Get Involved with the Social Innovation Fellows

In order to assist the Fellows in successfully completing their year-long commitments, we have designated groups of supporters and content experts who are on hand to offer assistance and mentorship with varying levels of engagement.

Brain Trust

As a member of the Brain Trust, we will call on you to offer support in your areas of expertise. This may include a phone call or meeting with a student (or team) to help problem solve or work through a specific task, host an Innovation Lab around a specific area of topical expertise, or just be “on hand” for informal support. Brain Trust members will be invited to participate in pitch competitions, networking events, and capstone celebrations. Time commitment is dependent on interest and availability. 

Brain Trust members will help inform development of the Fellows program, especially in the pilot year. Campus members will help identify campus connections and resources, offer insights and feedback, and serve as a pipeline to potential student participants. External members will be the primary networking group for our teams. We will encourage the Fellows to engage with these members as an extension of our campus community.


Team Mentor

Each of our student teams will be carefully matched with a community mentor to help steward their project throughout the year. While the Institute will provide core support, mentors will offer “real world” perspectives and engage in a deeper relationship with a team.

This is an opportunity to truly impact the trajectory of a venture and engage more actively and regularly with students. No specific area of expertise is required but rather a commitment to helping students find connections and resources, and be a sounding board for ideas and development. Mentors will provide important feedback to Institute staff on how teams are progressing and help to anticipate problems. At minimum, a monthly face-to-face check in is required. Additional time commitment can be negotiated with individual students and teams.


Venture Partner

From on-campus startups to international enterprises, businesses at any scale can help pave the way to a successful year for the Fellows. Venture Partners provide teams with the challenge they will work on for the year.

The overarching responsibilities of a Venture Partner revolve around two major actions - Communication and
Education. You will communicate regularly with your team to help them work through our curriculum. We are looking for Venture Partners who will deepen the experience for students by providing educational input and context so that they fully understand the problem that your organization, business or research is trying to solve. We are looking for you to help them see the underlying challenges through your eyes and the eyes of your stakeholders.

Contact Us to find out how to become involved!