The mission of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CI&E) is to elevate innovation and entrepreneurship at Loyola. Our vision extends beyond the University campus into Baltimore, where the CI&E will be a part of transforming Baltimore through our support for wealth creation and job creation driven by underrepresented women entrepreneurs and innovators of color.
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The CI&E got under way in the fall of 2018 with a Community Launch week that was attended by hundreds of students and community members, featuring a variety of events, speakers, and new ways to engage with Loyola and the CI&E. The launch built on momentum that had been gathering on campus in the form of the Innovation Task Force, the Blitz, and the generous founding gifts to the CI&E. The new academic minor in Innovation & Entrepreneurship also became available in the fall, rapidly attracting students from across academic disciplines.
Among Launch Week events, the Loyola Hackathon was inaugurated, calling on students, faculty, and community members including alumni to come together in teams to solve a problem for a community partner (no programming skills required!). Since the launch, Hackathons have become regular events offered on campus every semester to train participants in design thinking and practice developing innovative solutions to wicked problems.
By spring 2019, Lange Innovation Lounge was increasingly utilized by the CI&E as a gathering and ideation space for various student cohorts, in addition to hosting classes in innovation and entrepreneurship, and groups of Baltimore youth visiting campus for innovation workshops. Other firsts from the CI&E’s spring semester included the first client engagements for the Greyhound Group Consulting Club; a career trek to Open Works, a local maker/co-working space; and the availability of office hours and coaching from our Startup Executive in Residence.
Plugging into the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, the CI&E provided mentors for finalists in Loyola’s 2019 Building a Better World Through Business pitch competition, and sent the winner to DC’s regional collegiate innovation competition, the DMV 150, where she emerged as a finalist. Closing out the school year, the CI&E hosted the Social Entrepreneurship Mentor Dinner for innov8MD, a student-founded group representing multiple colleges across Maryland.
In summer 2019, the CI&E relocated to the Innovation Suite in Sellinger 218, creating additional gathering spaces for campus innovators, and giving the multi-faceted CI&E platform a place to call home.