Key Considerations for Designing Student-Focused Innovation Spaces (Webcast Recording)



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Innovation spaces are giving students an opportunity to merge the classroom, their future careers, and entrepreneurial spirit all into one place. As colleges assess how to attract and retain students, these spaces foster the creative and collaborative culture of today, while forging a connection between industry and academia.  

In this training, you will learn how to begin defining your institution’s own innovation space. Our expert instructor from The Garage at Northwestern University will share strategies on how to begin the process, including pictures and examples. Institutions with smaller budgets or a more limited scope will also receive advice on how to scale these strategies to meet their individual needs.

Who Should Attend

This webcast is designed for institutions looking to plan or adopt a student-focused innovation space, which could include professionals from several different areas on campus, including:

  • Provost
  • Deans
  • Space planners
  • Directors of facility management
  • Architects
  • Project managers


To frame the content of this webcast, you’ll have a chance to take a virtual tour of The Garage at Northwestern. Our instructor will then walk you through the following:

  • How to develop a mission which aligns with the strategic goals of the institution
  • How to create a physical space that promotes innovation
  • How to brand and market the space to the campus and community

We’ll close the webcast with a discussion on how the space evolves over time. Attendees will learn about potential modifications to watch for and how to make necessary adaptations to their innovation spaces.


Melissa Kaufman, Executive Director, The Garage, Northwestern University

Melissa Kaufman is a former Googler, startup veteran, and entrepreneur with a decade of experience at consumer technologies companies in Silicon Valley. Currently, she is a committee member of ChicagoNEXT (Mayor Emanuel’s technology council), a member of the Chicago Technology Initiative, and a venture partner at Chicago Ventures. She was named to Chicago Inno’s 50 on Fire in 2017 and Crain’s Tech 50 in 2018. Melissa received her BA in computer science from Dartmouth College.


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