How the Business Model Canvas Works: Living Umbrella

business model canvas

Dave Tilley, Tim Williamson, and Piotr Kulczakowicz of Living Umbrella created a comic that shows just how the NSF I-Corps™ Program helped them create a successful business: by making the team get out of the building, conduct 101 customer interviews and find out what customers really needed. Follow the team as they use the Business […]


What Does Beer Have to Do with Campus Change?


Three years ago we challenged ourselves to build upon the success of our Faculty Grants program and develop a program that would maximize the outcomes of faculty work. We endeavored to create a community of faculty dedicated to transforming their institutions through innovation and entrepreneurship education. Created in 2014, the Pathways to Innovation program launched […]


We Gave Over $200k to Our Latest Cohort of Student E-Teams

Student Grant Program

We awarded 21 student teams over $200k in our summer 2016 cycle of the E-Team Student Grant Program. This summer’s awardees have products ranging from a device that degrades pesticides to a new diagnostic tool that will help save lives affected by sepsis to a device that uses magnetic technology to clean up oceanic oil spills. Teams […]


Faculty Spotlight: Cindy Gilbert

Cindy Gilbert

Minneapolis College of Art and Design educator Cindy Gilbert There are many entrepreneurship educators within the VentureWell network that are creating a positive impact in the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. These educators challenge the nation’s future innovators to think differently in order to create a social and global change. These faculty are featured in our […]


Third Annual NIN Meeting Builds Ties, Fosters Innovation


Over 150 individuals helped kick off VentureWell and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) third annual National Innovation Network (NIN) meeting this past May in Arlington, VA. Since its inception, the NIN meeting has strived to build ties and foster innovation among institutions by gathering people together to discuss best practices and plan the next chapter […]


Phil Weilerstein Receives Award for Contributions to Advancing I&E in Higher Ed

Deshpande award

VentureWell President Phil Weilerstein received the Deshpande Symposium’s Outstanding Contributions to Advancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education Award at a ceremony held last week in Lowell, Mass. According to the Deshpande Symposium’s awards committee, Phil “is known for leadership activities, service, and contributions to advancing the field of entrepreneurship in higher education.” The Deshpande […]


Announcing 2016 BMEidea Competition Winners

2016 BMEidea winning teams at awards ceremony

The 2016 BMEidea Competition winners were announced yesterday at the MD&M Medical Device Trade Show & Competition in New York City. The following teams are recognized for their inventions that will make a social impact on today’s world. Congratulations to the winning teams! Read more about the winners.


Eight Things You Should Be Doing When Starting an Entrepreneurship Program


Over the last 20 years, innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) courses, competitions and other experiential opportunities have gone from unusual to widespread, with over 400,000 students now taking college classes on them each year. But it isn’t easy to found a new course or program, let alone change an entire campus culture. That’s why we joined […]


Crowdfunding: What Startups Need to Know


Big changes are underway in the investing and crowdfunding world. 2013 saw the introduction of Title II of the JOBS Act, which allowed startups to publicly fundraise for the first time. Prior to the inclusion of Title II, an entrepreneur had to have a “substantial and pre-existing relationship” with a prospective investor in order to […]


Faculty Spotlight: Aileen Huang-Saad

aileen huang-saad

University of Michigan Educator Aileen Huang-Saad Today, we debut a new series of conversations with entrepreneurship educators. Each month we will feature an individual within the VentureWell network who is creating positive impact in the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem and talk about what drives their work. This month’s faculty spotlight is Aileen Huang-Saad, Associate Professor of […]


Did ABET Move Our Cheese?


There I was at the VentureWell conference, a bastion of innovation and entrepreneurship, discussing ABET (, the four-letter word that seems to deflate any conversation among engineering educators. We were discussing the proposed changes to ABET that have recently caused quite a stir. The conversation began with widespread discontent with the changes. Many of the […]


The Challenge of Hardware Startups

hardware startups

Inventors and entrepreneurs working on hardware solutions aimed at those living in poverty—hardware pioneers—need early and sustained philanthropic support in order to bring their ideas to fruition. This is Part One in a two-part series that highlights the particular challenges faced by hardware pioneers and the ways they can be overcome. … Founding any new […]


Lessons from 20 Years of Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship


Birthdays are a good time to celebrate accomplishments and reflect on what you’ve learned. This year as VentureWell turns 20 years old, we’re celebrating work with hundreds of universities and thousands of faculty and students to strengthen invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship education in the US. We’ve learned many valuable lessons, through both success and setbacks, […]


How an Entrepreneurial Mindset Can Make Research More Effective: Reflections from an I-Corps alumnus


Colorado State University professor and Growcentia co-founder Matt Wallenstein recently wrote in-depth about his experience in the I-Corps™ program for Science Magazine. I-Corps™ was transformative for Matt, taking him from academic researcher to successful entrepreneur (and back again to higher ed) using the I-Corps™ method: a rigorous process of looking for the commercial value in […]


21 teams, over $200k in grants. Spring E-Team grant awardees announced!

VentureWell Open, Portland, Oregon, March 3, 4, 5, 2016.

The spring 2016 cohort of E-Teams are meeting in Cambridge this April for intensive workshops to help them bring their innovations to market. Congratulations to the awardees!  


Here’s Why We’re Optimistic About the Future of the World’s Water

dayone response

There is no shortage of water challenges to overcome worldwide, from the 663 million people who lack access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene services all the way to contaminated municipal water in Flint, MI. No resource is more important—and will become ever more so as global population grows and the climate changes. One might […]


Previewing our 20th Annual Conference: 80+ sessions, 450+ attendees. Here’s what’s happening at Open 2016


In just a few short weeks, over 450 people will gather together for Open 2016, a conference focused around new ways of teaching/facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education. This year’s conference—our 20th!—will be taking place March 4-5 at the Downtown Marriott in Portland, OR. Open 2016 will feature more than 80 sessions for learning, connecting, and […]


5 Trends That Will Shape Entrepreneurship Education in 2016


Entrepreneurship education is starting to steal the limelight in the US. Students want it—about four in ten students want to start their own businesses, according to a poll released in January by Gallup—and schools want to deliver it. The number of colleges and universities that offer courses related to entrepreneurship has grown from a handful […]


E-Team grant awardees announced!

e-team training

Our recent grants totaling over $200K are helping teams of science & technology entrepreneurs bring their high-impact inventions to market. This cohort of E-Teams kicked off 2016 with our intensive workshops to help them bring their innovations to market. We’re looking forward to great things!  


E-Team NeoVent offers advice to other student entrepreneurs


Stephen John enjoyed a remarkable childhood: he grew up in Nepal, the son of a physician and an engineer who worked in a mission hospital. He’s now following in his parents’ footsteps at the University of Michigan, devoting his career to bringing high-quality, low-cost medical care to people in low-resource settings. He’s already made plenty […]


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