QUEST FOR iNNOVATION AND ENTREPRENERUSHIP
Over 50% of VCU’s 31,000 students are interested in starting a company, and according to a recent survey, 15% already have. At VCU, we recognize the value of developing a future workforce with an entrepreneurial mindset. VCU’s strategic plan, Quest for Distinction, highlights the importance of developing innovation and entrepreneurial pathways for all students (Theme III Strategy B).
Venture Creation University is the action plan to bring this priority to life.
The Venture Creation University strategy focuses on providing each student, from every discipline, with access to innovation and entrepreneurship pathways, which ranges from a student’s initial exposure to entrepreneurship, to educational courses, through to programs focused on product validation, company formation and even early seed funding. These pathways ensure VCU students graduate with an entrepreneurial mindset. Success means not only producing the next generation of entrepreneurs and job creators, but generating highly-employable intrapreneurs to feed RVAs growing innovation economy.
Our approach is unique. We do not focus our efforts within one school, nor are we interested in building 13 different centers for entrepreneurship across VCU’s various schools and colleges. At VCU we’re focused on breaking down silos and building smart. By leveraging the da Vinci Center as our interdisciplinary hub, students from across the University have access to core pathway programs. This centralized approach increases interdisciplinary interaction and allows VCU to use resources effectively.
THE NEW NATIONAL MODEL
Today, when we compare VCU with other institutions nationally ranked for innovation and entrepreneurship, we see a compelling picture, one that shows VCU as a national contender. However, our goal is not to confine ourselves to traditional rankings, which rate Universities based on a siloed approach. Our goal is to evolve the discussion, to change the national model to one that is based on entrepreneurial pathways reaching all students, regardless of their major. In this way, VCU has become The Venture Creation University.