Pitt | Swanson Engineering

News and Announcements: Academic Year Challenges

The SSoE Innovation and Entrepreneurship Community is just getting started. This Fall and Spring semester, the team is lining up a series of six academic year challenges that will serve as a starting point for getting students involved in innovation and entrepreneurship as well as help them build their networks. All academic year challenges will consist of a hands-on challenge followed by a guest speaker, networking event or student project updates. Pizza will be served to those in attendance.

            innovation bootcamp

The following academic year challenges are planned for fall 2013:


  • Monday September 9th, 2013 from 5 – 7 pm: Meet an SSoE Epicenter Innovation Fellow
  • Wednesday October 2nd, 2013 from 5 – 7 pm: Convergence – Network with individuals working on developing products at the University of Pittsburgh Technology Showcase
  • Tuesday November 19th, 2013 from 5 – 7 pm: Game On! Live games to build your Innovation and Entrepreneurship Skills

All Academic Year Challenges will start in a meet up in the corridor outside the 3rd floor design rooms at 5 pm.

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Academic Year Challenge 4


Over 30 students attended, and in just 4 hours students were introduced to the innovation movement at Pitt, completed 2 design challenges, and formed 9 student teams that eventually went on to pitch to our "Shark Tank" panel comprised of star-studded judges- Dr. Hirschman, Dr. Levitan, Dr. Kuhn, and Entrepreneur in Residence, Chip Hanlon from the Innovation Institute.


SSoE Academic Year Challenge #3


Students from departments all across the Swanson School of Engineering got together tonight to try a variety of different game based activities that were meant to demonstrate concepts related to innovation and entrepreneurship. After a short warm-up, students were engaged in a non-linear circuit that had them tying shoes, sorting balls and building towers with the goal of allowing them to struggle first hand with notions of ambiguity, team work and learning to empathize with the customer. After the game session, students and facilitators went through a debriefing discussion that helped make the connections between the activities and concepts that they need to be able to grasp to be successful innovators moving forward.