In the spring semester of 2018, HIP put out a call for applicants to the summer incubator. To apply, students outlined a problem they wished to solve and a proposed solution to be the focus of their collaborative project. Types of projects for consideration were broadly defined, allowing for a range of ideas and submissions as the end result could take the form of a marketable product, a creative work for public release, an organization or company, or another form of social innovation.
The two teams chosen for the pilot year came to the table with very different concepts.
The Dibs team, all rising Juniors in Computer Science, developed an online platform to connect and facilitate free exchange and sharing between individuals within a community.
The Beyond the Bell team, recent graduates, focused on putting the people back into people’s history by creating walking tours in the Philadelphia area by highlighting marginalized communities, peoples and histories.
The Innovation Incubator ran for 8-weeks with support from dedicated mentors, advisors, skill-building workshops in areas around entrepreneurial pursuits, funding for job and educational materials, and professional consults from our wonderful alumni network who provided legal and startup-related insights to help students further hone their ideas. Throughout the teams learned and practiced moving their project through discrete stages of planning, testing, and implementation.
At the end of the program, both teams gave their final pitch presentations. They were asked to weave together the following in a flow that best suited the narrative of their work: Elevator Pitch & Value Proposition, Product Demo, Business Model (addressing customers & revenue stream opportunities), Next Steps, Needs/Ask (what resources would be valuable if they wanted to continue this work), Lessons Learned/Individual Reflection (practical lessons learned, as well as self-reflections on what the work meant to them on a personal level).