Clarkson Ignite
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Hands-On Experiences

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Everywhere

Entrepreneurship and innovation have been a part of Clarkson since our founding in 1896.

  • The Shipley Center for Innovation is available for our students, serving as a resource in the development of proof of concepts for emerging business ideas; educating students on start-up grants, business competitions, product patents and other venture capital opportunities; providing hands-on internship options; and accelerating the exchange of ideas between faculty, students and industry.
  • Clarkson Ignite is our University-wide call to action and constant reminder to our students that in today’s world, innovation drives everything. Through Clarkson Ignite, students have access to:
    • The President’s Challenge - an annual competition where Clarkson students form teams from across the University to create an innovative solution in a quest to win $25,000 and have their ideas brought to life.
    • Workshops to build their skills and alumni mentors to guide their decision making and industry speakers to inspire their creativity.
    • The Innovation Hub, a brand new makerspace dedicated to helping students develop entrepreneurial mindsets and skill sets through the latest tech, collaborative workspaces and peer guidance.

I think that entrepreneurship and innovation are really ingrained in the school through all of the events and the resources that they make available to students. The Shipley Center is a consulting resource, basically, that exists for students here at Clarkson, so that if a student has an idea for a business they want to start, or any idea they want help with, whether it be patent research, help making a logo, help making a website. That's sort of what Shipley exists for. The innovation competitions that exist, there's a couple of them. We do a business plan competition here that's for the north country region in the spring, and then there's also the President's Challenge and Three Day Startup.

Three Day Startup is a program where students come in with an idea, and over three days they have to kind of evolve and adapt it for a panel of investors that'll be there for the whole weekend. And then the President's Challenge is kind of like a larger scale, where you have a initial idea to improve the campus in some way, and then over the course of the year you kind of evolve on that idea and expand it. And then hopefully it gets implemented as a new feature for the campus.

I think one of the coolest things about coming to Clarkson was that I came in with an idea that I wanted to be an accountant, and then I took the freshman year business program here at Clarkson and started my own company with a group of my friends. You can come to Clarkson, and if you have an idea, we can help you get through all stages of it. So just ideation phase, all the way to a product development standpoint, and then even after that access to like alumni mentors, or faculty here who can help you further that idea.