School:Brigham Young University

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Promoting Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Structured Creativity (INDES 131): A course on applying principles of structured creativity to create new ideas. This course also covers verbal and visual communication as tools to spread ideas.

Creating a Good Life Experience Design (ExDM 300): A class that explores life design opportunities from an experiential and recreational viewpoint.

Do Good Better (MSB 375): Focuses on prominent approaches to social innovation and entrepreneurship. Students learn how to analyze social venture programs, conduct root cause analysis, and complete solution evaluation.



Changemaker Club: An introductory club for undergraduate students seeking involvement in social innovation. This program is hosted by the Ballard Center on BYU campus.

Entrepreneurship Club: This club helps students learn how to start a venture, build a student team, and get connected with mentors to start a business.

BYU Developers Club: Those interested in coding, development, and UX design are a great fit for this club. This club focuses on creating change on campus through technology. They holding coding nights and hackathons.

Venture Factory Club: This is a BYU Product Development Accelerator. This club provides the resources and environments for students to turn ideas into prototypes, products, and businesses. This club helps aid students in finding funding for projects as well.

BYU UXD Club: A club focused on user experience and creating easy to use, digital and physical products.

Changemaker Film Competition: An opportunity for students to highlight stories of people solving social problems. Winners are awarded cash prizes.

Y-Prize: Design Thinking: A class and competition using design thinking to help BYU redesign experiences for students to promote lifelong learning. The class participates in a competition and monetary awards are given.

Y-Prize: Problem Mastery: A competition where students explore the implications of a current social issue and compete with other students across campus. Students research and present on the issue.


BYU Think Tank: This a space available to students in the Harold B. Lee Library. This is a space where students can innovate and create. This space has 120 square feet of whiteboard, a 3D printer, projectors, and a Science and Engineering help desk.

Multimedia Lab: An area in the library available to students. This area provides resources for graphic, audio, video, and web projects.

Provo Library Lynda Home Access: Students are given access to where they can enroll in online courses to learn technical skills, design principles, and more.

BYU InVision Student Account: A digital design platform online available to students. Corporate Social Impact Projects: An MBA and undergraduate on-campus internship program where students can work on projects for top companies.

Social Innovation Projects (SIP): On-campus internship program for students to work on social innovation projects going on around the world.

Ballard Innovation Team: An internal consulting group that utilizes design thinking to improve the Ballard Center programs.

Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Brigham Young University’s motto, “Enter to learn, go forth to serve,” is presented at the entrance to campus. Faculty members know the importance of their role in helping students develop the required skillset to truly go forth into the world. Their responsibilities span a broad range of categories that directly influence students on campus. From course and curriculum development in the classroom to club and event involvement, as well as continual research and publishing as part of their tenure, the faculty are involved and invested with the students at Brigham Young University.

As part of the campus ecosystem to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, faculty members have played a critical role. In the Fall of 2018, the Design Thinking Minor is offered to provide interdisciplinary coursework in design thinking and innovation. Other faculty contributions and involvement include the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, the Ballard Center which focuses on innovation especially in the social sphere, and the Creativity, Innovation, and Design Group. Although the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship on campus could extend beyond its current reach, faculty involved in the existing programs certainly provide needed mentorship and support to students. University President, Kevin J. Worthen, has recently been advocating a focus of experiential learning on campus. The college of experiential learning encompasses three sections—mentoring, innovative teaching and experiential learning. Through this program, students receive both educational and meaningful experiences outside of the classroom through internships, studying abroad, performances, field studies, touring and service projects. These experiences deepen learning and lead to inspiration.

Actively Supporting the University Technology Transfer Function

The BYU Technology Transfer prepares students and faculty members in their pursuit of bringing a new innovation or invention into the public market. They provide support with legal matters, the obtaining of official and binding Intellectual property, and provides expertise in all basic business functions.

Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration

Though BYU has focused on developing their innovation and entrepreneurial resources on campus, regional and local sources are growing and offer enormous potential for students in Provo. Product Hive and Front Utah offer training and mentoring to managers and designers and are perfect for students trying to break into the business industry. The Silicon Slopes area spans from Provo to Salt Lake City to Park City and is one of the fastest growing technological regions in the world. The Slopes are home to hundreds of startup companies, several of which have grown to be “unicorns,” valued at over a billion dollars. The proximity and growth rate of new and innovate companies make Silicon Slopes an excellent resource for BYU students looking to gain innovative and entrepreneurial experiences.

Engaging with Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts

From our research, it does not appear that BYU actively connects with any organizations seeking to develop the local economy. While the UIF program notes that many campuses have an economic development office to leverage university research and development for a positive local economic benefit, BYU has not created such a program. Connection to local economic development groups appears to be the most significant gap in our campus overview report, but perhaps a future relationship with the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development could change that and begin a new chapter at BYU.

Landscape Canvas & Additional Resources

BYU Landscape Canvas2018

BYU Landscape Canvas 2019

Brigham Young University Student Priorities

Written by: Dallas Anderson, Rachel Merrill, Ashley Paget, Gabe WalkerEmma Stratton, Brooke Spencer, Kyle Macdonald, Alex Bybee