Innovate Vision

To inspire students to redefine the possible and drive positive change.

Innovate Mission

To discover, prepare, and connect the next generation of entrepreneurial-leaders.

Who we are

We are a community of innovators, entrepreneurs, visionaries, business leaders, tech enthusiasts, knowledge-junkies, learning-addicts, and small business fanatics. Together, we have one common goal: Transforming opportunities into action.

Course Information

First-year students participating in Innovate will enroll in a 3.0 credit hour professional development course during the fall semester and 3.0 credit hour ideation and opportunity identification course in the spring.

Second-year students will begin coursework in the entrepreneurship minor.


Innovate is open to undergraduates from all academic majors, across all colleges, at Virginia Tech.

Innovate students sign on for a two semester (one year) commitment, however the total program duration is two years.  In order to be considered an “Innovate graduate” students must reside within the community four consecutive semesters. 

Students in the Innovate Community

Innovate is open to all students in any major interested in creating a community that provides a diverse array of entrepreneurial interests and perspectives.  At the end of their first year in the Innovate program, students should come away with:

  • A basic understanding of entrepreneurship, including associated business practices such as strategy, marketing, finance, etc.
  • Exposure to entrepreneurial opportunities available to them in and around the Virginia Tech campus
  • A network of peer and faculty partnerships that will provide ongoing enhancement to entrepreneurial ventures

In addition, students will have the opportunity to return to Innovate to both continue their own entrepreneurial learning as well as mentor and support incoming students.

Innovate Core Values

  • Ignite curiosity
  • Create remarkable experiences
  • Be excellent with each other
  • Pursue growth and learning
  • Foster respect and cooperation

We are in search of the most creative, driven and entrepreneurial innovators to come live, play, create and innovate in our community. We believe that the more innovators, creators and trend-setters we can encourage to play in our community, the more others will want to live here. The Innovate living-learning community brings together a diverse group of committed and driven students into a high-energy learning environment.  Innovate will provide an opportunity for students to gain insights into the entrepreneurial process, interact with successful entrepreneurs, and learn from Virginia Tech faculty and community partners with expertise in areas related to developing an entrepreneurial mindset. Check out this interactive student-made video to see what a day in the life of an Innovator is like.

Innovate will be a strongly experiential program.  Innovators will have the opportunity to participate in the following programs:

  • Entrepreneur-in-Residence – Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders reside in a fully furnished studio apartment within the Innovate Living-Learning Community. With a new EIR every week, a variety of ideas, opportunities, and connections, are fostered by facilitating organized events and close interactions alongside students.
  • Entrepreneur Treks – Students embark on an immersive experience by traveling all over the country to meet and network with start-ups and innovative companies. Treks provide an unprecedented opportunity for students to learn first-hand how their major and interests are applied in business. Watch this video to see what Treks are all about.
  • Venture Garage – A weekly community meet up in Innovate’s own “Venture Lab” dedicated to innovation and professional development. At Venture Garage, the community comes together with help from the Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to develop business ventures, work on personal projects, and gain professional skills to help secure a summer internship.

In addition to face-to-face events in residence, Innovate students have the opportunity to provide leadership and direction for Innovate that is supported by both the program director and the live-in Student Life Coordinator. Opportunities for leadership include serving on committees, the leadership council, and/or as a mentor in your second or third year.

Innovate is a program of the Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and is fabulous, collaborative venture that includes support from the Pamplin College of Business, the Division of Student Affairs, and a number of departments across campus with interest in engaging with students in the entrepreneurial experience.

If accepted, you will become a key part of the broader innovation ecosystem emerging on our campus and broader community. We are constantly seeking out driven, creative young minds who can positively contribute to our community.

Application Process

Applications are OPEN for new (incoming) students interested in joining Innovate for Fall ’17. Please check your VT email after you pay your matriculation fee. At that time, a housing contract will be offered to eligible students through their VT email. LLC application process is contained within the housing contract submission process.  Email program questions to innovatevt@vt.edu and please follow our social media channels for updates (FB: @vtinnovators | Twitter: @innovateVT | SnapChat: @innovatevt | Instagram: @InnovateVT).  For questions related to the housing and LLC applications process please contact: Jason Johnson, Assistant Director for Living Learning Programs via email: jjohnso2@vt.edu or by calling 540-231-6205

Innovate Mark