Macklemore! Purdue Makes Engineering Cool

Student Ambassadors welcome nine new candidates this week at the OPEN Conference in Washington D.C., including an undergraduate and graduate student from Purdue. Between the commitment to train two engineering towards the student-led movement to expand Innovation and Entrepreneurship activity and this AMAZINGLY COOL engineering parody of “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, there’s no question Purdue is aiming to kick things up a notch on that campus. Check it…



~ Humera Fasihuddin, Manager of Student Programming, T: @ihumera

Bottling the Bay Area and Stanford Magic

Student Ambassadors travel to Bay Area, attend Stanford E-Week

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Nine top-performing Student Ambassadors had an immersive experience in Silicon Valley last week to bring back best practices to their campuses. Some may say, “What happens at Stanford can’t be replicated in our region!” Perhaps not in its entirety. But, we think by breaking down the constituent parts of the magic that is at Stanford and its surrounding area, Student Ambassadors learned valuable new tools that will enhance their own Entrepreneurship and Innovation (E&I) ecosystems.

Student Ambassadors reported that the trip was life-changing for them and as one student described, it was a “completely tremendous experience, exceeded literally every other leadership/entrepreneurship event I’ve ever had the chance to attend.” They learned about several key-ingredients in the secret sauce at Stanford, including the importance of optimizing SPACE for creative thinking, to “unencumber the mind from constraints”. They learned about being EMPATHETIC, which allows them to get at the root of the source of the problems for people instead of just treating symptoms of assumed problems. They were involved in 2-hour and 12-hour DESIGN CHALLENGES saying, “it was cool to work with a team of strangers to get something done.” They attended a lecture with Tom Byers that “broke down entrepreneurship” and spent some one-on-one time with Byers who inspired them to lead an E&I movement on their campuses.

Off-campus, they met examples of rising-star INTRAPRENEURS at Google and EBay/PayPal and saw first-hand how Google’s open workspaces, casual atmosphere, and amenities like free food and laundry service maintain happy/healthy/productive people who foster an their inherent culture of design thinking, creativity and innovation. Students returned to the d.lab to have a one-on-one with CEO Rick Klau of Google Ventures who imparted words of wisdom like “beware of small successes”, and kicked-off roundtables with 12 portfolio company CEOs. Student Ambassadors also attended lectures and signature classes like the Entrepreneurship Thought Leaders Series (top download from iTunes U) with the four founders of SkyBox Imaging, followed by a discussion of their backstories with the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Class, taught by Draper Fisher Jurvetson Partner Heidi Roizen.

All-in-all, the trip was amazing, exhausting and inspiring. Students Ambassadors are all digesting the experience and returning to their campuses having bottled a bit of the magic. Stay tuned for more as we develop step-by-step materials that teach Student Ambassador how to implement the implementable on their campuses. In the meantime, recruit a Student Ambassador to attend our Spring Training, which begins at the OPEN Conference on March 21st of this month (register here: Apply).

~ Humera Fasihuddin, Manager of Student Programming, T: @ihumera

UPDATE 3/26/13: View additional photos at the Epicenter Facebook Album.

Stanford E-Week and Bay Area Stomping Grounds

photo(34)Student Ambassadors arrive to SFO today, hitting Stanford’s signature Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders lecture series first, followed by the popular Spirit of Entrepreneurship course. These two offerings represent ingredients in ‘secret sauce’ at Stanford and Student Ambassadors will be attending both. Among the other amazing things planned is a tour of Google and PayPal… and the meeting of 20 Google Venture-backed companies. Stay tuned here for pictures, comments and ideas for student leaders all over the nation. Student Ambassadors who are not here with us in the Valley this week will enjoy an extensive report and briefing of the opportunities uncovered that they can take advantage of for their own campuses. By the way, the Spring Training session has been pushed forward to March, closer to the OPEN conference. There’s still time to register for training. Visit this link for details.

~ Humera Fasihuddin, Manager of Student Programming, T: @ihumera

Only Students Could Have This Kind of Impact


TEDxWakeForest Student Ambassador Christina Oelsner had tough shoes to fill. Last year’s Student Ambassador Lucy Lan rocked the campus with a sold-out first-ever TEDxWakeForest to share ‘ideas worth spreading’ and infuse innovation and entrepreneurship into the dialogue at Wake. Not only was Christina tapped on the shoulder to be a Student Ambassador with two other co-organizers, but her brother Billy was NCIIA’s first Wake Forest Student Ambassador back in ’10-’11. Well, Christina and her colleagues are killing it! Conference registration opened on January 1st for the February 25th event, but relative to this time last year the team has double the registration figures at 375.

*THIS* Is Why We Believe Students Can Change the World

Students are the customers of the educational experience Colleges and Universities are providing them. They know what other students need to hear and who they need to hear it from. That is why our Student Ambassador Program is so successful. Students can leverage their peer-to-peer marketing abilities to create a movement on campus and create a climate for innovation and entrepreneurship.

This bodes well for the event which drew nearly 1,100 participants last year… unless, of course, there is a maximum capacity for the Wait Chapel space… in which case you better hurry up and register. Check out the awesome video (above) produced by the co-organizing team of three. You can also check out the event website and Facebook page.

Sign up to have a Student Ambassador on your campus by the March 21st deadline.

~ Humera Fasihuddin, Manager of Student Programming, T: @ihumera

Exploding Pumpkins!

Licensed under creative commons,

What do exploding pumpkins and design clubs have in common? Elliot Roth, our Student Ambassador Candidate from Virginia Commonwealth University. Read all about it at the new post published by our collaborators at the Epicenter…


Wake Forest University Surgeon Prints Human Kidney

An unmet need exists in the insufficiency of available organs transplants. In response, an entrepreneurial, medical mastermind is revolutionizing the face of transplant science.  Dr. Anthony Atala and his research team at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine focus on the growth and regeneration of over 30 tissues and organs. They engineered the first lab-grown organ to be implanted into a human and are currently developing novel technology to “print” human tissue on a modified desktop inkjet printer. Watch the following TED talk and get inspired!

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Dr. Anthony Atala is the Scientific Co-Founder, Chairman, and Member of Scientific Advisory Board of Tengion (TNGN:NASDAQ GM). This venture performs R&D and subsequent commercialization of neo-organs and tissues to address unmet medical needs in urologic, renal, gastrointestinal and vascular diseases.

“Anthony Atala bakes things that will make you feel good inside, but we’re not talking cakes and muffins.” (PBS)

– Lucy Lan, Student Ambassador at Wake Forest University