So much of innovation is built upon community. When students find like-minded collaborators, dedicated mentors, clubs that support their passions, and programs where they meet and collaborate with teams, they gain inspiration and confidence. We use our programming, storytelling, and communications channels to inspire and empower the Duke student innovator community to take advantage of resources and opportunities that exist across schools and departments.
For student entrepreneurs working on creative arts projects, StudioDuke is a virtual creative lab that provides Duke students the opportunity to take their artistic projects—screenplays, films, stage plays, choreography, poetry, manuscripts, digital media, and more—to the next level in partnership with a coach from the entertainment industry. Operated in partnership with Duke Arts and the Duke Entertainment, Media & Arts Network (DEMAN), this program’s alumni mentors are drawn from companies including Universal Music, American Ballet Theatre, Netflix, Hello Entertainment, NBC, William Morris Endeavor, and CBS Sports, providing students with an unparalleled level of support.
I&E offers administrative and financial support to student groups including HackDuke and the Duke Impact Investing Group, and we nurture ongoing relationships with other groups, such as the Duke-UNICEF Club, to help support their communications and outreach.
We help students gain new skills and build community in short-term programs such as this year’s Winter Breakaway Design Sprint, and we organize speaker events and series that likewise build community and offer development opportunities, such as this year’s Duke I&E Women’s Speaker Series. The Duke Summer Blockchain Innovation Program brought together more than 300 students and alumni to work on blockchain projects using a learning platform developed by Duke alumnus Nic Meliones ’11. Our annual StartupConnect event—virtual this year using another platform developed by a Duke alum—gives students the change to network authentically with startup representatives, gaining an inside look into possible careers.
We work to reach new audiences and invite them to join the Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship network, where they can get the support they need. From uniting Duke’s innovation community with events like I&E Fest—an opportunity fair (virtual in 2021) featuring 30+ innovation-related programs and organizations—to one-on-one meetings via Innovation Navigators, I&E works to connect students with the communities and resources that will best serve them and their ventures.