First-Year Experience with Innovate@BU

Innovate@BU is a resource and community to help you bring your ideas of all kinds to life and to learn new skills you can use in any career.

During your time at Boston University, you’ll start to discover what you’re most passionate about, problems you want to help solve, and career paths you want to explore. Innovate@BU is here to support you with the tools and community you need to turn these ideas and goals into something real. 

Our programs, resources, community, and staff all come together at our physical home at the center of the Charles River Campus, the BUild Lab IDG Capital Student Innovation Center. 

Learn more about us through the topics below and make sure to join us at or virtual Orientation events this summer!

Virtual Orientation Events

This summer, join us for virtual events to learn more about Innovate@BU, meet our staff, and get to know current BU students launching their own ideas.

Fireside Chats with BU Terriers Launching New Projects & Ideas

On Wednesdays, join us for Fireside Chats with BU Terriers Launching New Projects & Ideas to learn more about Innovate@BU and meet current BU student entrepreneurs and innovators! They’ll tell you about the projects they’re working, the resources they use, and leave plenty of time for your questions. RSVP below to receive Zoom details.

Open Q&A Sessions & Office Hours and with Innovate@BU Ambassadors

Wondering how innovation and entrepreneurship could fit into your life at BU? Ask Innovate@BU’s Orientation Ambassadors, Libby and Danielle! 

Join us for a Group Q&A Session or book a 1:1 office hour to ask questions about Innovate@BU’s programs, resources, and find out how Libby and Danielle balance their own passion projects with class, sports, internships, and more. RSVP below to receive Zoom details.

Tour the BUild Lab IDG Capital Student Innovation Center

The BUild Lab IDG Capital Student Innovation Center is the physical home of Innovate@BU. In addition to serving as a coworking space for the entire BU community, it’s also where you can meet Innovate@BU’s staff, student leaders, and attend programs and events.

Learn more about the space

Meet BU Innovators & Entrepreneurs

Sarah Greisdorf Headshot

Instagram Takeover with Sarah Greisdorf (CAS’20)

Founder of Holdette, a company that makes women’s workwear with real pockets.
Watch the video

Voices of Impact: Every Hand is a Hero

Meet Maddie (SPH’20) and Erin (SSW’20), founders of a nonprofit that develops training to identify and stop child sex-trafficking.
Watch the video

Kiana Ghamarifard (SAR’21) and Michael Eschmann (CAS’21)

Meet the cofounders of Kahila, makers of protective cases for wearable technology.
Read more

IDEA Conference: Embrace Your Impact

Experience the IDEA Conference, our biggest student event of the year!
Watch the video

Innovate@BU Programs & Resources

Get Inspired

  • Idea Open-mic Nights
  • Annual IDEA Conference
  • Innovation Week @ BU
  • Guest Speakers & Club Events
  • Design Challenges & Hackathons

Launch New Projects & Ideas

  • Innovation Pathway for Projects & Business Ventures
  • First-Year Innovation Fellowship
  • New Venture Pitch Competition
  • 10-week Summer Accelerator
  • Idea Cup for Class Projects

Get Advice & Feedback

  • Office Hours & Mentorship
  • Industry Lunch Chats
  • Idea Open-mic Nights

Learn Life & Career Skills

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship Minor
  • Hub Cocurricular CC161: Starting a Startup
  • Hub Cocurricular CC163: Launching a Project
  • Weekly Workshops

First-Year Innovation Fellowship

Are you bursting with new ideas that you want to turn into something real?

Whether it’s an idea to help fix societal problems or the next big tech application, incoming first-year students (including Class of 2024, transfer students, and those beginning in January 2021) are encouraged to apply to Innovate@BU’s 2020-21 First-Year Innovation Fellowship program to pursue their passion for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Learn more & Apply

Academic Opportunities

Launching a startup or a passion project isn’t the only way to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and innovation skills. You can learn and practice these skills through courses and academic programs, too!


Hub Cocurricular: CC 161: Starting a Startup

Hub Cocurriculars are 0-credit, ungraded experiences that combine activities, discussion, and reflection. In this cocurricular, students explore the innovation pathway process and apply the tools embedded in this process towards creating a product or service. Students can apply these tools to a non- profit or for-profit venture.


Hub CC 163: Launching a Project

Hub Cocurriculars are 0-credit, ungraded experiences that combine activities, discussion, and reflection. Is your idea a policy recommendation, advocacy program, community event, media campaign, or creative content? In this cocurricular, students learn to bring a project idea to life while developing their creativity and innovation skill-set. 


Innovation & Entrepreneurship Minor

The Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E) minor enables students pursuing any undergraduate major from all BU schools and colleges to develop their ideas, regardless of their field of expertise, and create tangible economic or social impact.

This minor is not just for those who want to “launch a startup” but for students who want to learn how to be more entrepreneurial in all aspects of their lives. The minor teaches students a set of life skills including: identifying unmet needs and new opportunities, leading creativity and ideation, collaboration, prototyping and testing which can prepare students’ for careers in many domains.