Our Pillar Programs
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.
With the tremendous growth Nashville is currently experiencing, the city provides an apt environment for addressing and solving the issues affecting a rapidly changing city. The Wond’ry is developing pilot projects focused on solving urban issues 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 will host workshops, speakers and events that cater to an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. A new art exhibit by VU alum Jeff Gao is currently under construction. His LED light wall uses Microsoft Kinect technology to form light patterns based on the movements of people in front of the wall so it is “influenced” by those around it and was built with help from VU students, faculty, and alums; emblematic of the collaborative mission of the center.