Student Opportunities

Co-curricular Offerings

Offering Discipline When Contact
Arts & Sciences NEXT Arts & Sciences Students Spring Sara Cone
Jepson EDGE Institute (professional development) Jepson School of Leadership Juniors Spring Kerstin M. Soderlund

One Million Cups! A weekly speaker series hosted at Robins School of Business, 102 UR Drive, 1st floor, EY Lab, Room 123.

  • 8:45 am - 10 am with coffee/pastries provided by CIE.
  • 8:30 am EST - Coffee, Pastries, and Networking
  • 9 am - 10 am EST - Presentation and Discussion


Sunayna Tuteja, Federal Reserve Bank, CIO


Bob Stolle, Former VA Sec. of Commerce & Trade


Paige Wilson, Naborforce


Stephen & Madeline Key, InventRight

UR & Community Fall/Spring Dale Fickett

RVA Ecosystem Excursions take UR faculty, students, and staff into the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem to meet potential mentors, collaborators, and employers. Trips are limited to 20 people on a first-sign-up, first-served basis. Trips leave Tyler Haynes Commons at 1:40 pm EST and return no later than 5:30 pm. Please Sign up for each below.





Friday, October 20

  • Art Espey
  • Nick Serfass
  • Richard Wintsch

Startup Virginia

Ecosystem Development and Entrepreneurial Support Organizations


All majors Year-long Somiah Lattimore
Spider Ventures (Student entrepreneurship club) All majors Year-long Somiah Lattimore
Spider Diligence Group (Student investment diligence club) All majors Year-long Somiah Lattimore
Startup-in-Residence/Post-Baccalaureate 5th year (2022-2023 pilot program) This program supports vetted and selected alumni founders within a year of graduation through co-working space, mentorship, connections, and a university-wide in-residence role. The 2022-2023 founders are Grace Mittl and Eli Bank, co-founders of Absurd Snacks. Recent alumni Year-long Somiah Lattimore
Summer Incubator (Student-funded concepts, co-working space, and mentorship) All majors Summer Somiah Lattimore
Support Spider Businesses UR Alumni Year-long Kourtney Ennis


Curricular Offerings

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  • Bench Top Innovations (Year-long)

    BUAD 469: Creating & Commercializing Culinary Magic

    A year-long journey in innovation and entrepreneurship – from ideation to revenue in less than 9 months.

    Who is it for?

    • Rising seniors studying ANYTHING at the University of Richmond!
    • There are no prerequisites.
    • Innovation takes place everywhere, across each field and discipline. 
    • We invite you to apply and explore the innovator and entrepreneur inside you.

    What is it?

    Bench Top Innovations, a Robins School of Business program in collaboration with the Jepson School of Leadership, School of Arts and Sciences, and Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship initiative (CIE), is a year-long student-managed course where 16 students collaborate, ideate, iterate and commercialize a consumer packaged food or beverage product concept. Yes, you create and run a revenue-generating business!

    In the first semester, you work (and compete) in teams to ideate and develop innovative yet practical food or beverage product concepts for commercialization. The first semester ends with a public demo day where the UR and RVA startup community samples your products. A food and beverage expert panel selects which has the most commercial viability.

    During the second semester, you work as one unit (all 16 company "employees"), launching and scaling your business. Throughout, your instructors, advisors, and guest speakers will supplement your experience with content applicable to the issues being faced by your company.

    Students make all decisions — which product to launch, which students will hold what roles, what experiments to invest in, and what pivots need to be made. We promise you the opportunity to learn. Hopefully, you will learn about yourself, dealing with co-workers, managing through uncertainty, and overcoming adversity.

    How do I enroll for 2024-2025?

    There are 16 available spots. Interested students need first to identify if they meet the following required criteria:

    • senior status, requiring less than 10 units to graduate by May of 2025, and
    • a genuine desire to learn about starting and running a business.

    Students interested in the 2024-2025 batch should apply online.

    Dr. Joel Mier lecturer of Marketing at the Robins School of Business, will follow up after submission regarding the next steps.

    How did prior years go?

    Thanks to the hard work of 16 students representing majors and minors across the School of Arts and Science, Jepson School of Leadership, and Robins School of Business, we have run three successful batches of Bench Top Innovations courses.

    2023-2024NOOSH has launched!  NOOSH is an eggplant based dip and spread that is savory, smooth, citrusy, with a kick of spice. 

    2022-2023 Twin Tail Brews from batch two is a superberry power tea designed to help buyers focus while producing a calming effect to deliver balanced energy. 

    2021-2022 The inaugural 2021-2022 batch was absurd and launched an alternative nut-free trail mixAbsurd Snacks is still going strong and is led by UR alumnus Grace Mittl and Eli Bank.

  • Design Thinking Course (Spring only)

    IDST 299 Special Topics Design Thinking Course (available spring semesters).

    Are you interested in becoming a ChangeMaker?
    Do you have an idea for how to better the world or design a new product?

    This course is designed as an introduction and immersive experience for students with creative ideas, who want to convert those ideas into value-driven solutions for both non-profit and for-profit spaces. This course is open to all majors but does not count towards the Entrepreneurship minor or concentration.

    Email with questions!

  • Entrepreneurship Minor (A&S and Jepson Students Only)

    Entrepreneurship Minor

    The entrepreneurship minor is available to any undergraduate student other than those majoring in business, accounting, or economics, or minoring in business.*

    This minor is specifically designed to provide non-business school students with knowledge and training that will allow them to practice their (non-business) major studies within start-up and small business environments. Entrepreneurship, innovation, and design are inherently multi-discipline topics and complement many other courses of study. Therefore, the program integrates business foundations with entrepreneurship and innovation skills. Thus, our goal is that students who pursue this minor will learn how to integrate their primary areas of study with knowledge from the courses embodied in this program to broaden their thinking and enhance their creativity and problem-solving skills.

    *Business school students who are interested in entrepreneurship can obtain such training by following the Management Entrepreneurship Concentration, which is offered by the Management Department.

  • Encompass Maymester 2023: Denmark & Sweden

    EnCompass 2023 Maymester

    International Education is excited to announce four EnCompass programs set to run for Spring 2023. Applications for three Maymester programs held in New Zealand, Cambodia, and Denmark will open on August 22 and close on September 19.

    EnCompass programs are fully funded faculty-led opportunities that aim to provide international experiences to those least likely to study abroad. While open to all students, EnCompass programs prioritize access to first-generation students, African-American and Latinx students, student-athletes, STEM majors, and male students. To learn more visit our EnCompass webpage, attend a virtual information session on Sept 7 at 4:30, or contact Marina LaMastro.

    The CIE focused-trip will take students to Denmark

    Course: “Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Communities Supporting Startups”

    0.5 unit course in Spring 2023. Apply by September 19, 2022.

    Faculty: Prof. Doug Bosse and Prof. Somiah Lattimore                 

    Travel Dates: May 7-13, 2023, *dates subject to change

    Description: An exploration of how communities are known as “entrepreneurial ecosystems” support entrepreneurs. We will learn about the motivations and best practices of a variety of “ecosystem builders” who help entrepreneurs access the talent, information, and resources they need to start and grow new ventures. Hands-on experiences with people and entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) in Richmond, Virginia, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Stockholm, Sweden will provide a rich foundation for understanding a community’s impact on innovation and quality of life. Example ecosystem stakeholders we will visit in Richmond, Copenhagen, and Stockholm:

    • Startups
    • Colleges, universities, and other education programs
    • Funding providers or venture capital
    • Incubators and accelerators
    • Co-working spaces
    • Agencies, consultants, and freelancers
    • Service providers
    • Advisory organizations and mentors
    • Events within the ecosystem
    • Supporting media outlets focused on ecosystem storytelling
    • Corporations
    • Government agencies and policymakers
    • Research organizations
    • Talent acquisition-placement organizations 
  • Innovative Approaches to Driving Social Change (Fall 2022)

    IDST 299: Innovative Approaches to Driving Social Change 

    Course Description: How are people tackling seemingly intractable social problems? What can we learn about addressing large-scale social problems from innovators in our community in Richmond? This course will explore and employ a critical framework for understanding approaches social innovators are taking, including levers like capital markets, traditional philanthropy, social activism, and technology. This is a community-based learning class; students will engage with social innovators in their own community and work collaboratively on projects. 

    Mondays, 3-5:45 pm in Boatwright Memorial Library, Room 176. The first class will meet on August 29th, 2022. As this is a half-unit course, it will not meet every week. The schedule for the semester will be shared on the first day of class. 

    Team taught by Sylvia Gale (Executive Director, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement), Somiah Lattimore (Director, Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship), and Mickey Quinones (Dean, Robins School of Business) 

    Learning Goals:  

    • Identify and value sources of expertise that are relevant to a problem; expand our understandings of what knowledge “counts” and whose expertise matters.   
    • Develop and practice an asset-based rather than deficit-based framework for innovation.  
    • Gain skills in co-creation and collaboration as we work on tough problems together.  
    • Learn frameworks and tools for going from idea to action (systems thinking, design thinking, equity framework).  
    • Practice conducting design methods that will help us gain a deeper understanding of the needs of various stakeholders in our community.