An eco-friendly solution to packaging. A better way to connect with emergency responders. A kid’s shoe that adapts and grows as quickly as the children who wear them.
These are a few of the innovative projects recently celebrated at the eighth annual Hatchery Demo Day, hosted by the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation. In all, 25 student entrepreneurs showcased their venture projects after six weeks of immersive education in entrepreneurial thinking and doing.
The open-house-style event, held on June 30 at the Wilbur Powerhouse, featured expo tables where students displayed their projects while answering questions for faculty, staff, alumni and area visitors as well as fellow students in summer programs.
Demo Day concluded the month-long Hatchery Student Idea Accelerator, a full-time, hands-on summer program wherein Lehigh University students learn the principles of design thinking and entrepreneurial mindset before developing solutions to real problems and testing potential business ventures. The Hatchery’s milestone-based model offers students a fast-paced approach to seeing their business venture come to fruition – from identifying problems and conducting customer research to ideation, prototyping, and testing.
“The Hatchery Student Idea Accelerator offers students from all backgrounds and majors at Lehigh an opportunity to engage in entrepreneurial thinking and doing through a full-time, immersive experience,” said Lisa Getzler, the Baker Institute;s executive director. “Learning to identify problems worth solving and addressing the needs of future customers, whether for commercial or not-for profit use, these students have undertaken a journey toward creating real value in the world.”
Working individually or in teams, students from various majors and colleges on campus tackled problems and hatched solutions across a diverse set of industries, including technology, fashion, education, investment, housing, recreation, and food & beverage.
“Most of the students in this year’s program entered the Hatchery with a curiosity about entrepreneurship but without an idea for a project or venture,” added Getzler. “The projects that students showcased at Demo Day are evidence of the potential that can be unlocked when students are in an environment specifically designed to help them think, innovate, and solve problems with an entrepreneurial mindset. Some of them will leave their projects behind but take with them their newly gained skills and perspectives, and others will continue to move their Hatchery projects forward through our EUREKA! ventures program.”