Oct. 9, 2018

'Innovation Reactor' in its second year: Great minds come together

Program helps students and postdocs build careers around innovation; next event Oct. 17
Sporting swag sunglasses, Professor Bob Schulz from the Haskayne School of Business attends the Innovation Reactor kickoff.

Sporting swag sunglasses, business Professor Bob Schulz attends the Innovation Reactor kickoff.

Shea Coburn, Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking

With the Innovation Reactor Kickoff event on Thursday, Sept. 18, students, faculty, staff, and community members came together for an exciting evening of interactive booths, fireside chats — via a TV screen fireplace — innovation pitches and delicious food.

Joelle Foster, executive director of the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, joined Dr. Leslie Rigg, PhD, dean of the Faculty of Science, for a conversation on innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives at the University of Calgary. Their conversation revolved around practising interdisciplinary collaboration, inclusivity, intergenerational work, leadership, and community.

“When you put your minds together with diverse ideas, you get creative solutions, which is critical for innovation,” says Rigg.

Foster and Rigg discussed the importance of linking researchers with industry, alumni, and community, which allows for new pathways and opportunities to foster innovative advancements.

“It’s important to bring research forward so that everyone can share in it,” says Foster. “Creativity is the hunger for knowledge and the scientific process is creative thinking.”

The Innovation Reactor Program is funded by the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking and the Faculty of Science, with support from the Haskayne School of Business, Schulich School of Engineering, Cumming School of Medicine and Innovate Calgary. The program is designed to provide students and postdocs with an accessible, supportive environment to explore the world of innovation. It offers opportunities for networking mixers, tours of local innovation resources like labs and maker spaces, and a hackathon to provide financial support for startup ideas.

Focused on entry-level and early-stage innovators from across campus, the Innovation Reactor Program endeavours to help new entrepreneurs build a career around innovation, and be provided with several opportunities to begin their entrepreneurial journey.

The program’s next event is the Innovation Reactor Mixer on Oct. 17 at the Last Defence Lounge in the MacEwan Student Centre. This event is for all interested parties. Register for this event. 








Joelle Foster and Leslie Rigg discuss innovation and entrepreneurship.

Joelle Foster and Leslie Rigg discuss innovation and entrepreneurship.

Adrian Shellard