. Create crowd-funding source - End of February
      6. Pitch to student projects in design course; offer draft of a pitch for crowd-funding medium - Mid March
      7. Get feedback from ventures - Early April
      8. Reflect/Improve system - Mid April/Early May

Spring 2015

Top Priorities

  • Design Team Nurturing
  • Entrepreneurship Council
  • Medical Bridge
  • Entrepreneurship Educational Tract
  • Human-Centered Design and Innovation Curriculum at UVA School of Medicine

Dream Team Program

Description: A way in which students can form a "dream" team of diverse skills and backgrounds to pursure their innovative ideas. Students would be able to offer themselves up as "free agents" and be able to contact other "free agents" from a pool of students into forming a team. Through this process, students would be able to form design teams that could give them the best chance at creating a synnergistic team.


  • Students with ideas can come to the program in hopes of finding a design team
  • Students who want to join exciting projects can offer their skills in the pool 
  • Students of all backgrounds and skills would join the pool
  • Teams would have members with complimentary dynamics/personalities
  • Teams would have a diversity of students other than Engineering and Business
  • Teams would meet and use the newly created Innovation Space at UVa's Engineering School

University Entrepreneurship Council

Description: A group of innovation minded students and faculty who raise awareness of, increase transparency between and encourage collaboration of entrepreneurial organizations and initiatives around grounds.  Regular meetings and discussions would strengthen ties between innovative groups and increase awareness of the opportunities available to students.  Comprising members from around the greater university community the council would encourage the cross pollination of ideas.


  • Improve communication between entrepreneurial initiatives on grounds
  • Raise awareness within the university community of innovative endeavors
  • Encourage collaborative events that bring together different student groups
  • Discuss potential entrepreneurial ventures and see them to fruition
  • Bridge the gap between disjoint groups: students, professors, administrators, alumni, community members
  • The council would meet regularly in the newly created Innovation Space at UVa's Engineering School and play a role in its development


Description: An online platform that serves two main purposes: 1. It is a network where people can discuss and identify problems associated with the medical system. 2. a community for students and professionals of different backgrounds to come together and formulate optimal solutions for these problems with their unique talents. This creates a platform for students who are interested in industrial design, business, project management or any other related disciplines a place to explore and find real life problems to work on.


  • Give medical professionals a platform to post problems they'd like help improving 
  • Creates a question bank for student innovators to go to if they are looking for a problem to solve.
  • Give innovative students a place to start brainstorming solutions for real problems 
  • Encourages students to collaborate with each other and learn from professionals that have the same passion
  • To build a strong a supportive network of communication between students, professors and professionals in the area

Potential ideas for expansion:

  • The forum is regulated by a voting system
  • The popular issues and solutions will be pushed to the top of the page
  • If the votes exceed a certain number (ex. 300), a crowd-funding system can be started for it

Introduce an Innovation and Entreprensurhip Educational Tract

  • I believe this can be housed in the already existing Engineering business minor, which is extremely popular among current students
  • By Spring 2016, introduce the first design class for the engineering business minor
    • Capstone Venture-Lab course implementation in progress
  • Encourage students to take their ideas and create products and companies around it. This may require restructuring the curriculum, so that the last capstone class, in which you create a product idea, is taken before a student's final year

Human-Centered Design and Innovation Curriculum at UVA School of Medicine

Description: Develop and implement an unprecedented curriculum track at the School of Medicine focused on user-centered design and problem solving.

The following is a detailed proposal submitted to the UVA School of Medicine Curriculum Committee based on student feedback and survey:

The practice of medicine is undergoing radical transformation in the United States. This shift is fueled by myriad inter-connected factors including highly disruptive advances in fields like genomics and a drive for more individualized, patient-centered care, as well as population-level needs for advances in areas such as preventive services to address sequelae of chronic disease. Innovative approaches to medical training are needed to prepare young physicians for these changes and position them to play leadership roles in their personal clinical teams and at a system level. Traditional 4-year medical training programs now include increasing emphasis on multi-disciplinary teams. However, they do not naturally cultivate opportunities for students to focus on unsolved problems and get hands-on experience creating new products or services to address those problems, skills that are essential to becoming successful and effective innovators. With its history of cultural transformation in inter-disciplinary translational research the University of Virginia (UVA) is well positioned for a leadership role in preparing future medical doctors for the new era of medical practice.

We are proposing a ‘Medical Innovation & Human-Centered Design’ track to provide UVA medical students working knowledge of innovation and human centered design approaches – popularly referred to as design thinking. This track will complement the NexGen curriculum by offering three discrete phases of student training on this topic. The first phase will take place in the first two years prior clerkship, during which students will participate in workshops and seminars to build requisite knowledge in design and innovation. Because of busy schedules and the demands of clerkships, the second phase will consist primarily of student’s journaling their observations during their time in clinic. This will provide data that will be the seeds for the third and final phase, during their 4th year. This component will include an elective and Capstone project (similar to a thesis). For the purpose of developing this program, we request one year of support to pilot a certificate program that will feature 6 workshops/seminars for first year medical students entering the fall of 2016 and to build on theexisting 4th year s-elective taught by David Chen. The data gathered through the courses as well as through student and faculty focus groups, interviews, and surveys during the 2015-2016 year will optimize a 4-year track to be offered Fall of 2016.

  • Introduce the human-centered design methodology to medical students
  • Utilize course materials and results from workshops to educate the medical school at-large about human-centered design principles
  • Encourage application of skillsets in practial healthcare scenarios 
  • Promote the use of human-centered design for medical education on a national scale

2014 UIF Leadership Circle

The University of Virginia UIF team will create a physical space for Health Innovation and Incubation as the centerpiece of our future plans. The space will be housed in an emergent tech incubator, HackCville, and we will partner with their mission and culture of design, mentorship and self-starter ingenuity. Our strategy addresses the gaps identified in our landscaping of UVA's I&E capacity; while there are a multitude of programs and accessible funding avaible on grounds, they are restricted by student organization transience and their lack of coordination and. We can develop the connectivity needed to field projects and support them fully from upstream to downstream by riding the exisiting momentum and experience in the tech-entrepreneurship field. The proximity to this work is helping to foster a healthy new culture at UVA; under the new physical location and presence we plan to build out new events and programing to create visibility on campus. These include the Lawn Innovation Invation, the Grit Challenge, the Medical Hackathon and IdeasEverwhere Walls- elaborated upon below.

Grit Challenge

In 2013, the MacAuthur Fellows Grant was bestowed upon Angela Lee Duckworth for defining the term "Grit" as the best metric of sucess.

This will be a challenge designed to counter the typical one-off nature of traditional buisness competions and pitches that focus on how well an idea is presented at one point in time. Wise speakers at NCIIA warned us about the dangers of extoling a singular idea instead of the people or process, and honestly, we see that play out when the winners of business competitions are more incentivised to dress-up an idea than to propel it forward. In order to shift these expectations, we propose to design a competition that measures the fearlessness and reckless abandon of true entrepreneurs on a mission - the tenacity to start scrappy, shoot high; allow oneself to fail in a productive way in which they are able to use it experientially to propel themselves further forward: true GRIT! We are experimenting with the idea of shaping the challenge into 1-month segments, starting with a low operational budget of $10 and incrementally increasing amounts of award money for those able to stay in the rounds. This also teaches an important lesson in establishing credibility for those starting with next-to-nothing, through incrementally growing steps and the quantification of sucess to show possible investors/supporters. 

Medical Hackathon

Description: A short-term goal of the UVA Leaderhship Circle is to host a medical hackathon that will get hundreds of students involved in healthcare entrepreneurship at UVA in a fun, relaxing and engaging way. The student-run organization that will put the hackathon together will be a new student-run club called Emerging Medical Technology Ventures, or EMTV. The end goal of the hackathon is two-fold:

  • One, to recruit young students of different backgrounds and majors to join EMTV
  • And two, have hackathon participants carry out projets that result from the hackathon

A medical hackathon could serve as the spark for serious undergraduate involvement in healthcare and medical technology innovation. The reason for emphasis on recruiting young students is to help ensure that the UVA community can continually become engaged in medical technology and healthcare innovation for at least 3 years, as demonstrated by additional hackathons and successful project grant applications.

Team Leaders: Dasha TyshlekRachel SmithKelly ThomasAnish Dalal, Alex Zorychta and David Chen (Director of UVA Coulter Foundation Program)


  • Attend a large-scale, professional medical hackathon to determine optimal ways of hosting them
  • Recruit at least 5 first to second year students to help organize the first hackathon and eventually lead EMTV
  • Obtain faculty advisors who have medicine, engineering and/or business backgrounds to advise on design challenges for hackathons and provde additional mentoring to students who pursue projects after hackathons 
  • Have at least 3 hackathon projects within 2 years place in the University of Virginia Entrepreneurship Cup or obtain some sort of competitive funding
  • At least one startup formed within 5 years

University of Virginia Wiki Page

University of Virginia

Related Links

Prior UIF Members:

Anish Dalal

Dasha Tyshlek

Rachel Smith

Kelly Thomas

Angela Liu

Ben Matthews

Anthony Sung

Katie Kan

Current UIF Candidates:

Tarun Kalakoti

Justis Midura

Keaton Wadzinski

Arnab Sarker