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the Wond'ry E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

March 2018

From “Digitally Detangling” one’s life to the launch of the Wond’ry ArtLab exhibit which explores the intersection of Art and STEM, the Wond’ry hosted a number of new and exciting workshops and exhibits this past month. Ultimately, it has been very exciting to see so many people coming to the Wond’ry to explore the many facets of innovation.

This month, I am also excited to announce that the Wond’ry is hosting “Raising the Bar: How Female Founders are Modernizing Venture Capital” seminar on March 19th as part of our celebration of Women’s History Month. As a former venture capitalist, I understand the incredible need for increased diversity and inclusion in this industry. I am excited to see investors like Monique Villa are making positive change and impact while setting a positive example to our future generations. I am excited for our Vanderbilt community to learn about her, and the other participants’ stories, and be further inspired.

Finally, we wish you all a safe and innovative spring break and look forward to seeing you back at the Wond’ry upon your return, energized and excited to continue your many innovative endeavors.

Innovate Onward!

-Robert Grajewski
Evans Family Executive Director of the Wond’ry

Featured Upcoming Events

Learn About  Women’s Economic Power as Founders and Investors on March 19th

In 2016, 5,839 male-founded companies received VC funding, compared to just 359 female-founded companies. To translate, men received more than 16 times more funding than women. Fast forward to 2018 and the stage has been set for female leadership, both as founders and investors, to bring the venture capital industry into the modern age. In this workshop, you will learn how to kickstart your career in startups and venture capital, explore recent market trends and industries to watch, and join a national movement of women building a bigger, brighter, and more equitable future.

Presentation and workshop hosted by venture capitalist Monique Villa. Monique has worked closely with companies of all sizes for nearly a decade, dating back to an early internship with TOMS Shoes in 2008. Her VC experience includes early stage funds Velos Partners and, most recently, Core Innovation Capital.


the Wond’ry Spotlight:

Chris Webster – Student Ambassador

Hi, my name is Chris, and I am a Next Steps student interning with the Wond’ry this semester. I am a sophomore and eagerly anticipate receiving a Bachelor degree. I enjoy meeting new people, exploring different workshops, and expanding my boundaries. I appreciate all of the help I am getting at my internship, especially from Professor Galloway. I am very grateful that I am able to share my ideas at the Wond’ry through the projects I am engaged in, such as designing the downstairs whiteboard mural. I truly enjoy being creative and collaborating on projects with others. One experience I am really looking forward to is volunteering at the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention this year, working with the other volunteers to set up and take down equipment. A fun fact about myself is that I love going to concerts and comedy shows. Some concerts I have been to include Bruno Mars, Janet Jackson, and The Weeknd, and some comedians I have seen are Kevin Hart and Sinbad.

Highlights from Recent Events:

Dynamic Panelists Redefine Tokenism for Wond’ry Audience 

The Wond’ry, the Bishop H. Johnson Black Cultural Center, and the Office of Inclusive Excellence, hosted a panel that addressed tokenism in the workplace and in business. The group of eight African-American women included business leaders from the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities, including two representatives from the Owen Graduate School of Management: Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence and Professor of Management Melissa Thomas-Hunt and Director of Admissions Consuela Knox.


Workshop Helps Participants Detangle Their  Lives From Their Digital Devices

On Feb. 20th, the Wond’ry guests learned how to detangle their lives from the digital world, with insights from Pete Dunlap of Digital Detangler.  Workshop participants learned how technology affects every aspect of their lives, from sleep to memory, and how small changes in the ways we manage our tech can help us replace panic with peace.


Students and Faculty Make Innovative Jewelry in the Makerspace

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, VU student Rachel Anand led a jewelry making workshop, in the Makerspace, on February 13th that gave participants an opportunity to make an array of jewelry, from earrings to bracelets, out of unexpected materials, like Legos and Scrabble tiles.


Art and Science Collided at the Wond’ry’s ArtLab Exhibit

The Wond’ry hosted the ArtLab Exhibition March 1-2. Participants gained experience in artistic and scientific processes, heard award winning artists and experts speak, and networked during the ArtLab reception on March 1st.

Celebrating Innovative Women of Vanderbilt During Women’s History Month

In keeping with our Heritage Months exhibit, we are celebrating Women’s History Month in March. The Wond’ry team felt celebrating some of Vanderbilt’s own women innovators was fitting.  This month’s exhibit features Padma Raghavan, Kate LuptonAdena Friedman, Susan Wente, and Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey. 

Visit here for more to learn more about each woman.

You can also learn about more firsts for Vanderbilt women here.

Our Pillar Programs:

Innovation Garage

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.

Entrepreneur PreLaunch and PostLaunch

For aspiring Vanderbilt entrepreneurs, the Wond’ry offers a 6-week PreLaunch program that provides the foundational knowledge needed to successfully identify and assess ideas for a quality for profit or non-profit venture. This program is now a part of Vanderbilt’s I-Corps Site program for STEM entrepreneurs that provides micro-grant funding from the NSF and access to the National I-Corps program. PostLaunch is a 7-week program aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs that have already completed customer discovery and market validation and are ready to learn the steps needed to launch a venture.

Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship

The Social Entrepreneurship Program is assisting students with opportunities to develop for-profit social enterprises that tackle important societal problems like food deserts, lack of healthy food options, food waste, and the eradication of poverty through entrepreneurship, which if successful can be adopted into full scale programs and potential partnerships with nonprofit and government organizations

Fostering an Innovation Culture

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.

In the News:

Past Versions of News from the Wond’ry:

To view past versions of News from the Wond’ry, please visit our website:

Upcoming Events:

Molding and Casting Workshop
Join us to learn about molding and casting techniques to take your project to the next level

March 13, 7-8:30pm
the Makerspace 2nd floor


CEO/CTO Meetup
Where strategy skills meet tech skills

March 13, 6-7pm
the Wond’ry 1st floor

Raising the Bar: Female Founders and Funders
Learn About  Women’s Economic Power as Founders and Investors

March 19,  4-5pm
the Wond’ry 3rd floor

Photoshop Workshop Series
New to Photoshop or need a refresher? This three-part course is designed to give you a solid foundation in the basics of Adobe Photoshop.

March 19, 26 and April 2,  4-6pm
the Wond’ry Room 104

Vanderbilt Entrepreneurial Network
VEN Meeting

March 20, 6-7pm
the Wond’ry 1st floor

Product Design: From Brainstorming to Prototyping 
Learn the ins-and-outs of product design from this workshop presented by Lauren Egge and VINES

March 20, 7-8pm
the Wond’ry Room 202

Optimizing Google
Come to this session to learn fast tips and tricks about finding credible information on the Internet

March 21, 12-1pm
the Wond’ry 3rd floor


Design Thinking Workshop
This will be a two-part workshop on understanding and applying Design Thinking for innovative products, services, or most any problem needing an innovative solution

Part One
March 26, 4-5:15pm
the Wond’ry 3rd floor

Part Two
March 27, 4-5:15pm
the Wond’ry 3rd floor

Fast Track to Information
Learn How to Find Fast Track Information on Any New Topic

March 28, 12-1pm
the Wond’ry 3rd floor

Sewing for Beginners
Learn how to sew while making a pencil pouch or an earbuds holder
No experience required

March 28, 4:30-6:30pm
the Makerspace 2nd floor

AR/VR Meetup
Come to the Wond’ry and meet others interested in AR/VR and try out our equipment

March 29, 6-7pm
the Wond’ry 2nd floor

Digital Slavery Exhibit Reception
A collection of endangered ecclesiastical and secular documents related to Africans and African-descended peoples in slave societies.

March 29, 4-5:15pm
the Makerspace 2nd floor

VUARC Kit Building
Kit Building Workshop

Fridays, 3-5pm
the Wond’ry Makerspace 2nd floor
No RSVP needed

Safety Seminars
Required to gain access to the Wond’ry’s makerspaces

Monday-Thursday, 7-8pm Room 201
No RSVP needed

Music Creates
Join music industry creatives for a discussion about the current opportunities for innovation and creativity in music. Songwriters are encouraged to participate by sharing live music

Rescheduled- date TBA
the Wond’ry 2nd floor


2018 Draper Competition

Calling all entrepreneurial female undergrads to submit a business plan to the 2018 Draper Competition.  The annual Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs is designed to hone the skills that undergraduate women need to advance through the process from idea to venture creation. More than $60,000 is awarded in prizes and scholarships each year. Deadline to enter is March 2nd.  Learn more here.


Join the Social Enterprise Alliance

The Wond’ry has 8 Social Enterprise Alliance student memberships available. Memberships will be granted to the first 8 students to inquire and meet Wond’ry qualification guidelines. Email Dominique Anderson if interested.


Call for Affordable Housing Project Participants

Did you know that Nashville has affordable housing for creatives? If not, you’re not alone. The Wond’ry’s social innovations pillar is developing a working group focused on mapping affordable housing options throughout the city.  We are seeking students interested in app development, graphic design, project management, and more. To be a part of the conversation, email Dominique Anderson.


I-Corps- Vanderbilt Site and National Program

The Wond’ry is seeking a professional and energetic Graduate Student to provide overall support and spread awareness for the Wond’ry’s I-Corps site program. This exciting program supports STEM researchers that want to move their technology from the lab to market. Contact Deanna Meador if you feel you would be an excellent candidate for this position.


The 2018 Innovation By Design Awards
The 2018 Innovation By Design Awards honor the designers and businesses solving the problems of today and tomorrow. The competition, now in its seventh year, has featured a cross-section of blue-chip companies, scruffy startups, and hungry young talents. It is one of the most sought-after design awards in the industry. The entry period will run from February 12, 2018-May 10, 2018.


Call for Art Exhibits

We are currently looking for members of the Vanderbilt community that would like to create a unique art exhibit for display inside the Wond’ry. Proposals for interactive exhibits using technology in cool, innovative ways will be given top priority and those selected will receive funding to assist with bringing the project to life. Proposals can be submitted via email to Wondry@vanderbilt.edu.


Meet Our Mentors:

Have a question about intellectual property, commercialization, a business or product idea, professional leadership, etc.? Connect with our network of local Nashville entrepreneurs and business experts, as well as professionals from other departments around campus during their open office hours on the 3rd floor of the Wond’ry.

Visit us in the Commons:


We would love to connect with you during our Commons office hours. Stop by every Thursday from 11am to 1pm to talk with a member of the Wond’ry team, learn more about opportunities available, and pick up some swag and candy.


Stay Connected:

For the most up-to-date information, event reminders, and opportunities connect with us on social media (@theWondry, the Wondry).


Located at:
2414 Highland Avenue
Suite 102
Nashville, TN 37212

Connect with Us

For additional information on the Wond’ry, including office hours, please visit thewondry.com.


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