White House Demo Day, Higher Education Commitment Letter

For Immediate Release
August 4, 2015

Media contact:
Laurie Moore
Communications Manager, Epicenter
(650) 561-6113

Higher education leaders send letters to President Obama

with commitment to expand innovation and entrepreneurship offerings

August 4, 2015 — In letters of commitment shared with President Barack Obama on the first-ever White House Demo Day, 30 institutions committed to actions that will expand innovation and entrepreneurship education offerings in order to enhance the economic potential of colleges and universities and better prepare students to create products that benefit humankind.

The White House Demo Day showcases talented innovators from across the country to demonstrate the value of giving all Americans the opportunity to pursue their bold, game-changing ideas. The event was hosted by President Obama and took place at the White House.

To support this effort, the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) gathered institutional commitments to expand innovation and entrepreneurship education by means of a signed letter shared with President Obama on Demo Day. Epicenter is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell.

The letter collected signatures from leaders, faculty and students at 30 institutions. These supporters committed to one or more of eight key actions aimed at providing students of all majors on campus access to innovation and entrepreneurship learning opportunities. These commitments include advancing team-based learning that tackles real world problems, integrating underserved populations into the innovation ecosystem, celebrating faculty and student entrepreneurial outcomes, and supporting innovative faculty teaching practices.

Schools included in the initiative to date are:

  1. Bucknell University
  2. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  3. Case Western Reserve University
  4. Clark Atlanta University
  5. Clark University
  6. Clemson University
  7. Georgetown University
  8. Illinois Institute of Technology
  9. New Mexico State University
  10. New York Institute of Technology
  11. New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering
  12. North Dakota State University
  13. Olin College of Engineering
  14. Temple University
  15. Tennessee Technological University
  16. Universidad del Turabo
  17. University of Alabama
  18. University of Maryland
  19. University of Michigan
  20. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  21. University of New Haven
  22. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  23. University of Oregon
  24. University of Pittsburgh
  25. University of Portland
  26. University of Texas Arlington
  27. University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  28. William Jewell College
  29. Wingate University
  30. Albemarle County Public Schools (K12)

Five individuals representing Epicenter’s University Innovation Fellows program are attending the White House Demo Day in support of the letter. There, they will share the initiatives they are collaborating on with their school’s leaders to address the goals put forth in the letter.

This letter was supported by organizations including the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE), Engineers Without Borders and Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS).

Read the letter on the White House website.

About Epicenter:

The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell. Epicenter’s mission is to empower U.S. undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society. To do this, Epicenter helps students combine their technical skills, their ability to develop innovative technologies that solve important problems, and an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset. Epicenter’s three core initiatives are the University Innovation Fellows program for undergraduate engineering students and their peers; the Pathways to Innovation Program for institutional teams of faculty and university leaders; and the Fostering Innovative Generations Studies research program that informs activities and contributes to national knowledge on entrepreneurship and engineering education. Learn more and get involved at epicenter.stanford.edu.

About Stanford University:

At Stanford University, the Epicenter collaboration is managed by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), the entrepreneurship center in Stanford’s School of Engineering. STVP delivers courses and extracurricular programs to Stanford students, creates scholarly research on high-impact technology ventures, and produces a large and growing collection of online content and experiences for people around the world. Visit us online at stvp.stanford.edu.

About VentureWell:

VentureWell was founded in 1995 as the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) and rebranded in 2014 to underscore its impact as an education network that cultivates revolutionary ideas and promising inventions. A not-for-profit organization reaching more than 200 universities, VentureWell is the leader in funding, training, coaching and early investment that brings student innovations to market. Inventions created by VentureWell grantees are reaching millions of people in more than 50 countries and helping to solve some of our greatest 21st century challenges. Visit www.venturewell.org to learn how we inspire students, faculty and investors to transform game-changing ideas into solutions for people and the planet.

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