Signature Programs

Our programs range from workshops, competitions, showcases, and more! Find all of our signature programs here and check our calendar for a full schedule of events that are hosted at the BUild Lab IDG Capital Student Innovation Center.


Start here:

  • Innovate@BU Infro Sessions – Every other Friday (Fall & Spring): At our bi-monthly sessions you’ll get all the intro to Innovate@BU and all the info you need to get started on your innovation journey. And pizza. Learn more.

  • Innovation Pathway: Year-round The Innovation Pathway is a process to foster and support all types of innovation created by current students. It will guide you toward the inspiration, resources, and opportunities that will help you to develop your ventures through its different phases. This process is applicable to all types of ventures: social impact, nonprofit, creative, cultural, and for-profit. It also includes opportunities to receive seed funding for your idea! Learn more.


  • In Real Life Workshop Series – Tuesdays (Fall & Spring): Start learning innovation skills that you can use to create impact #InRealLife. Topics include design thinking, lean canvas, finance, pitching and presenting, team building, and branding. Learn more.

  • Funding Workshop Series – Thursdays (Fall & Spring): All good ideas need funding to launch and scale. Not sure where to start? Whether it’s a nonprofit or for-profit venture, join us this spring to learn four ways to raise funds for your idea! Learn more.

  • Purpose Series: Solving the Puzzle of Talents, Interests, and Careers – Fridays (Spring): Maybe you know what you’re passionate about but unsure of how that fits into a career? Or, are you worried about how you can climb the job ladder while creating a positive impact in the world? This spring, our Purpose Workshop Series will help you answer these questions while solving the puzzle of combining your talents, interests, and career. Learn more.

  • Prototyping Fridays (Spring): Want to learn about innovation spaces around campus and learn helpful tools to bring your ideas to life? Join Innovate@BU and partners for field trips around BU to experiment with innovation tools, tour spaces and learn about useful resources available to all students. You’ll walk away with new strategies to build and test your ideas. Learn more. 

  • Startup Bootcamp – Offered once each semester: Is your inner-entrepreneur calling? Join Innovate@BU for a one-day bootcamp to learn the building blocks of launching a startup! Come with an idea or a curiosity for learning what it takes to get a new venture off the ground. New this year: 2 tracks–Social Impact and For-profit ventures! Learn more.

Advice & Office Hours

  • Office Hours – Offered weekly (Days and times vary): Meet with our experts-in-residence for advice on a new venture and to get connected with on- and off-campus resources. Book office hours here.

  • Creative Coaching Office Hours – Tuesdays & Fridays (Fall & Spring):  Meet with our in-house creative coach. Schedule a meeting with her to get tips and advice on your creative content (art direction, graphic design, social media, etc.). Book office hours here.

  • Startup Law Clinic Office Hours – Thursdays, 1-5pm (Fall & Spring): Get free legal counsel and advice for a startup from the on-campus clinic. Sign-up for an appointment during their weekly BUild Lab Hours.

Competitions & Funding

  • New Venture Competition (Fall & Spring): Through the New Venture Competition, early-stage startups from all walks of life are given the chance to practice and perfect their pitch, meet with expert mentors, and compete for funding between $500 and $18,000! This includes creative, social, tech, and consumer ventures. The New Venture Competition consists of three round: Pitch and Pizza, Semi-finals, and the final round. Learn more.

  • HultPrize@BU (Fall): Calling all changemakers at Boston University! Starting this year, Boston University will play host to the prestigious Hult Prize Competition, often called the “Nobel Prize for Students.” Teams formed in the fall semester will “develop an idea to provide meaningful work for 10,000 young people in the next decade”. Learn more.

  • 2nd Annual Cannabis Startup Competition (Fall): Cannabis is one of the fastest growing industries in the US and is expanding all around the world. We want to hear from BU Terriers that are developing innovative ideas and ancillary companies within this industry. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000! Learn more.

  • Idea Cup Competition (Fall & Spring): BU Terriers are making change in business and tech ventures, as artists and creatives, and as entrepreneurs compelled to innovate along lines of social inequity and injustice. They are coders, business administrators, fine artists, engineers, social workers, curators, and so much more. The Idea Cup is meant to highlight—and select—the most innovative ideas of each semester. The grand prize winner will receive $1,000! Learn more.

  • Impact Film Competition (Spring): This spring, we want BU students to tell us a 90-second story about a person, place, thing, or idea that is creating impact. The film competition is open to all current BU students. Films due by April 12, 2019 and will be screened on April 25 during Innovation Week at BU. Learn more.

  • Global Impact Challenge 2019: Health & Human Rights Hackathon (Spring): The Global Impact Challenge is a weekend-long event held at Innovate@BU Build Lab created and hosted by the Innovate@BU Student Leadership Council. This signature event challenges participants to place humanity at the forefront of design thinking and innovation. Participants with various backgrounds, skill sets, and creative abilities will form teams and be tasked with coming up with unique entry points to hack Health and Human Rights. Learn more. 

  • Summer Accelerator (Summer): Ready to take your new venture idea and transform it into something real? The Innovate@BU Summer Accelerator is a full-time summer program that guides BU students and alumni teams through the startup process and provides all of the perks that an early-stage venture needs. Applications open in the spring semester. Learn more.
  • Social Impact Projects: Rolling basis Have an idea that impacts your community? We can help. Innovate@BU Social Impact Projects are student-led, student-run ideas which aim to create a positive impact for a social issue or cause with a community beyond BU. We support these projects with coaching, event planning, marketing and/or funding to help with the development and implementation of the idea. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more.

Inspirational & Networking

  • Monthly Idea Nights – Last Thursday of the month (Fall & Spring): At this monthly open-mic night, share and gain feedback on your own ideas, or come and share your knowledge or expertise to help fellow BU Terriers! Learn more.

  • IDEA 2019: The Innovate@BU Conference: March 2, 2019 This is a one-day event for Boston-area college students to explore innovation of every kind, including enterprise, social impact, arts, and culture. From start to finish, students will be inspired by world-class innovators, engage with strategies and tools for developing new ideas, and connect with resources throughout BU and Boston that can help them transform ideas into impact. Learn more.

  • Innovation Week at BU – April 22-26, 2019: Sing. Create. Hack. Build. Whatever form innovation takes in your life, career, major, or student club, we want to celebrate it during Innovation Week at BU! In addition to attending events, consider hosting an Innovation Week at BU events with friends, student group, class, alumni, or School/College. Learn more.

Student Clubs

Community Programs

  • 1 Million Cups Boston – Monthly (Fall, Spring, & Summer): Founded by the Kauffman Foundation, 1 Million Cups is based on the notion that entrepreneurs network and discover solutions over a million cups of coffee. The free, monthly gathering helps build startup communities on a grassroots level. Boston events typically occur on the first or second Wednesday of every month from 8:00-9:30am. Learn more.

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