Innovation & Entrepreneurship Academy

The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Academy provides a range of learning opportunities for those interested in expanding their skill set in innovation and entrepreneurship. Our sessions cover a broad set of topics, ranging from design thinking and developing innovative solutions to new venture funding, protecting intellectual property, and writing business plans. Academy offerings are designed for everyone—undergraduate students, graduate and professional students, faculty, staff, and community members. Whether you are looking for expertise in a specific area of innovation and entrepreneurship, committed to building a solid knowledge base, or simply curious to learn more, our programming provides opportunities to meet your needs. Participants are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions—RSVP registration links are located in each session description.

I&E Academy 2018

Social Entrepreneurship 101: Crafting Innovative, Sustainable Solutions to the World’s Most Pressing Problems

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

6:30 p.m., Gross Hall 270

Facilitator: Matt Nash
Managing Director, Duke I&E Social Entrepreneurship
Sign up here.

Want to change the world? Interested in learning more about social entrepreneurship? Do you have an innovative solution that you wish to develop, or are you interested in working with others who do? Join us for an interactive workshop exploring the meaning of social entrepreneurship, drawing upon many examples of leading social entrepreneurs around the world. Learn the basics of designing your own social venture focused on social or environmental issues you care about, and discover programs and resources at Duke and that can help! Stay after at 7:30pm for a Hult Prize info session!

Perfecting the Pitch

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

5:30 p.m., Gross Hall 270

Facilitator: Aaron Dinin, Ph.D
Co-founder of RocketBolt
Instructor, Duke I&E
Sign up here.

You can have the best idea in the world, but, if you don’t know how to explain it, you won’t be able to turn your idea into a successsful venture. To help you avoid this outcome, I&E Academy’s “Perfecting the Pitch” session will teach you how to construct a pitch – and an overall narrative for your venture – that will resonate with audiences. Topics to be covered will include pitch structure, presentation style, narrative development, and tricks for how to give the perfect delivery.

Introduction to Human-Centered Design for Social Impact

Thursday, October 11, 2018

6:30 p.m., Gross Hall 230E

Facilitator: Matt Nash
Managing Director, Duke I&E Social Entrepreneurship
Sign up here.

So you think you have a solution, but does it truly address the underlying problem? Will those affected actually value and support the solution? Across the country and in the developing world, communities are littered with the best intentions of well-meaning leaders, NGOs, philanthropists, and aspiring social entrepreneurs, whose attempts to solve critical social and environmental problems fall short of their mark, from broken water pumps to clinics filled with unusable medical equipment. How can we draw upon powerful principles of design thinking to come alongside key stakeholders to co-create desirable, feasible, and viable solutions to the world most pressing problems? Join us for an introduction to the principles and methods of “human-centered design” as we consider how to develop context-appropriate solutions informed by user needs and aligned to the circumstances of the broader ecosystems in which they will operate. You’ll leave with some tips and tools to ensure that your next “bright idea” is actually worth the energy!

Venture Capital Fundraising: Understanding Your Audience

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

5:30 p.m., Gross Hall 230E

Facilitator: Ryan Frew
Associate Director, Duke Angel Network
Sign up here.

Fundraising from venture capital firms can be a long, hard journey. It starts with understanding the perspective of a venture capitalist. This session will describe how a venture capital fund is structured and what drives the venture investment decision-making process. Regardless of the stage of your venture, a better understanding of your investor audience will inform your fundraising strategy and your design of pitch materials.

Past I&E Academy Sessions