807 South Cathedral Place
Richmond, Virginia 23284
Phone: (804) 827-3764
davincicenter.vcu.edu

Garret Westlake
Executive director

A collaboration of VCU’s schools of the Arts, Business, Engineering and College of Humanities and Sciences, the VCU da Vinci Center is a unique collegiate model that advances innovation and entrepreneurship through cross-disciplinary collaboration.

The academic and other program offerings of the da Vinci Center aim to create T-shaped individuals: individuals who are anchored in a discipline and have the capacity and openness to span across disciplines.

Students participating in the da Vinci Center view innovation and entrepreneurship from multiple disciplinary perspectives and, thus, are prepared for the 21st-century workforce by more robustly approaching the innovation/entrepreneurship endeavor.

 
 

Innovation 

INNO   200. Introduction to Innovation and Venture Creation. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. A speaker series focused on the discussion of pertinent topics related to product innovation and venture creation. Students will be exposed to numerous topics through guest speakers supplemented by readings and class discussion. Topics include conceptualization, patents, capitalization, venture formation, commercialization, market assessment, project management and product life cycle management.

INNO   221. Introduction to Arts and Design Principles. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 2 studio hours. 3 credits. Restricted to non-arts students enrolled in the Certificate in Product Innovation program. Introduces arts and design principles to students from non-arts disciplines.

INNO   223. Introduction to Business Principles. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Open only to non-business majors in the Certificate in Product Innovation program. Introduces business fundamentals to students from non-business disciplines. Particular focus will be concepts and issues in contemporary business.

INNO   225. Introduction to Engineering and Technology Principles. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Open only to non-engineering majors in Certificate in Product Innovation program. Introduces engineering and technology fundamentals to students from non-engineering disciplines. Particular focus is the engineering problem-solving process as applied to open-ended problems. Students will be introduced to the different types of engineering, examine engineering and technology issues and apply the engineering problem-solving process.

INNO   351. Creativity for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Students are introduced to the role of creativity in innovation and entrepreneurship. A multidisciplinary orientation and approach are emphasized.

INNO   352. Making Innovation Happen. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Students are introduced to the role of innovation in today’s society. A multidisciplinary orientation and approach are emphasized.

INNO   353. Making Entrepreneurship Happen. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Students are introduced to the role of entrepreneurship in today’s society. A multidisciplinary orientation and approach are emphasized.

INNO   450. Realizing Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Students will learn how innovation and entrepreneurship are manifested in today’s society. A multidisciplinary orientation and approach are emphasized.

INNO   460. Product Innovation: da Vinci Project. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Students from the School of the Arts, School of Engineering and School of Business work together on a semester-long product innovation project with a corporate sponsor under faculty supervision. Topics and activities may include project management, team building, concept generation and testing, market analysis, visualization, and prototyping.

INNO   491. Special Topics in Product Innovation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Study of current and emerging topics in the field of product innovation. Topics may vary from semester to semester.

INNO   492. Independent Study in Product Innovation. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. Students pursuing a da Vinci Center certificate may receive a maximum total of 3 credits for all INNO   492 courses. Prerequisites: junior standing and permission of adviser and da Vinci Center director prior to course registration. Intensive study or research under supervision of a faculty member in an area not covered in depth or contained in the regular curriculum.

Venture Creation

VNTR   300. Venture Creation Skills. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hour. 3 credits. Students are introduced to and apply various skills important for real venture creation. A multidisciplinary orientation and approach are emphasized throughout the course.

VNTR   460. Venture Creation Project. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hour. 3 credits. Students will work in cross-disciplinary teams on a semester-long venture creation project. Topics and activities may include business model generation, customer discovery, customer validation, financial analysis and agile development.

VNTR   491. Special Topics in Venture Creation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Study of current and emerging topics in the field of venture creation. Topics may vary from semester to semester.

VNTR   492. Independent Study in Product Innovation. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. Students pursuing a da Vinci Center certificate may receive a maximum total of 3 credits for all VNTR   492 courses. Prerequisites: junior standing and permission of adviser and da Vinci Center director prior to course registration. Intensive study or research under supervision of a faculty member in an area not covered in depth or contained in the regular curriculum.

VCU INNOVATE

VCU INNOVATE is a living-learning program that promotes student understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship through academic course work and cocurricular activities. The mission of VCU INNOVATE is to spur a mindset and culture that enables students to pursue innovation and entrepreneurship efforts.  A multidisciplinary perspective is emphasized so that VCU INNOVATE students are best prepared for the 21st-century economy as they more robustly approach innovation and entrepreneurship endeavors.

Certificate of completion

Students completing the VCU INNOVATE living-learning program receive a Certificate of Completion in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which requires a sequence of the following four tailored one credit hour courses over a two-year required residency.

INNO   351Creativity for Innovation and Entrepreneurship1
INNO   352Making Innovation Happen1
INNO   353Making Entrepreneurship Happen1
INNO   450Realizing Innovation and Entrepreneurship1

INNO   351 is taken in the first semester and INNO 352 is taken in the second semester of the first year of residency. Students take INNO   353 in the first semester of the second year, with INNO   450 taken the following semester and during which students will complete a portfolio of their learning. VCU INNOVATE students also must be enrolled in VCU’s undergraduate Certificate in Product Innovation and/or undergraduate Certificate in Venture Creation. Both certificates fall under the auspices of the VCU da Vinci Center.

Program requirements

To remain in VCU INNOVATE, students must:

  • Commit to a two-year residency in the Grace and Broad Residence Center
  • Complete all academic course work on time for the VCU Certificate in Product Innovation and/or VCU Certificate in Venture Creation
  • Complete all academic course work on time for the Certificate of Completion in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Students not meeting general VCU academic requirements and/or the academic requirements of the aforementioned certificates will be put on warning by the VCU INNOVATE director in collaboration with the student services residence hall office. Failure to comply with VCU INNOVATE residency requirements will lead to dismissal from the VCU INNOVATE living-learning program.

A student dismissed from VCU INNOVATE can still pursue the certificate programs as long as they are in good academic standing with the university and the respective VCU da Vinci Center academic program.

Application process

Students with professional or personal interests in innovation and entrepreneurship are sought as residents in the VCU INNOVATE living-learning program. Students from all majors are welcome. Only full-time VCU students may apply for the program during their freshman or sophomore years. Rising juniors or seniors who have two more years of undergraduate studies remaining may petition the director for entry. The online application deadline is posted on the VCU INNOVATE website. In addition to completing the admissions application, students must complete a housing contract for the Grace and Broad Residence Center for two consecutive years.

The successful applicant will demonstrate interest, commitment and a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. Students must apply and be accepted into the Certificate in Product Innovation program and/or Certificate in Venture Creation program.

For more information, contact the VCU INNOVATE living-learning program director at davincicenter@vcu.edu.