Virginia Commonwealth University

Make it real.


Category Archive for: ‘INNO 460’

Same great classes, all new names

Beginning in the academic year 2013-2014, all non-discipline elective courses in the VCU da Vinci Center Undergraduate Certificate in Product Innovation program will change to the INNO rubric.

What does this mean for you? Not a whole lot.

If you are an Undergraduate Certificate student who has already taken ARTS 121, MGMT 121 or ENGR 121—those credits will still count towards the completion of your certificate. If you have not taken one/any of the required non-discipline electives, you will—they’ll just be called something different now.

  • ARTS 121 is now INNO 221: Introduction to Arts & Design Principles
  • MGMT 121 is now INNO 223: Introduction to Business Principles
  • ENGR 121 is now INNO 225: Introduction to Engineering & Technology Principles

ARTS 121 is now INNO 221



MGMT 121 is now INNO 223ENGR 121 is now INN) 225











Scheduling made simple

In an effort to provide an outstanding experience to all Certificate students, the VCU da Vinci Center will also begin offering its courses on predetermined days and times. This will allow for better course planning and open the door for many more students across VCU to participate in this truly unique program.

  • INNO 200 will be offered every semester  on Monday evenings from 5:00-6:00pm 
  • INNO 221 will be offered in the fall semester only on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00-10:20am
  • INNO 223 will be offered in the spring semester only on Wednesdays from 6:00-8:40pm
  • INNO 225 will be offered in the spring semester only on Thursdays from 6:00-8:40pm
  • INNO 460 will be offered every semester on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-5:00pm

INNO class times for fall and spring semesters


Fall 2012 – INNO 460 Now Accepting Applicaitons

The VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation is currently accepting applications for participation in its INNO 460: the da Vinci Project Course during the 2012 Fall semester.

This opportunity is open to all undergraduate juniors and seniors in the Schools of Arts, Business and Engineering. More information about the course can be found here: THE WORK

The application deadline is April 6. (extended!)


Just an ordinary day.

Just an ordinary day here in the da Vinci Center. Leave it to our INNO 460 students to make research day radtastic.

[pro-player width=’450′ height=’253′ type=’video’][/pro-player]

InnoBlitz – Spring 2012

Implementing Innovation in 8 Hours

What could you come up with in only eight hours? On Saturday, February 4, two interdisciplinary teams of students from the VCU da Vinci Center will be participating in a 8-hour InnoBlitz at the Science Museum of Virginia. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., the students will be given two innovation projects on which to work. What will they create? Will they work together? Can they finish?

Follow us on twitter @VCUdaVinci

Innovation goes to work, literally

Following is an article from The Branford Seven of how one of our Certificate in Product Innovation students leveraged his da Vinci experience to get a job.

How Matt Schell Got His Job

Written by Joe Gordon

Two years ago, I received a nice letter from a college mechanical engineering student from Branford who was looking for a summer job with my small manufacturing company, also in Branford. His name was Matt Schell, and while he was only in his sophomore year, he had a very interesting resume. In addition to being president of his fraternity, he had a near 4.0 GPA. My own background was in mechanical engineering, but I had a lifelong passion for art, and Matt was attending Virginia Commonwealth University in a program called “The daVinci Program” which recognizes the symbiotic relationship between artistic creativity and engineering. He earned the first available scholarship offered in this field. It also helped that he was an Eagle Scout. Unfortunately, we had no openings, and I responded that I was sorry to turn him down, as we were suffering a slowdown in sales and profitability.

He quickly responded that he really wanted to get experience in engineering and in a manufacturing company, and offered to work free as an intern in engineering. This was too good to pass up, and I offered him a summer job at slightly above minimum wage, thinking that we would be able to expose him to real experience in engineering design and applications.

He eagerly joined, and quickly found that one of our products was difficult and costly to assemble economically. He was able to make simple design changes, and improved the productivity of this item significantly. For fun, I gave him an assignment to construct a mural for the assembly area. It was a top view image of an antique wooden boat, made with real mahogany. When he returned to college, he left a vacancy in the area of problem solving using computer knowledge, which made us realize that we were the recipients of the new engineering experience.

The following summer, a key manager became victim to a serious health crisis, and became totally disabled. Matt stepped in to fill the void, which required both sales and engineering skills. By the end of the summer, he had lifted the company out of the slump we were experiencing, and we were wondering how we would survive without him. I hired a non-technical sales administrator who helped fill the role. We sent Matt back to VCU and realizing how we had grossly underpaid him, and we agreed to keep him on the payroll until Christmas. He was grateful as it is expensive to go to college even with a full scholarship.

Recognizing that a remarkably good student like Matt will have several fine offers when he graduates next year, I have already made him an attractive and competitive offer when he graduates. In addition to his competitive offer, he will have an opportunity to earn 50% ownership in my company in 5 years, which will be well deserved, and provide me with a badly needed succession plan for retirement. Eventually, Matt may own 100% of the company and I am relieved that I will be able to pass the company on to someone who will take it to the next level.

Joe Gordon

Chairman, Branford Economic Development Commission

Spring 2012 – INNO 460 Accepting Applications


If you are a student in the School of Engineering and are interested in applying to be a part of INNO 460 this spring. Fill out and submit the application below by Wednesday, November 23.

We have two confirmed project sponsors for the spring da Vinci Center Project, and additional project sponsors pending approval The confirmed projects are as follows:

Spring 2012

Dominion — continue work on developing a hydrokinetics system to power the Science Museum’s Rice House, as well as design an exhibit for Museum visitors.

MeadWestvaco — work to create and innovative package design. (product TBD)

*more projects will be added as they are finalized

Students interested in INNO 460, please check out THE WORK for more information and to download the course application.

Contact Seth Caskey, with any questions.