Undergraduate Innovation Scholars-Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Carnegie Mellon University

Undergraduate Innovation Scholars Program

The Undergraduate Innovation Scholars Program fosters innovation and entrepreneurship and seeks to increase the number of successful start-up companies initiated by or involving Carnegie Mellon University undergraduate students.

Scholars complete a two year program integrating

  • academic coursework
  • work experience in a start-up company
  • networking
  • mentorship--given as well as received

This selective program attracts the next generation of innovative thinkers and doers.

2015-16 Innovation Scholars

John Choi, Computer Science and Arts, 2017
Jonathan Dyer, Mechanical Engineering, 2017
Matthew Hillman, Dietrich College, Global Studies, 2017
David Lu, Computer Science, 2017
Michael Mawhinney, Tepper, 2017
Mohak Nahta, Computer Science and Economics, 2017
Hannah Salinas, College of Fine Arts, Industrial Design, 2017
Albert Topdijan, College of Fine Arts, Industrial Design, 2017
Siddhant Wadhwa, Computer Science, 2017

2014-15 Innovation Scholars

Innovation Scholars Program

Benefits of being an Innovation Scholar

  • 12 week summer internship at a startup between your junior and senior years
  • If you accept an unpaid internship, Innovation Scholars will pay you up to $6,000 for the 12 weeks of summer work
  • Internship could be at your own start-up
  • $1,200 grant to attend the Silicon Valley Trek
  • Membership and/or reimbursement to attend local events
  • Special invitations to events
  • Individual mentoring
  • Spark Grants for specific projects


  • Current second year students in the second semester in ANY school or college at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Two year program, third and fourth years
  • Successful completion of one intro entrepreneurship course
  • Participate in workshops and other events, document participation
  • Explore entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Intern at a startup between third and fourth year
  • Mentor those who follow you as Innovation Scholars

Introductory Entrepreneurship Courses
other entrepreneurship courses may fulfill requirement

70-415  Introduction to Entrepreneurship
70-414  Introduction to Entrepreneurship for Engineers
70-421  Introduction to Entrepreneurship for Computer Scientists cross listed as 15-390 Computer Science
70-420  Introduction to Entrepreneurship for Scientists

Undergraduate Innovation Scholars Program Goals

  1. Increase the number of successful startups initiated by or involving CMU undergraduate students.
  2. Broaden our undergraduates’ awareness of, education in, and involvement with the Carnegie Mellon Innovation Ecosystem.
  3. Engage alumni and entrepreneurial experts through programs and mentorship for enhancement of the student experience and innovation ecosystem.

The undergraduate Innovation Scholars Program was created through the endowment from the McCune Foundation in 2013. The purpose of the grant is to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among undergraduate students.

CIE Calendar

Scholars Program Dates

Apply: March 9 to April 22
Interviews: April
Acceptance: May 2015
Kick-off Meeting: Sept. 2015

Innovate Today: Starting Your Startup Workshop Materials

Communicating Your Idea [pdf]
Customer Research [pdf]
Understanding and Assessing Your Competition [pdf]
Revenue Models [pdf]
Sales and Marketing [pdf]