Innovation Fellows

The Innovation Fellows Program (IF) is a full-time, applied experience where you will work on scoping the business viability of a new product or start-up concept through the use of entrepreneurial skills.


Through customer discovery interviews, teams will learn how to define a customer's problems and develop a business or product concept that solves them through the development of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Students will be assigned teams to work on industry-sponsored projects or have the opportunity to define their business idea to explore and evaluate. Teams will evaluate their business proposals' economic viability and present their solutions to an audience to demonstrate viability both through the development of their MVP and an Investor Pitch Deck presentation.

The IF program is structured around BOTH business development and technical/prototyping skill sets. RIT students earn co-op credit for the 40-hour-per-week program where the students meet 6 hours per week during formal class time with the rest of the time dedicated to working within teams to perform Customer Discovery and Product Solution interviews with potential clients and customers, along with working on a product feasibility demonstration in the construction of a MVP.

Throughout the semester, students will:

  • Complete a National Science Foundation (NSF) Entrepreneurial Training Course
  • Develop a Minimum Viable Prototype
  • Design & present a 15-minute Investor Pitch Deck

​Current RIT students eligible to enter co-op can participate in the IF program with prior approval from their home academic department before the start of the semester.

Applications are closed. Please check back for Summer 2024 Applications

Next Steps

Before starting the online application, be prepared to answer the following:

  1. Complete and submit the interest form
  2. Talk to your academic department about approval for gaining co-op credit


Email Evan Vershay, Program Manager at