Industry Affiliate Program

Creatively disrupt the way you do business.

student presenting in CoLab classroom

Partner with VCUarts and you’ll be positively challenged by the open and innovative culture, emerging technologies and techniques, and the enthusiasm and talent of our students.

Industry partnerships are primarily executed through the VCUarts CoLab course, which gives you an opportunity to collaborate with a custom-built student team that can provide unique insight and ideas toward your problem or need. You’ll provide guidance on planned experiences, clearly defined goals, and pre-determined assessments.

Projects can be designed for one student or a team of up to five students. The students work as interns in the Center for the Creative Economy and on-site with you, under the guidance of CoLab faculty and industry mentors. Your project could range from five to 30 weeks, extending throughout the academic year and/or summer months.

The companies we work with see what our students offer, and become partners with us providing educational experiences that help them cultivate potential recruits. An interdisciplinary student team can perform in ways a traditional class might not.

Matt Woolman, interim associate dean for research, innovation and graduate studies

Specific benefits to industry affiliates include access to:

  • innovative concepts, design directions or prototypes developed by interdisciplinary creative teams.
  • effective user-centered research.
  • campus facilities, including advanced computing and rapid prototyping technology.
  • faculty and student expertise in creative disciplines, as well as business, psychology, computer science, engineering, education, and more.
  • talented students for future internships or employment.

You’ll also have the opportunity to:

  • engage in advanced concept development and problem solving beyond the scope of normal business activities.
  • support higher education research, student learning and workforce development.
  • create a strong connection between an education in the arts and design disciplines and business innovation.

In a way, we reimagined what an internship experience can be. Instead of individuals getting a 1-to-1 internship, we assign small intern teams to a diverse range of projects and organizations.

Andrew Ilnicki, director of strategic technology

Industry Affiliate Gift Levels

Engagement with VCUarts through the Industry Affiliate Program is formalized by a gift donation to VCUarts.