Monday, March 14, 2022
1:00 PM - 1:10 PM ET
Welcome to OPENing Day: New Horizons in Innovation!

Join us as we kick off 4 fantastic days of immersive sessions, networking opportunities, and special events as we welcome you to OPEN 2022. We'll share an overview of not-to-miss content and exciting announcements to help you plan out the week ahead!

Phil Weilerstein, President and CEO  |  Laura Sampath, Vice President, Programs, VentureWell

1:10 PM - 2:10 PM ET
The Critical Role of Federal Agencies in America's Innovation Plan

Hear leaders from four key federal science funding agencies as they share their visions for America's innovation agenda. We'll welcome speakers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), who will outline emergent opportunities for funding and collaboration, the changing relationship between agencies and institutions, and the key role universities will play in developing technological breakthroughs that will solve the world's most urgent challenges. This opening panel will feature a dynamic fireside chat and interactive Q&A session with Dr. Bruce Tromberg (NIH) and Dr. Erwin Gianchandani (NSF), moderated by VentureWell President Phil Weilerstein. Don’t miss this singular opportunity to connect with federal funders!

Dr. Vanessa Z. Chan, Department of Energy | Dr. Erwin Gianchandani, National Science Foundation | Ms. Jennifer Gustetic, National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Dr. Bruce Tromberg, National Institutes of Health

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM ET
Improving Career Readiness and Entrepreneurial Success by Developing Entrepreneurial Competencies

This session, offered by Blackstone LaunchPad, will explore challenges associated with developing, assessing, and credentialing entrepreneurial mindsets and skillsets and present opportunities for improving how we develop and assess competencies. Several use scenarios will be explored to support those who lack resources, role models, and mentors as a means of investigating how improved models and methods can support their career readiness and entrepreneurial success.

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM ET
Building Equitable IP Education Networks at Community Colleges and HBCUs through Faculty Communities of Practice

It’s important for budding entrepreneurs and innovators to have a foundational understanding of how to protect their innovations and creative work through intellectual property (IP) rights—patents, copyright, trademarks and trade secrets. This session explores programs from the Michelson 20MM Foundation, a non-profit initiative working to improve access to IP education, including a look into how their communities of practice for community colleges and HBCUs have advanced this work.

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM ET
National Science Foundation Innovation Initiatives TIPS Directorate

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced bold new initiatives designed to ensure that the federal pipeline for innovation, entrepreneurship, and engineering continues to evolve and contribute to prosperity and progress. Join a panel of NSF program directors leading these new initiatives for an insightful look the programs NSF will roll out in the coming year. This session should be of particular interest to faculty and leaders at colleges and universities engaged in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Erwin Gianchandani, Senior Advisor to the Director for Translation, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) at NSF

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM ET
Engineering for One Planet

Leaders from The Lemelson Foundation will outline how they are cultivating the next generation of impact inventors and changing engineering education to equip all future engineers with sustainability competencies through the Engineering for One Planet Initiative.

Rob Schneider, Executive Director; Cindy Cooper, Program Officer; David Coronado, Senior Program Officer  | The Lemelson Foundation

Tuesday, March 15, 2022
10:45 AM - 11:00 AM ET
Day 2 Welcome!

Join us for a welcome from Phil Weilerstein, CEO and President of VentureWell, and Laura Sampath, Vice President of Programs, for a look into what you can expect on Day 2 of the conference, including a fast-paced hackathon and enriching sessions. We'll cap the day with our Interactive Poster Session!

Phil Weilerstein, President and CEO  |  Laura Sampath, Vice President, Programs, VentureWell

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM ET
Welcome Reception

Kick off the day in true VentureWell fashion with a series of fast-paced challenges designed to tap into what you and others know about integrating innovation and entrepreneurship, promoting sustainable design, and advancing equity. Come with your own ideas and leave with lots more—as well as new networking connections!

Prof. Iain Kerr, Prof. Jason Frasca, Montclair State University

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM ET
Cultivating a Community College Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Learn about the Z Model for cultivating the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and see evidence in support of students, employees, and community members engaging in innovative and entrepreneurial experiences together. Presenters will also share how their minority serving community college took innovation programming halted by the pandemic and gave it new life with the help of a community partner.

Dr. Caron Sada, Paradise Valley Community College | Prof. Mark Ulrich, Prof. Wilfred Moran, Prof. Christine Mooney, CUNY Queensborough Community College

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET
Studying the Impact of STEM Entrepreneurship Programs on Individuals: We Can Do Better!

This workshop will share the findings of a 2021 study, which identified major concerns about STEM entrepreneurship programs including unclear intended outcomes, lack of valid instruments to measure outcomes, and a lack of focus on diversity in entrepreneurship programs. Attendees will collaborate to identify actions that can be taken to address these concerns.

Dr. Sarah Zappe, Dr. Stephanie Cutler, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET
Lessons Learned From the Complex Journey of a Science and Technology Innovator

During this dynamic fireside chat, an investor and a past E-Team entrepreneur and startup founder will chart the journey of a science and technology innovator, including the ups and downs of a founders role, early-stage Innovator programming from VentureWell, and all of the necessary elements like mentorship, advisement, investment, and resources, that are needed to make it happen.

Christina Tamer, Director, Programs - Early-Stage Innovators & Venture Development, Tricia Compas-Markman, Senior Program Officer, VentureWell

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM ET
Product Design for Diverse Customers

Find out how the IMPACT Center at the University of Pittsburgh is using training and a Community of Practice to employ a collaborative design approach to get assistive technologies in the hands of those who need them most. 

You’ll also earn more about a diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused designathon at Oklahoma State University that allowed students to work in multidisciplinary and multi-cultural teams in a collaborative working environment to develop their innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.

Dr. Michelle Zorrilla, Dr. Mary Goldberg, Dr. Jon Pearlman, Nancy Augustine, University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus | Zahrasadat Hosseini, Tilanka Chandrasekera, Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

1:15 PM - 1:30 PM ET
Mind + Body Wellness

Refresh and renew through these one-minute on-demand videos, presented by VentureWell staff and friends. Choose from basic workouts, meditation, yoga, and salsa.

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM ET
Online Collaboration and Design Tools Showcase/Expo
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM ET
Storytelling: From Rhetorics to Podcasts

Learn from a rhetorician, an entrepreneurship educator, and a student how to best support your students in crafting the compelling story of their startup so they feel empowered to engage and persuade key stakeholders to invest in their company. 

Learn how to use podcasting to help students cultivate their entrepreneurial mindset and interviewing skills by making connections to professional practice.

Dr. Betsy Verhoeven, Susquehanna University | Dr. Justin Henriques, Dr. Kurt Paterson, James Madison University

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM ET
I-Corps Research: What Have We Learned and What Might We Do?

Looking to create a more inclusive and equitable I-Corps program? Don’t miss this double presentation, highlighting findings from research that examined I-Corps data, that will help you reframe and rethink how you run the I-Corps program on your campus.

Dr. Aileen Huang-Saad, Northeastern University | Dr. Nathalie Duval-Couetil, Purdue University-Main Campus | Dr. Jeffrey Robinson, Rutgers University-Newark | Dr. Joe Bradley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Dr. Ebony McGee, Vanderbilt University | Dr. Thema Monroe-White, Berry College

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM ET
Building I&E Capacity in Under-Resourced Settings

Collaborate with fellow attendees to discuss the challenges in creating a network of resources connecting urban resources and rural entrepreneurs across geographic distance. 

Explore best practices and challenges for teaching students innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) when the university and region do not have a well-established I&E ecosystem.

Karl Mundorff, Oregon State University | Magali Eaton, University of Washington-Seattle Campus | Dr. Aditi Martin, Oregon Health Sciences University Foundation | Mark Billingsley, University of Alaska Fairbanks | Dr. Noe Vargas Hernandez, Dr. Sylvia Robles, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET
Interactive Poster Session

Take part in our fast-paced Interactive Poster Session and benefit from learning about the work of a broad and diverse group of faculty, students, and researchers about their work. Cast your vote for the People’s Choice award, and leave with new ideas and new connections!  

Wednesday, March 16, 2022
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM ET
Day 3 Welcome

Welcome to Day 3 of OPEN! This equity-focused opening event will offer a look into VentureWell's equity initiatives, with remarks from staff and board members. We'll share highlights from today's schedule and share announcements and awards!

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM ET
Plenary Session: Belonging

As VentureWell has strengthened its commitment to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout its work, the importance of fostering a sense of belonging has become even more apparent. We'll explore the importance of feelings of belonging to budding science and technology innovators and entrepreneurs, and those that support them.

Dr. Gilda Barabino, Olin College of Engineering | Dr. Sarah Zappe, Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus | Dr. Justin Henriques, James Madison University | Justin McLeod, VentureWell

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM ET
Strategies for Building a More Inclusive Entrepreneurial Support Network

Resources, and tools to enhance the diversity of volunteer pools at predominantly white institutions

Best practices for modern mentorship and for building mentor programs.

Dr. Audrey Iffert-Saleem, Oregon State University | Dr. CJ Cornell, Arizona State University

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET
Screw Ideas; Nail Process, Shape Emergence

A panel of experienced I&E educators discuss why ideation often fails, and how to construct classes and connect to other campus supports to more authentically and effectively support young innovators.

Dr. Soyoung Kang, University of Washington-Seattle Campus | Prof. Iain Kerr and Prof. Jason Frasca, Montclair State University | Prof. Khanjan Mehta, Lehigh University | Dr. Jose Lugo, Dr. Mari Luz Zapata Ramos, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET
Teaching I&E Based Upon Global Best-Practice Methodologies and Our Eight Years of Experience Training Young, Innovative Social Entrepreneurs in Uganda

A hands-on introduction to the tools and curriculum developed to support entrepreneurs in lower-income countries, and the many stages of their ventures; tools shared help students to learn more about their community problems, frame a design challenge, evaluate the strength of different possible solutions, design impact and business models, and begin to implement low-cost rapid prototyping. ​

Mr. Leo Henghes and Mr. Max Weber Asiimwe, United Social Ventures | Mr. Enoch Muwanguzi

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET
Turning the Tide: How UC Irvine Beall Leveraged VentureWell's 6-Point Framework to Engage Underrepresented Groups

Learn how University of California-Irvine's Beall Applied Innovation (BAI) leveraged the 6-point framework outlined in VentureWell's "Advancing Equity" report to build an organization-wide initiative called "Opportunity-Wayfinding-Networking" to help entrepreneurs create their OWN version of the American Dream.

Mr. Tim Shaw, Dr. Matthew Hanson and Mr. Jaune Odombrown, University of California-Irvine | Kristen Golden, Shaheen Mamawala, VentureWell

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM ET
Sponsored Sessions
2:15 PM - 2:30 PM ET
Mind + Body Wellness

Refresh and renew through these one-minute on-demand videos, presented by VentureWell staff and friends. Choose from basic workouts, meditation, yoga, and salsa.

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM ET
The Power of Partnerships for Equitable Participation in Entrepreneurship

An inside look at the National GEM Consortium and its role in developing underrepresented minority (URM) STEM PhD and Masters researchers, and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), an NSF grant that works to support URG students in STEM.

Mr. Latane Brackett and Dr. Talmesha Richards, The National GEM Consortium | Mr. Kameron Kadooka, Dr. Michelle Marie and Ms. Lesly Rojas, Oregon State University

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM ET
Ethical Futures in Social Entrepreneurship

A hands-on introduction to using Afrofuturism and Indigenous Design principles to inspire more inclusive and sustainable social innovation for generations to come.

Mrs. Chris Baeza, Ms. Grace Landry and Prof. Raja Schaar, Drexel University

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM ET
Expanding the Entrepreneurial Pipeline Through Early Exposure and Engagement: High school, Community College and Beyond

Broadening participation using proven approaches that connect K-12 programs with higher education, including dual enrollment pathways, mentors, and custom programs.

Mr. Juan Barraza, Portland State University, Dr. Tong Zhang, Ms. Melissa Tran and Ms. Karelly Ramirez-Gonzalez, Portland State University | Dr. Carlos Turner Cortez, Dr. Maria Nieto Senour, Mr. Bernie Rhinerson and Dr. Susan Topham, San Diego Community College District-District Office

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET
Flip the Script Breakouts: Meet the VentureWell Team

Using a breakout group format, get to know VentureWell staff and their interests, ranging from professional (e.g. engaging your organization in conversations about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) to personal (collaging, mixology and more).

Thursday, March 17, 2022
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM ET
Day 4 Welcome

Welcome back with an overview of VentureWell's sustainability initiatives, highlights from the day's schedule, and awards.

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM ET
Sustainability Plenary & Sustainable Practice Impact Award

A panel discussion of early stage companies focusing on innovations in sustainable food and agriculture all along the value chain, and the live unveiling of the winner of our 2021 Sustainable Practice Impact Award.

Alec Brewer, Transfoam | Katherine Sizov, Strella | Adam Stager, Tric Robotics

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM ET
Partnerships That Support Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Solutions to create more inclusive opportunities for all, including classroom interventions, HBCU hubs, leadership engagement, and recommended funding opportunities and partnerships.

Dr. Natalie Cozier and Dr. Megan Aanstoos, Kentucky Commercialization Ventures | Ms. Tamette Farrington and Dr. Charles Mitchell, North Carolina Central University

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET
How to Advance the Inclusive Recognition of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in your School's Promotion and Tenure Guidelines and Processes

Engaging discussion with the Promotion & Tenure—Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PTIE) coalition on specific strategies and tactics universities can use to integrate innovation and entrepreneurship into promotion and tenure.

Mr. Karl Mundorff, Prof. Rich Carter and Dr. Julie Risien, Oregon State University

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET
Teaching Sustainable Design: How to Get Started

Join this panel of experienced faculty to learn how they ensure sustainable design is a primary consideration for student innovators. Panelists will share proven practices and tools, along with suggestions for overcoming challenges associated with integrating sustainability.

Dr. Dustyn Roberts and Prof. Taylor Caputo, University of Pennsylvania | Dr. Nancy Ruzycki, University of Florida | Prof. Raja Schaar, Drexel University

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET
Cut, Add, and Change: Prioritizing Entrepreneurship Initiatives

A hands-on introduction to a structured framework to help you optimize your entrepreneurial ecosystem by first inventorying, and then prioritizing which components to cut, add and change.

Dr. Michael Lehman, Lehigh University

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM ET
Sponsored Sessions
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM ET
Engaging Students in Entrepreneurial Design in One Semester or Less

Engaging students in entrepreneurial makeovers in 6-8 weeks, and sustainability design challenges in a single semester.

Dr. Sharon Simmons, Jackson State University | Dr. Carlee Bishop and Dr. Laquita Blockson, Agnes Scott College

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM ET
How in the World?: Models for Student Global Impact Ventures

Panel discussion with Q&A on proven academic models for supporting students in impact ventures in lower- and middle-income countries.

Prof. Khanjan Mehta, Lehigh University | Dr. Pritpal Singh, Villanova University | Dr. John Gershenson, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM ET
Overcoming Psychological Barriers to Engaging in Traditional Entrepreneurship Environments

Learn about programming and curriculum developed to address psychological barriers that impact underrepresented students’ interest and engagement in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Prof. Beth Ferguson, Dr. Katia Vega, Dr. Jiayi Young and Ms. Eldy S. Lazaro Vasquez, University of California-Davis | Mr. Jonathan Fay, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor | Mr. Jed Taylor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Prof. Ilya Avdeev, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET
OPENminds Innovator Showcase

At this must-attend conference highlight you will meet 10 E-teams, learn about their groundbreaking innovations, and invest OPEN Venture Bucks in the teams of your choice.