As with all student interests, innovation and entrepreneurship must be encouraged and supported. Indiana University is one of the world’s foremost research institutions, and there are thousands of intelligent students with groundbreaking ideas. By supporting those students and their ideas, IU not only benefits the students, but also continues to strengthen its impact on people’s lives around the world. Sometimes this support means launching and cultivating resources for students to find, connect with and use.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program within the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering is focused on exposing students to the process of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking. Since joining the school, I have dedicated myself to building a program that would be inclusive of students from all disciplines while working with the already successful program developed within the Kelley School of Business. Toward that end, with the generous support of Donna and John Shoemaker, I launched the Shoemaker Innovation Center — and the student incubator within, known as the Shoebox — in Luddy Hall. Students from all disciplines are welcome to apply to become a client within the Shoebox and attend the educational programming hosted by the Shoemaker Innovation Center.
I was also able to launch the Shoemaker Scholars program, a group of student entrepreneurship ambassadors from different schools who have come together to ensure that students studying at Indiana University Bloomington are fully informed regarding the programs that have already been built. I have discovered that students can find it difficult to learn about all of the activities, organizations and resources available to them. Through the StartupIU website and newsletter, the Shoemaker Scholars group facilitates student innovators and entrepreneurs having easy access to the information they need to find the assistance they are seeking.
I look forward to continuing to grow the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, along with my colleagues across campus, and working with the Shoemaker scholars to ensure that Indiana University students are aware of the opportunities available to them. Whether or not students decide to engineer the invention or launch the startup they develop through the program, the thinking they hone through the exercise of fleshing out their idea will serve them throughout their career.