Graphic of a head with various representations of gears as ideas coming out it

Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA)

Welcome to IDEA!

The mission of the Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA) is to integrate design and entrepreneurial thinking into the student experience.  During the program, students take part in research, design challenges, and entrepreneurial thinking, as well as contribute to interdisciplinary projects focused on solving complex societal challenges.  IDEA’s innovation studio provides space for students to explore the innovation process by thinking about what problems they would like to solve. 

IDEA Video Poster

IDEA at Rutgers University

Our History

The Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Academy was founded in 2020 to develop a program for the early undergraduate experience where new perspectives and real-world learning flourishes. IDEA seeks to create a resource where, before committing to a major, students can explore areas of interest and be connected to faculty researchers as well as industry and organization professionals, that reflect the rich history of innovative research that Rutgers-New Brunswick is known for. 

Our Goals

  • To empower students to explore problems they want to solve
  • To foster student creativity and use of design thinking to solve complex societal challenges
  • To expose students to interdisciplinary projects that provide a systems view of problem-solving
  • To facilitate student participation in research, design, or entrepreneurial opportunities at Rutgers
Keychains with innovation slogans: (1) hashtag, hatching new ideas; (2) Innovation is applied knowledge; (3) You can, end of story.

How It Works

You will have unique access to:

  • Experiential learning opportunities, such as conducting research alongside faculty mentors and gaining early exposure to alumni entrepreneurs and industry employers
  • Paid internships and apprenticeships
  • Interdisciplinary coursework and design challenges that encompass agriculture, arts, climate change, conservation, culture and design, healthcare, infrastructure, natural resources, and technology.
  • Entrepreneurial leadership programs
  • Dedicated academic and career counseling
  • Career design connected to students‚Äô interest and skills to prepare for jobs of the future
  • The Hatchery, a dedicated innovation studio centrally located in the¬†Archibald S. Alexander Library¬†on the College Avenue Campus
Students, faculty, and staff from the Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Academy at a pitch competition.

The IDEA Student Roadmap

IDEA has prepared a specialized program of study that complements your academic journey as you work towards your degree. 

IDEA Student Journey Screenshot 2

IDEA in Action

Rutgers Teams Participate in the 2023 EnergyTech University Prize Competition

This year, Rutgers had two teams that competed in the Northeast region of the competition. The first team, TransX Automated Transit System (TATS) (Team 3), was named as one of the eight Bonus Prize Finalists for the NYC Metro Regional round. The second Rutgers team that competed in the competition was led by sophomore Rut Mehta (CEO) along with Anand Patel (CTO) and Dunbar Birnir (Faculty Advisor). 

Idea Alex Simeo MoneyUp Winner

Entrepreneurship is at the heart of Rutgers University's New Brunswick campus, and the institution is proud of its many programs and initiatives that help students with entrepreneurial aspirations. One such program is the yearly Rutgers UPitch Competition, which allows students to showcase their innovative ideas and business plans before a panel of judges.