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The Conway Center aims to provide students with information on entrepreneurial opportunities both on and beyond the Smith College campus. We regularly post resources and educational programs that support the launch and growth of student ventures.


Conway Center Student Project Fund

The Jill Ker Conway Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center is pleased to announce the pilot of a Student Project Scholarship Fund. The fund will support students interested in supplementing their entrepreneurial or business education course studies or furthering the development of exploration and experimentation with a value creation entity. Scholarships can be used for research projects, business venture support, course-related activity or conference attendance. Note: students who need internship support should apply for Praxis summer internship funding through the Lazarus Center.

Scholarship recipients are required to give a 15-30-minute presentation to the review committee including lessons learned and major accomplishments subsequent to completing the project. If the scholarship money is not used as proposed, students will be required to return the funds. Note that scholarship funds may be subject to taxes.

To be eligible, students must:

  • be in good academic standing at Smith College,
  • not graduate from Smith College prior to utilizing the funds, and
  • have completed all paperwork necessary to receive payments from Smith College.

Individual students will be limited to two approved requests during their undergraduate Smith College tenure.

JTerm | Spring Application Deadline: Rolling deadline

Classes Offered in 2018-2019

IDP 116: Intro to Design Thinking
January 7-11 from 9 - 4 pm at Capen Annex

This 1-credit introduction to human-centered design emphasizes hands-on, collaborative design driven by qualitative research. Students will develop a critical lens on design and explore the implications of design in shaping the world around us. Students will explore what it means to re-frame challenges as opportunities, ask essential questions, and communicate ideas through new means of storytelling. (Instructor Permission is required for this course.)

IDP 316: Critical Design Thinking
Spring T /Th from 1 - 4 pm at Capen Annex

This 4-credit interdisciplinary project-based course emphasizes human-centered design process as well as critical social theory on the relationships between humans and our contexts. Through hands-on, individual and collaborative making, participants will learn qualitative research methods, rapid idea generation techniques, prototyping and iterative implementation. This learning will happen alongside rich class discussions of both seminal and contemporary scholarly work on design’s role in shaping the lived experience. (Instructor Permission is required for this course.)


The Horizons Fellowship

The Horizons Fellowship supports 200 outstanding university students on a fully-funded experience in San Francisco, in their pursuit to become leaders in technology. Our programs provide immersive software engineering and web/mobile development courses geared towards high-achieving college students. Students need not have a computer science background! Horizons students have gone on to receive offers from firms such as Google, Slack, Yelp, Amazon, BCG, Visa, J.P. Morgan, and more. Past Horizonites have come from a variety of schools and backgrounds. Applicants have hailed from Harvard, Princeton, Yale, UPenn/Wharton, Columbia, Northwestern, Brown, Michigan and more.

Summer on the Cuyahoga (SOTC) - think[box] Internship

Communications and Programs Intern: Sear think[box] at Case Western Reserve University is seeking a driven and motivated intern to join our team in support of communications and outreach program development. Under the supervision of the Program Manager, the intern will provide project leadership and coordination to successfully complete high level projects.

Campus RainWorks Challenge

The Campus RainWorks Challenge is a green infrastructure design competition for American colleges and universities that seeks to engage with the next generation of environmental professionals, foster a dialogue about effective stormwater management, and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices. The Challenge is open to institutions of higher education across the United States and its territories. With the support of a faculty advisor, teams that compete are asked to design an innovative green infrastructure project for their campus that effectively manages stormwater pollution and also provides additional benefits to the campus community and environment. (Application deadline: December 14, 2018)

Tulane Business Model Competition

Hosted by Tulane University in New Orleans, this student startup competition is open to teams that include at least one degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student. Promising student startups will vie for more than $40,000 in cash prizes and a chance to advance to the International Business Model Competition. The competition seeks early-stage ventures that demonstrate ability to adapt to customers’ needs. We emphasize the importance of validating a business model through field research. The contest rewards ventures for breaking down an idea into a key business model hypothesis; testing their assumptions with customers; applying Customer Development/Lean Startup principles to refine the model for improved success; and pivoting until they have a customer-validated business model. (Application deadline: 11:59 PM CST, Friday, January 25, 2019)