Start a project today.
You can become a social innovator.
Whether you're passionate about mental health, social justice, education, sustainable energy, or something else entirely, our programs are for you.
We provide workshops and events, access to mentors, and up to $10,000 in funding for your project.
Most importantly, whether you're a beginner or an experienced innovator, you'll find a supportive community of like-minded students and mentors who want to help you succeed.
Our Project Incubator: The Social Innovation Challenge
Want to change the world? Here's the timeline for our challenge. Apply with your idea and find out more information!
October: Social Innovation Kickoff
Find out what social innovation is all about at our Kickoff! Hear our Optimize alumni speak about their journeys and let prominent entrepreneurs give you the tips and tricks you need to make your business succeed. Understand what OptimizeWayne is all about and how you can be an Optimizer!
November - March: Workshops and Events
Workshops bring in entrepreneurs and thought leaders to lead action-based sessions where you learn new skills and apply them to your project. Topics include value propositioning, positive visioning, prototyping and pilot testing, storytelling, and pitching.
In March, you'll tell your story: where you started, how far you've come, your vision for sustainable impact, and your key next steps.
If selected for funding, your team will receive up to a $10,000 grant!
Funded teams present at a Year-End Showcase to an audience of hundreds of people from the Wayne State, Detroit, and Michigan community.
April: Showcasing It All
Come April, and you're presenting your work, your journey, and your enterprise to hundreds of people. You're officially an entrepreneur and have begun your journey of making serious social impact. This may be your first public showcase, but it won't be the last!
May - August: Fellowships and Partnerships
Work with any of our strategic Detroit partnerships including Bamboo Detroit, TechTown, Innovation Warriors, the Wayne State University Entrepreneurship and Innovation Certificate Program, and more! Keep your Optimizer skills and impact sharp and in use as you continue to grow your project into the very fabric of our city.