Anything is possible at The Hatchery, Center for Innovation. The center opened in the spring of 2020 and supports student innovators and entrepreneurs and related programs across campus. When students come to The Hatchery with a project or startup, they receive support for all stages of innovation, including inspiration, purpose and learning.
To support student enterprises, The Hatchery offers three programs: The Hatchery Discovery Incubator, where students receive one-on-one grant and mentoring at the idea stage; The Hatchery Development Accelerator, a peer-to-peer seed funding and acceleration program; and the Hatchery Founder Fellows program, which provides grant and mentorship to support business modeling and sustainability.
In these programs, students are encouraged to start where they are and work on what motivates them.
“One of the most common student projects is starting a non-profit organization. Human-centered design therefore helps them understand the needs of the end user,” says Shannon Clute, Director of The Hatchery. “Diversity, equity and inclusion are also priorities for our student innovators, so we help apply DEI to their work.”
Additionally, The Hatchery offers an array of skills-building and networking opportunities for students to learn about innovation and entrepreneurship from thought leaders in these fields. They also have the chance to connect with other Emory and City of Atlanta innovators and entrepreneurs.
Hatchery recently held the first annual Emory Student Founder Showcase. During the evening, 20 undergraduate and graduate student innovators had four minutes each to present their ideas and six minutes to answer questions from attendees. At the event, Provost Ravi V. Bellamkonda commended the students for having the courage to create.
“What’s powerful about creating something new is that it’s a leap of faith,” says Bellamkonda. “It requires a certain amount of optimism and tolerance for the possibility that it might not work. … But, I also believe the world is collapsible. I don’t believe the world is already created. By creating a new app or a new business, you create the world.”