The Wond’ry is the epicenter for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt University. Its three story, 13,000-square foot space, located adjacent to the new state-of-the-art Engineering and Science Building, facilitates trans-institutional collaboration between students and faculty from all schools, levels, and disciplines. From engineers to scientists to entrepreneurs to artists, the Wond’ry is the primary point of connection for students interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. The Wond’ry is the catalyst for building and strengthening creativity across campus, fostering innovation in all fields, and forging a stronger “maker” culture at Vanderbilt University.
MakerSpaces and Equipment
The Wond’ry features two Makerspaces outfitted with state-of-art equipment to take your idea from concept to prototype. The Makerspaces are open to all of the Vanderbilt community and will serve as a hub for collaborative design and interdisciplinary activity. The mission of these spaces and the Wond’ry Makerspace staff is to provide students, faculty and staff with the tools, training, and resources to pursue their passions and actualize ideas.
To support this mission the Wond’ry offers the following:
- Shared fabrication tools and equipment for rapid prototyping (e.g. 3D printers), fiber arts (e.g. sewing machine and materials), mold making and casting, as well as circuitry, robotics, and much more
- Weekly/Monthly training workshops for beginners to become efficient and safe users
- Short classes offered by makers in the community that focus on skill building through hands-on projects
- Mentors on hand to assist you with your projects
- Free use of the space as well as a mix of free and subsidized materials to enable patrons to ‘make’
- Events with the goal of bringing fabrication communities across the university together to share ideas and innovate together
See the full list of Makerspace equipment and learn about device specifications here.
In the Innovation Garage, an array of corporate and non-profit sponsors from diverse industry sectors partner with Vanderbilt student and faculty teams on cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary projects on topics of mutual interest. The goal of this program is to identify disruptive and innovative solutions that improve industry all while providing unique opportunities for students to build their skills via real-world problem solving.
For aspiring Vanderbilt entrepreneurs, the Wond’ry will offer a 7 week Pre-Flight program that provides the foundational knowledge needed to successfully identify, assess, and ultimately launch a quality for profit or nonprofit venture. This program is a partnership between the Wond’ry, The Center for Commercialization and Technology Transfer, and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.
Post-Flight will provide a step-by-step guide for aspiring Vanderbilt entrepreneurs who have a viable early stage idea to actually launch that venture. The program is set up as a series of 9 hour-long sessions led by the Wond’ry Mentors-in-Residence. Post-Flight is the perfect next step for graduates of the Wond’ry Pre-Flight program, entrepreneurs with a validated and market-ready product or technology, and/or those individuals who would like to learn how to launch a non-profit or for-profit venture. Mid-way through the program, participants will have the opportunity to apply for funding to support the launch of their venture. A faculty advisory panel will convene to review applications and ultimately award five teams each a $3,000 micro-grant. Applicants must be enrolled and actively participating in Post-Flight to be eligible to apply for this grant money, which was awarded to the Wond’ry by VentureWell.
Academic Courses Held at the Wond’ry
The Wond’ry hosts an array of academic courses that are centered around innovation, entrepreneurship, technology, and making. Professors: Want to hold your innovation-related class at the Wond’ry? Contact the registrar’s office for more information.