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’ 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

IDEA students at RU Health Hack highlights

November marked a significant event in the Rutgers University calendar - the inaugural Rutgers Health Hack, hosted at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. This event drew a diverse crowd of thinkers, innovators, and doers - among them, a spirited group from Rutgers' own Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA). These IDEA students didn't just attend; they became a driving force of creativity and ingenuity, leaving a significant mark on the hackathon.