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Two students at a business competition


The Conway Center supports the Smith community in the development of new ideas. We aim to create an environment that encourages innovation by teaching skills, providing tools and experiential learning activities that will help you develop new and creative solutions to pressing problems.

Develop Skills

Through curricular and co-curricular initiatives, students delve into a range of subjects and develop specific skills such as leadership, resiliency, self-reflection, selling, managing people and communication.

Work Together

We partner with academic and other departments on campus, as well as visiting experts, to infuse entrepreneurial practices and perspectives throughout the college.

Test Ideas

We offer opportunities for the Smith community to generate, share, test and refine their ideas through a variety of activities, including competitions, challenges, pitch contests, business model workshops, start-a-thon and trade shows.

Innovative Strategies

September 7: Open House and Ice Cream Social

2:30—4 p.m., Conway Center (146 Elm Street)

Meet the faculty and staff of the Center who support our innovation, entrepreneurial and financial education programming. Learn about student involvement opportunities at the Center and with the four clubs we support: Consulting Club, Smith College Investment Club, Smithies in Business and Startup Smith. Pick up workshop and course schedules while enjoying a scoop of Herrell’s ice cream. Be sure to have your CORQ pass for easy checkin.

September 13: CIEC Information Session

12—1 p.m., CC 103/104

Can't make it to our open house? The Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center staff and student leaders will be on hand during lunch to answer your questions and provide you with information about all the upcoming innovation, entrepreneurship and financial education activities. Lunch provided.

Innovative Strategies Workshops

Thursdays, noon—1 p.m., CC102

How do you solve a problem from just a seed of an idea? Entrepreneurship often begins with an idea targeting a problem. But where do you go from there? During the Innovative Strategies Workshop Series, you will participate in a series of proven entrepreneurial exercises that will move your concept for a business or a project from an idea to an actionable plan. These workshops will guide you in defining a problem and then developing a robust roadmap leading to an achievable solution. We will examine six growing industries that you may choose to work on: green/renewable energy, augmented/virtual reality, 3D printing, blockchain, food/health/wellness, and internet of things (IoT), or any idea that you may already have.

September 20: Problem / Opportunity Identification

September 27: Problem / Opportunity Identification

  • Philip Silva, Chief Scientist of a new crypto-currency venture
  • Kebra Smith-Bolden, RN and Founder & CEO of CannaHealth
  • Jill McCormick, Director of Innovation at TechSpring
  • Randy Krotowski, serial social entrepreneur and IoT expert

October 4: Solution Ideation

  • Green/Renewable Energy
  • AR/VR
  • 3D printing

October 11: Solution Ideation

  • Blockchain
  • Food/Health/Wellness
  • IoT

October 25: Mendix

Noon—1 p.m., CC102

Does your innovative solution require that you build a web platform or mobile app? Do you lack the coding skills to get it done? This workshop is for you! Mendix is a *free* low-code application platform that allows students to experience the agile development process and quickly create a simple web or mobile application. Learn how you can gain access and start working on your solution today. Free food and stuff.

October 26-28: Western Mass Innovation Jam

Valley Venture Mentors (Springfield, MA)

Sponsored by Mount Holyoke, Smith College, and Western New England University, WMIJ weekend will take students through team formation, idea development, rapid prototyping and basics of investor pitching. Registration is required. The application deadline is October 5th by midnight. Transportation (to VVM offices in Springfield) provided for Smith students by the Conway Center.

March 19: Food Innovators Challenge

11 a.m.—1 p.m., Davis Ballroom
Live cooking demo: 11a; Tasting and judging begins at 11:45a

Four Smith chefs will face off in the first annual culinary battle designed to highlight innovation in the food industry. The winning dishes will be featured at the Draper Competition. Treat your taste buds to the delicious, inventive offerings and vote for your favorite!  This is a zero-waste, maximum fun event. Tickets are $5 (cash only).

Main Tasting Menu:
Lamb four ways: Jerk Lamb Lion; Stuffed Noisette of Lamb; Spiced Lamb Saddle & Lamb Roulade
Smoked Brown Sugar Sweet Potato
Caribbean Succotash
Plaintain Soup Foam
Artichoke Barigoule
Crispy Polenta
Potato Gnocchi
Braised Collards

Additional foods (Vegan/GF options available)
Eggplant mousse
Curried Spaghetti Squash
Grilled Tomato/Red Pepper Bruschetta

Iced Green Tea with Fresh Mint
Honeydew and Ginger Bubble Tea

Fan Favorite - Abigail Lapan
Top Chef - James Burbidge