da Vinci Center News

The latest news and announcements

Richmond’s Jacked! Jackfruit Jerky in the running for Whole Foods accelerator

“Jacked!, a Richmond company that makes jackfruit jerky, is in the running for an accelerator program from Whole Foods Market. “We are waiting to hear back,” said founder Julien Reininger. “We are in the semifinals right now. If we make it to the finals, we get to go into a pitch competition.”” Learn more>>

Demo Day 2023 spotlights entrepreneurial spirit among VCU students and alums

“With support from Capital One, the da Vinci Center for Innovation delivers the platform for the pitch.” “This year’s event featured four sessions with 16 teams pitching ideas or current ventures to a panel of judges from the da Vinci Center’s community partners and alums. “The pitches were not only innovative and inspiring but also […]

Class of 2023: Kennedi Woods has fashioned a New York state of mind

After getting a taste of VCU in high school, fashion major nurtured her passion and summoned pandemic-era perseverance to reach the big city, starting with New York Fashion Week. “She also cited the impact of Charles Ajemian, a Richmond-area innovation technologist who taught her Conscious Capitalism course at the da Vinci Center. Woods said she […]

Why Design Thinking is a Critical Skill for Today’s Business Leaders

“Design thinking combines what is desirable, from a human point of view, with what is technologically feasible and economically viable, according to IDEO, a global design company. Many business leaders adopt design thinking as a common-sense approach to solving complex problems.” Learn more>>

VCU da Vinci Center brings LEGO Serious Play to VCU

“The Virginia Commonwealth University da Vinci Center for Innovation is bringing to VCU the LEGO Serious Play method, a process that combines specific teaching principles, professional development and a specially formulated set of LEGO bricks to create a hands-on learning environment where participants can facilitate a deeper dialogue around problem-solving and design thinking in the […]

Discover Excellence at VCU That You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

“Bet on yourself – from incubation to innovation. Our da Vinci Center for Innovation’s Shift Retail Lab, recognized in 2022 by Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards, is a first-of-its-kind storefront that lets students, past and present, test their products, services and ideas with real-world customers. It’s one of many opportunities available to aspiring entrepreneurs, including our skill-building […]

VCU is in the middle of it all

“Virginia is home to 320-plus VCU alumni-owned businesses, more than 180 based in Richmond alone. VCU alumni reported owning more than 480 businesses in January 2023. Of those, 38% were owned by Black and Indigenous people of color, and 47% were women-owned. And you don’t have to wait until you graduate to start your business: […]

Truist Supports VCU to Empower Community Entrepreneurs

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, 04/22/2023: VCU today announced it received grant funding from Truist, through Truist Foundation and Truist Charitable Fund, to bring resources to small business owners in the community. Truist has awarded Shift Retail Lab and the VCU da Vinci Center funding to support the Richmond Entrepreneurship Academy (REA). The Richmond Entrepreneurship Academy (REA) will […]

NMU’s SISU Institute and Innovate Marquette Host Innovation Week

“SISU: The Innovation Institute at Northern Michigan University and Innovate Marquette are partnering to present their inaugural Innovation Week, a professional development conference bringing together thought leaders and creative minds in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Registration is now open for the event, which will be held May 8-10 at NMU’s Forest Roberts Theatre. The schedule features keynote […]

Startup Incubator in Ashland Rolls Out New Pitch Competition Program

The Dominion Energy Innovation Center, an Ashland-based startup incubator, is adding a pitch competition focused on the nuclear and hydrogen energy sectors to its programming lineup. The DEIC plans to hold the first session of its new Spark Virginia program in late February in Richmond. The program is aimed at budding startup founders in Virginia […]

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