Dr. Garret Westlake, the Executive Director of the VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation, will be our January speaker. He leads the Center's efforts to transform VCU into one of the nation’s leading universities for collaboration, innovation, and the inclusion of entrepreneurial thinking as a needed skill for the innovation economy.
Garret will be talking about the Entrepreneurship Academy, new degree programs in areas like innovation and product design, the Shift Retail Lab and other efforts of the Center
The Center is a collaboration of VCU's School of Arts, Business, and the Colleges of Engineering and Humanities and Sciences and VCU Health. It has programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels in Product Innovation, Health Care Innovation. and Venture Creation, and also offers Design Thinking training to all VCU students.
Throughout his career, Garret has focused on developing innovative leaders. Students and startups he has mentored have been named to Forbes 30 Under 30 for Healthcare Innovation, awarded Rhodes Scholarships, named Resolution Project Fellows, and have been accepted to SXSW and Y Combinator.
As a technology entrepreneur, Dr. Westlake founded a social impact company that employed individuals with autism in STEM. Prior to joining VCU, Dr. Westlake served as the associate dean of student entrepreneurship for Arizona State University’s #1 ranked Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He has worked closely with Ashoka U, the Clinton Global Initiative University, and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
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