Innovate Fearlessly

At UMD, we cultivate a campus of fearless innovators to reframe and disrupt the norm to bring about change. By empowering students to reimagine the landscape, not blend in, we prepare them to solve the world’s toughest problems.


Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (AIE)

AIE was launched by UMD President Wallace Loh in 2013 and charged with engaging all 35,000+ of our students in innovation & entrepreneurship (I&E) experiences to prepare them to tackle the world's toughest problems. UMD is 35% of the way towards that goal as a result of extensive campus-wide collaboration across every school and college.

How are we accomplishing this? By adopting and adapting the same entrepreneurial methods that successful startups use - design thinking and lean startup.

We often ask our students: “What problem are you trying to solve and for whom?”. When we asked ourselves this question, we talked to students from all over campus and discovered that they’re often forced to choose between either graduating on time or pursuing real-world projects and ventures they’re passionate about. We’re solving that problem by allowing students to do both through I&E experiences embedded directly in the core curriculum so that exploring their entrepreneurial passions actually moves them closer to graduation rather than farther away from it.

At UMD, our students learn how to ...

  • Develop deep empathy by designing for and with others
  • Reframe problems in unexpected ways
  • Generate radical ideas through brainstorming
  • Quickly prototype and iterate based on feedback
  • Communicate ideas in compelling ways
  • Create value by solving problems and scaling impact
  • Embrace failure to learn and grow from it

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Every corner of our campus, from the sciences and humanities to research and business, is committed to launching Fearless Ideas.

The Latest


"What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality." - Plutarch #innovationinspiration

"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples." - Mother Teresa #innovationinspiration

Undergrads & Grads - enter to win $10K with innovations in economies, health or environment with the Ocean Exchange's BIG Pitch Competition. Enter now!

"Nothing will work unless you do." - Maya Angelou #innovationinspiration


You have a startup idea you can’t build. Enter VentureStorm #UMDinnovates via @technicallyDC - 3 weeks ago

Race to Rio - Alum and hurdle hopeful set for upcoming Olympic trials #UMDinnovates - 3 weeks ago

Enter the BIG Pitch Competition w/innovations in economy, health, environment to win $10k - 3 weeks ago

Not Playing Games - UMD Research Elevates Virtual Reality Beyond Entertainment #UMDinnovates - 4 weeks ago

RT @TheOceanExch: Call all students #Awards #grant #sustainability #environment BIG Pitch Collegiate Competition for innovative solutions. - 4 weeks ago

The Academy complements and enhances the foundation of entrepreneurial courses and programs built over the last 30 years.