New innovation and entrepreneurship program deliberate at VCU for underrepresented and low-income college students | Enterprise Information

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Joshna Seelam and Aniket Kulkarni from the startup Kilo Medical Solutions meet with Garret Westlake, Managing Director of the VCU da Vinci Center.

A new entrepreneurship and innovation education program is planned at the VCU’s da Vinci Innovation Center to support students from underrepresented populations and low-income families.

With a new $ 50,000 grant, the VCU da Vinci Center is partnering with the Jackson Ward Collective, a black-owned organization in Richmond, and Activation Capital, an organization that supports entrepreneurs and startups in the Richmond area to start the VCU Entrepreneurship Academy.

The academy will bring together 150 under-represented students consisting of first generation college students and low-income students, as well as 50 community members identified by the Jackson Ward Collective and Activation Capital.

This 200-person cohort will take part in four learning modules: Design Thinking, Digital Competence, Canvas for Business Models and the Art of the Playing Field.

“These efforts are not only a great skill-building program for students and local entrepreneurs, but also create community among a diverse pool of entrepreneurs – and strengthen the connective tissue of our ecosystem,” said Chandra Briggman, president and chief executive officer of Activation Capital .

The program, coupled with a new entrepreneurship facility, the Student Storefront, will create ongoing and sustainable opportunities for mentoring, networking and employment.