Research, Creative Activities & Innovation > Research in Practice > Collaboration, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Collaboration, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

DePaul University embraces cross-disciplinary collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship as a basis from which the University creates research-based knowledge and economic value for Chicago and beyond. Multiple programmatic and strategic initiatives at the University create and nurture collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship among students, faculty, alumni, and within the larger community. These include:

Coleman Entrepreneurship Center

DePaul University has been a pioneer in recognizing the pedagogical value of entrepreneurship, and its Coleman Entrepreneurship Center (CEC) is the campus-wide hub for entrepreneurial activities. The Center offers a cross-disciplinary platform and a physical space for its stakeholders to collaborate, innovate and become successful entrepreneurs. Student, faculty, alumni and community members benefit from the programs and resources of the CEC as they pursue entrepreneurship and innovation in their communities. For example, the annual Purpose Pitch entrepreneurship competition is a unique event where startups pitch their greater purpose and how they plan to fulfill that purpose though business objectives. Also organized annually, the Student Innovation Expo competition recognizes students’ creativity, originality and the ability to solve problems and discover new opportunities.

Women in Entrepreneurship Institute

The Women in Entrepreneurship Institute is the nation’s first comprehensive Institute for women founders that integrates academic learning, research, incubation, funding and public policy. Launched in July 2018, the Institute supports women entrepreneurs through academic research and programs as well as initiatives that invest in the success and sustainability of women-owned businesses.

Other Institutional Programs and Initiatives

In addition to the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center and partnerships with external organizations, DePaul University has built an organizational infrastructure to maximize collaborative research, innovative ideas, and entrepreneurial talent through programs. These include:

  • The iD-Lab
    The Innovation and Development Lab (iD-Lab) provides students the opportunity to gain practical development experience by working on innovative real-world software development projects for clients. The Lab practices an agile methodology that fosters innovation. The iD-Lab collaborates with a diverse range of firms such as Allstate and CareerBuilder. The foundation of these partnerships is the Lab’s ability to turn partner’s innovative ideas into functional prototypes.
  • Idea Realization Labs
    The Idea Realization Labs are DePaul’s student-led makerspaces created to initiate collaboration and creativity through hands-on learning.
  • DeBlock
    DeBlock empowers DePaul student community to learn, explore, and build block chain innovations
  • Innovation through Collaboration Initiative
    The Innovation through Collaboration Initiative, hosted by Academic Affairs, seeks to accelerate and enhance a culture of innovative and collaborative research and instruction across the University’s departments, disciplines, and colleges. The Initiative allows participants to foster synergies, develop working relationships, and strengthen collaborations with both industry and community partners.

Partnerships with Chicago-Based Entrepreneurship Organizations

The University maintains partnerships with Chicago-based organizations that support innovative entrepreneurs outside of the University. These partnerships, coordinated through the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, include:

  • 1871
    DePaul University’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, Academic Affairs, the College of Computing and Digital Media, and the College of Law are all partners with 1871. Through this partnership, DePaul students can work out of the office space in 1871, attend workshops and other programming, and network with hundreds of entrepreneurs in Chicago. The 1871 incubator hosts over 450 startup companies/members.
  • 2112
    DePaul University maintains a partnership with 2112, Chicago’s first incubator focused on music, film and creative technologies. Through this partnership, DePaul University students and faculty are able to use the 2112 private office and co-working space, attend 2112 workshops, and work alongside creative entrepreneurs in the Chicagoland area.
  • mHUB
    mHUB exists to ensure that the Midwestern manufacturing industry continues to accelerate, grow and thrive. They are the nation’s largest and fastest growing innovation center focused on physical product development and manufacturing. DePaul University’s partnership with mHUB, allows students to utilize this innovation center’s space and interact with other members.

Additional information on DePaul’s Chicago-based research partners is available here.