Living-learning community
teaches entrepreneurship

Pamplin is helping to lead an entrepreneurship program that is the university's newest living-learning community.

With management assistant professor Marc Junkunc as faculty director, the “Innovate” living-learning community will give 35 incoming students of all majors the chance to immerse themselves in the many facets of entrepreneurship — including idea brainstorming, concept development, product and service design, market research, business planning, financing, and marketing campaigns.

Housed at 2475 Oak Lane, Innovate began this fall semester as a two-year pilot program. It was conceived and planned as a collaborative effort of the provost's office, the Division of Student Affairs, Pamplin, and the department of Housing and Residence Life.

“We are very pleased to help lead this effort to enrich the educational experience,” said Pamplin dean Robert Sumichrast. “Through courses in our management department, we have been preparing students to take an entrepreneurial approach in managing within any context, from startups to large organizations.”

The Innovate program, Sumichrast said, will allow students to learn about entrepreneurship and build important skills, such as leadership, strategic planning, project management, and how to recognize opportunities. “At the end of the program, these students will not only have experience, skills, and knowledge but also have a network of colleagues and mentors that will help them launch their innovative ideas.”

As with other Virginia Tech living-learning communities, Innovate emphasizes student engagement with faculty and staff. It provides learning opportunities in and out of the classroom, including team-building activities, discussion groups, and social events for students, who will interact with faculty members, alumni coaches, a live-in residential learning coordinator, a graduate director, and upper-division students.

The Innovate house features several study lounges, a conference room, a living room, and a large kitchen and dining area. Rooms are double occupancy, with private baths.

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