In reflecting back on the incredible year that we have had thus far, I first and foremost want to thank everyone who has helped make the Wond’ry such a success. From the faculty and administration to the Wond’ry staff, student ambassadors, and innovation mentors, this total team effort in launching the Wond’ry has been immense and your time, energy, and dedication is unsurpassed.
With great effort and persistence often comes great success, and this axiom proves itself again at the Wond’ry. From our Grand Opening Celebration that garnered over 1,000 visitors to the 7,500+ people who have come to our Center since our soft opening in September, it is clear that the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit is vibrant at Vanderbilt University and we are becoming the epicenter to serve these needs.
Now that we are fully functional and our four pillar programs are fully operational, the Wond’ry is preparing itself to scale to its next phase of growth while concurrently continuing to outreach to all members of our community who are interested in innovating, collaborating, making, and creating.
Below we highlight some of the numerous activities that we have undertaken in the last month but most importantly, I invite and welcome you to visit the Wond’ry to see our programs and workshops in action.
Happy Holidays and Innovate Onward!
Evans Family Executive Director of the Wond’ry
Grand Opening Recap:
On November 9th, over 1,000 guests filled the Wond’ry to celebrate the grand opening and show their support and excitement for our mission to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as strengthen the “maker” culture across all 10 colleges at Vanderbilt. We were energized by the enthusiasm and can’t wait to see what this inaugural year holds.
Click here to view photos and video footage from the event.
Highlights from Recent Events:
Pictured left to right: Tyler Bernstein (3rd place),
John Mendoza (1st place) and Claire Deaver (2nd place)
On December 1st, the Wond’ry hosted its first ever pitch competition, FlashPitch. Sponsored by Vanderbilt University’s Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization (CTTC), student teams applied for the chance to give a 90 sec. pitch to a panel of investors and entrepreneurs. Students giving the winning pitches won prizes and will receive additional mentoring and support from CTTC to further develop their ideas.
On December 7th, the Wond’ry concluded its inaugural Entrepreneurial PreFlight course with a final session conducted by CTTC and a reception sponsored by PYA and Waller, Lansden, Dortch, and Davis, LLP. The Wond’ry received overwhelmingly positive feedback from course participants and plans to offer another session of PreFlight during the spring semester. The duration of the course will likely be extended and the individual session times shortened. Watch our social media and website for announcements about the PreFlight application process. This course is provided at no charge to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and students.
On December 9th, the Wond’ry in collaboration with Vice Chancellor for Administration Eric Kopstain held initial meetings of the FutureVU Transportation Executive and Faculty Working Groups. These working groups are an integral piece of the Chancellor’s Campus Land Use Initiative and will work to develop potential solutions to some of the campus’ most pressing parking and traffic issues. A few of the topics under consideration for the groups to examine is MTA/RTA adjustments, Vanderbilt shuttle opportunities, expansion of UBER and LYFT on campus, better biking infrastructure, etc. Participation in these working groups was open to all Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and students and the Wond’ry received over 90 applications.
On December 9th, the students in Professor Dave Owens’ New Product Design Course showcased their inventions designed to address areas of need from the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital during a design fair on the 2nd floor of the Wond’ry. The prototypes featured during this fair were created in one of the Wond’ry’s Makerspaces.
Our Pillar Programs:
In the Innovation Garage, an array of corporate and non-profit sponsors partner with Vanderbilt student and faculty teams on cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary projects. 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 offers a 7 week Pre-Flight program that provides the foundational knowledge needed to successfully identify, assess, and ultimately launch a quality for profit or non-profit venture.
The Social Entrepreneurship Program is an important platform for students to work together to tackle important societal problems like affordable housing, transportation and health, which if successful can be adopted into full scale programs and potential partnerships with non-profit and government organizations.
From artist/music exhibits and speaker series to hackathons and business plan competitions, the Wond’ry hosts workshops, speakers and events that cater to an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.
Past Versions of News from the Wond’ry: