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College Think Tank
The City of Boston and Accelerate, Wentworth Innovation + Entrepreneurship Center, co-founded the College ThinkTank Boston in 2013.
We gather students from different disciplines and from local colleges and universities to participate in a one-day immersive event to brainstorm ideas and creative solutions to real City challenges alongside design thinkers, experts, city representatives, and community partners.
Students are challenged to generate ideas that represent the community and shape Boston's neighborhoods. So far, nearly 300 students, aside from Wentworth students, participated across the Greater Boston area from colleges such as MIT, Harvard, Tufts, Emerson, Roxbury Community College, Boston College, Boston University, MassArt, Babson and many others. More than 25 disciplines ranging from mathematics, liberal arts, music, and engineering, to design, architecture, art, and law, were represented over the last year.
The event helps to build a stronger and more collaborative student community, showcase Boston's students, and expand and enhance the learning experience beyond campus boundaries.
Students experience a rigorous design thinking process led by facilitators from brand name companies such as IDEO, Continuum, Constant Contact, Design Museum Boston, Essential Design and others. The techniques utilized open up their thinking and allow students to utilize these professionals as a resource later for future projects and ideas.
Challenges are selected by the City and have included "vacant storefronts", "micro-financing for small business", and "creating innovation in neighborhoods". Ideas generated are reviewed by the City and turned into an official RPF or implemented right away.
In 2015 College ThinkTank Boston transitioned into CityStart Boston. However, the goal remains the same: to bring together college students and entrepreneurs to tackle the problem of fostering startup activity in areas of the city that today have little.