Werth Innovators Leadership Development
Ambassadors for entrepreneurship
Werth Innovators are student ambassadors for entrepreneurship and innovation at UConn who play a central role in building interest and participation in UConn's entrepreneurial ecosystem. They are selected annually from a pool of rising sophomore and junior applicants and receive a $3,000 scholarship and access to unique, transformative experiences during their remaining years at UConn. Werth Innovators become leaders through mentorship, networking, community and skill building. Accepted students join a close-knit network of successful and innovative peers and alum. There has currently been over seventy-five Werth Innovators selected since the inception of the program in 2018, with the first cohort recently graduated in the spring of 2021. Students are selected based upon their innovative projects, entrepreneurial mindsets, drive to create change, and interest in increasing student involvement in entrepreneurship and innovation at the university.
The Werth Innovator F3 Cohort pilot launched in 2020 to address the gender gap that exists in the business world when it comes to female-founded ventures. This cohort of Werth Innovators was selected at the beginning of the fall semester from a pool of first-year female identifying students. Based on the initial success of F3, an additional cohort has been added in the fall of 2021 open to traditionally underrepresented populations within entrepreneurship. While modeled after WILD, this cohort focuses on building self-confidence through early mentorship and peer networking at the beginning of their college career. At the end of the first year, each student is compensated $4k for launching their own initiative, product or company during their summer internship at the Werth Institute.
Deadline to apply is Monday, September 27th 2021
Open to First-year students who are a part of a traditionally underrepresented population within entrepreneurship such as LGBTQ+, BIPOC and/or women.
What is the WILD program?
The WILD program is the Werth Innovators Leadership Development program created to support students interested in building their confidence, leadership and skills within the world of entrepreneurship. Werth Innovators are students selected to be a part of the WILD program at The Werth Institute.
What entails being a Werth Innovator?
The role of a Werth Innovator is defined by the student. Not every student has the same goals, ideas or projects they wish to pursue therefore, each student progression and outcome is unique. The Werth Institute staff provides Werth Innovators with personalized support, skill-building guidance and networking opportunities to grow their entrepreneurial mindset, confidence and aptitude. Students will gain exciting opportunities and experiences they can apply to their focused areas of interest and beyond.
What is the benefit of becoming a Werth Innovator?
Werth Innovators will have the opportunity to participate in The Werth Institute’s NetWerx mentorship program where students are paired with a UConn alum mentor during their first summer of being a part of the WILD program. They will have special invitations to Werth Coffee Chats with leading industry professionals in a small group informal mentoring setting. Many other unique activities may include a trip to Silicon Valley, CA, NYC or Boston, attendance at relevant conferences or workshops, one-on-one guidance from experienced entrepreneurial coaches and venture builders, and attending or hosting relevant opportunities and events. Werth Innovators become a part of a special community of driven students and alum committed to building their entrepreneurial mindsets and skillsets.
Tell me more about the scholarship money!
Werth Innovators are selected from a pool of eligible applicants. To be eligible, you must be a part of the class the current call is going out to (ex: currently during the spring of 2021 we are calling rising sophomores and juniors to apply). The selection process may include several interviews with Werth Institute staff or current Werth Innovators. Selected applicants will receive a one-time $1,500 scholarship during their upcoming fall and spring semester.
What is expected or required of a Werth Innovator?
Werth Innovators should promote, participate and recruit for entrepreneurial programs at UConn and act as ambassadors for The Werth Institute.
Sounds great, how do I apply?
Interested students who will be a sophomore or junior during the academic year of 2021-2022 may apply before the deadline of April 30th, 2021. Students may be asked to participate in an interview.
Questions about the application or the WILD program?
Katie Britt, Leadership Programs Coordinator at The Werth Institute
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Werth Innovators, 2020-2021
Meet the students who have benefited from UConn's WILD program and learn about their aspirations for the future.
Flash Cards and Food – Werth Institute’s F3 Entrepreneurs Launch Diverse Ventures in First Year of New Program
Through the F3 experience, these students – and their cohort peers – have found ways to develop what they love into meaningful experiences, companies, and new technological developments while building relationships with mentors, industry leaders, and each other. Read on UConn Today