This past Friday the entire Idea Fund summer crew gathered together to meet, reflect, and discuss their first week together at Dickinson.
After learning that the site of our new office space on 169 High Street was once a funeral home, we decided that a new look was necessary for its next life as the Idea Fund work space. The space will not only be a place for member meetings but an open place for Dickinson community members to gather, draft ideas and collaborate.Renovations are due to begin in the next coming weeks and interns will hopefully work alongside Dickinson Facilities yanking carpet and painting to complete the project by the end of the summer.
We learned this week that a group of entrepreneurs happened to be working on exciting start-ups right in our backyard. An visit to the Murata Business Center in Carlisle was an opportunity to learn more about The TechCelerator, a business incubator to help budding entrepreneurs get off the ground. This was a great experience to make connections in the Carlisle community and build future partnerships.
SHOP, Student Handiwork for Organized Projects, has progressed significantly. This goal of this project is to pair students with tradesmen and other skilled professionals from the Dickinson network and possibly Carlisle community to participate in a skillshare in which students will learn skills such as carpentry and other handiwork. The school recently acquired several houses on Louther Street and one of these will be used as a workspace for SHOP. Interns are working on remodeling this space, coordinating a SHOP curriculum and building a database of skills and expertise that will help build this community “toolbox.”
A new First Year Seminar that will be taught this year by International Business and Management professor, David Sarcone, will focus on entrepreneurship and include the Idea Fund in its curriculum. Students met with Professor Sarcone to discuss and brainstorm how these First Year Students can incorporate the Idea Fund into their work.
A grant database is being compiled by the team in order to both help create better funding security for the Idea Fund and as a tool for individuals who seek funding for projects. We hope that this database will to provide and connect students with relevant resources that may help they make their idea a reality.
In the upcoming weeks IF interns will be informally interviewing administrators, faculty, and staff throughout Dickinson to better understand how the Idea Fund’s mission has been translated out and the perceptions held by members of the community about the Idea Fund’s mission, role, and future. This effort has been extremely helpful in facilitating reflection within the Idea Fund and identifying areas for growth and improvement. The voices of these community members will help us better understand how we will move forward and evolve.