The Rockwell Fellowship in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Robert Morris University
The Rockwell Fellowship is a 2-year scholarly commitment of engaged learning and practice in entrepreneurship. Ten (10) students will be selected to receive a $6000 tuition scholarship, divided evenly across their junior and senior academic years, respectively.
Founded in 2020 by Dr. Eliada Griffin-EL and Dr. Michelle Patrick, the Rockwell Fellowship catalyzes the spirit of entrepreneurship by equipping and enabling student innovators to transform their value-creating ideas into reality. Endowed by the S. Kent Rockwell Family is 2022, the Rockwell Fellowship commits to elevate student-driven venture-creation and workplace innovation across the entire RMU campus.
The purpose of the Rockwell Fellowship in Entrepreneurship and Innovation is to:
- Support students who are building entrepreneurial ventures and initiatives by providing a rich environment of knowledge, practice, coaching, and opportunity.
- Cultivate courageous and thoughtful innovative forerunners whose own entrepreneurial pursuits will stir critical thinking and creative action across RMU’s campus.
- Visibly position extraordinary entrepreneurial student champions to be rising leaders in and contributors to the region’s innovation ecosystem
Eliada Griffin-EL, PhD
Associate Professor of Management
Founding Co-Director of the Rockwell Fellowship in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Certificate
At RMU, we believe anyone can be entrepreneurial, whether you want to own your own business or work for a big bank or accounting firm, whether you want to be an engineer, a nurse, or a teacher -- you name it. That’s why RMU offers the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which is open all undergraduate students, regardless of major, and prepares them to be innovators either as business owners or entrepreneurial employees.
Rockwell Fellows would be key learners and contributors to the following core components of the program:
- RMU Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Year 1 and 2 of the Fellowship)
RMU Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Year 1 and 2 of the Fellowship)
- The certificate serves as the curricular platform of the fellowship through which
- Fellows learn key skill sets, tools, and knowledge frameworks towards developing and building their ventures. Fellows will be exposed to an overview of entrepreneurial thinking, methods of innovation, psychology of selling, and hands-on learning opportunities through elected internships via the initial academic offerings of the Certificate.
- The Business Model Lab, which culminates the certificate, provides a hands-on, experiential lab equipped with opportunities for prototyping, networking, pitching, and exposure to key actors in Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurial scene.
- Rockwell Venture Growth Pitch (Year 1 of Fellowship)
Rockwell Venture Growth Pitch (Year 1 of Fellowship)
- Fellows present their entrepreneurial concepts to an audience of entrepreneurs, representatives of support organizations, professionals, and peers.
- Members of the entrepreneurial community will be attracted to the Fellow’s ideas of their choice to create a personalized venture ecosystem of coaches, connectors, and various forms of capital.
- RockWELL of Ideas Speaker Series (Year 1-2 of the Fellowship Program)
RockWELL of Ideas Speaker Series (Year 1-2 of the Fellowship Program)
- Inspired by convenings of inspirational thought such as the Aspen Ideas Festival or Ted Talks, The RockWell of Ideas is a reservoir of creative and unique insights from innovators across the region (or country), led and developed by the Rockwell Fellows.
- Each Fellow is to identify an iconic local entrepreneur, ideally a person who resonates with their entrepreneurial ambition, and invite them to campus to hold a lecture, fireside chat, interactive session, or or any experience which the Fellow will plan and curate for the campus and community.
- The Rockwell Speaker’s contribution will be captured on film or podcast, with support from RMU’s Academic Media Center, to make available to the campus and public.
- The intentional connection with innovative leaders is intended to broaden and enrich the Fellows personal, professional, and entrepreneurial networks.
- Rocket Launch Demo Day (Year 2 of the Fellowship Program)
Rocket Launch Demo Day (Year 2 of the Fellowship Program)
- Rockwell Fellows host a day long symposium within which they demonstrate their innovation and/or share its development to date.
- The audience is comprised of members of the university, innovation community, and general Pittsburgh region.
- Fellows are encouraged to make connections with organizations that will enable them to move their venture to the next stage.
- Rockwell Launch
Members of the incoming and existing cohorts gather in early September to launch another academic year of entrepreneurial action. Rockwell Fellows are given an overview of the year’s program over an enjoyable dinner and networking. The Rockwell Fellows also discuss and celebrate their ventures’ progress.
- Annual Rockwell Pop-Up Shops
The Rockwell Pop-Up Shops are a student-driven marketplace that showcases student ventures from across campus. The Rockwell Fellows hosts this opportunity for all student entrepreneurs to feature their products/services or to test their ideas before real customers. The open-air marketplace occurs bi-annually–once in the fall semester and again in the spring semester. We invite students from all over campus to participate in the Rockwell Pop-Up Shop, that activates the entrepreneurial spirit and puts it into practice.
- Rocky Roads Venture-Building Sessions
Rockwell Fellows participate in venture building sessions by which they learn specific skills and facilitate peer-led discussions of each other’s ventures.
- The Rockwell Speaker Series
The Rockwell Speaker Series invites leading venture founders to share key insights and enrich the Fellows’s understanding of the commitment, critical thinking, and courage required to launch an entrepreneurial idea. The Rockwell Speaker Series forms a reservoir of creative innovators, regionally and nationally, and is made available campus-wide as a flagship event of RMU’s Annual Global Entrepreneurship Week Celebration.
- Rockwell Retreats
The Rockwell Retreat is a full day off-site capacity-building event to provide Rockwell Fellows with new skills and knowledge by which to advance their ventures. Rockwell Fellows also engage in peer mentorship and constructive feedback. Esteemed entrepreneurship professionals, academics, and experts from across the region are invited to facilitate interactive workshops, venture coaching, and panels. Each Retreat is hosted at a different innovation co-working/support space across Greater Pittsburgh, and occurs each Fall and Spring semester.
- Rockwell Symposium
The Rockwell Symposium is a day-long symposium wherein fellows share their innovation and/or the progression thereof, also known as the Venture Growth Pitch.. The audience is comprised of the students’ family and friends, university members, community of innovators, and the general public of the Pittsburgh region to provide insight and knowledge to the Rockwell Fellows as they present.
The Rockwell Symposium also provides rich opportunities for networking between RMU student entrepreneurs and innovation leaders across the region.
- RMU Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
This certificate is the curricular platform of the Fellowship. Fellows will gain key skill sets, tools, and knowledge frameworks that will aid them in developing and building their ventures.
Rockwell Fellows Cohorts
Rockwell Fellowship in Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Cohort 2
Rockwell Fellowship in Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Cohort 3
Rockwell Fellowship in Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Cohort 4