Innovation & Entrepreneurship Activities

Innovation Centers

UVI launched two innovation centers in January 2016 (one on each campus). These centers provide the space to encourage “creative collisions” – a place for students to meet and discuss ideas. The centers are equipped with equipment to help students collaborate and create rapid prototypes. Each center is equipped with computers, a 3D imaging camera, a 3D printer, white boards and configurable furniture.


A hackathon is a marathon problem-solving event that typically culminates in the concept for a new phone app or other digital solution to a problem. Student teams will work on product design and development ultimately producing a wireframe of the digital solution and an accompanying storyboard of describing the user experience.  All students are encouraged to participate as it is about problem-identification and solution-generation. One hackathon is held on each UVI campus in the fall.

Health Design Slam

This product development competition takes place over five months. The Slam brings together students from across both UVI campuses to conceptualize, design, build, demo and test health-promoting digital apps, devices, and games that address critical and well-articulated problems in healthcare delivery or public/population health and wellness. The Slam experience is composed of series of events and activities beginning in October and culminating in mid-March. The program deliverable is a functional (“clickable”) demo of the health-promoting digital product. Teams can with both cash prizes and a chance to compete in a national Games4Health Challenge in April.

Business Design Grant Program

The Business Design Grants are designed to guide you or your team through the qualitative steps to a completely designed business. You will flesh out your business concept, interview potential customers to determine your firm’s value proposition to them, develop a supply chain for your firm, articulate the revenue model, and qualitatively assess the feasibility of the proposed firm. You will be guided through this business development process via a series of workshops and feedback sessions that begin in October. This is work is necessary in preparing a business for the quantitative steps of the 13D competition, but it is not required that you participate in the grant program in order to enter the 13D competition. Teams that successfully complete the deliverables of the Business Design Grant Program earn the grant.

13D Entrepreneurship Competition

The 13D Entrepreneurship Competition is the marque program of innovation and entrepreneurship initatives at UVI. The competition culminates in the distribution of $60,000 in business seed money to the three winning teams in late April:  $30,000 to the first place team, $20,000 to the second place team and $10,000 to the third place team. The winners will pitch potentially profitable business plans that lack the funds necessary to launch. The program, through a series of workshops and feedback sessions, operationalizes your business concept. You will develop an operating, launch and marketing plan for your business. You will also establish a quantitative description of your business through the development of an income statement and a five-year cash flow model. In addition, you will determine the financial startup-costs for your proposed firm. Finally you will learn how to pitch your business to potential investors, suppliers, and customers. The first competitive round of presentations takes place in early April. Six teams will move forward to the final round two weeks later for a chance to win a portion of the $60,000 in prizes. In addition, each team that makes it to the finals will earn $500.

For more information about UVI's innovation and entrepreneurship activities contact Dr. Nelson Pizarro at 340-693-1310.