College of Business > News & Events > Student Creativity Gets the Spotlight at 10th Annual Innovation Expo
By Nadia Alfadel Coloma | Photos by Kathy Hillegonds /
February 17, 2020 /
Posted in: Research and Centers, Students /
DePaul undergraduate student Tom Leamon presented his business venture, AVsync.LIVE, a tool that allows musicians to engage their audiences with camera-based music visuals.
The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center hosted its 10th Annual Student Innovation Expo, which featured 10 aspiring student entrepreneurs presenting their business ideas to more than 50 audience members on Feb 11.
Bruce Leech, executive director of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, says the expo can be the first important step for a student to start a new business venture.
DePaul graduate student Josh Fort pitches his business, ZIP Labs, a social impact laboratory that expands and improves the social sector.
Prior to student finalists presenting their business ideas, attendees provided feedback via sticky notes during a poster session.
DePaul students Philine Prinz and Victoria Martin Del Campo pitched their business venture, Link, an app for students to increase safety on public transit.
The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center in the Driehaus College of Business hosted its 10th Annual Innovation Expo on Feb. 11. The event featured 10 aspiring student entrepreneurs who presented their business ideas to the more than 50 university faculty, staff and student attendees.
Open to all DePaul students, regardless of major—and to University of Chicago at Illinois (UIC) students for the first time this year—the expo provides a platform for students to showcase their idea for a new product or service while it is still at the idea stage, and receive feedback from their peers and the DePaul community at large.
Seven to 10 students are selected from a pool of applicants each year to receive $500 scholarships for winning a spot at the expo.
“The expo is often the first attempt that a student makes to get their idea out of their head and ‘go public’ with it,” says Bruce Leech, executive director of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center. “This process provides the student tremendous feedback about their idea, be it positive or negative. We often find the expo is the first important step to a student starting a new business venture.”
This year’s expo included five students from the business college, three from the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media, one from the College of Science and Health and one student from UIC.
“Being a part of the innovation expo was truly a unique experience for me,” shares business student participant Philine Prinz. “The interest that people showed in our business idea as well as the supportive and critical feedback were invaluable. I thank the Coleman Center for such a great opportunity.”
Many expo participants go on to apply for the
Purpose Pitch competition that the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center hosts each spring, an event that focuses on purpose-driven startups in Chicago. This year’s Purpose Pitch is slated for May 19 at