Funded by grant funding, IDEA-U works to encourage innovation through partnerships, professional development, and student-driven projects.

Mission Statement: IDEA-U exists to promote purposeful innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship among all members of the Anderson University community.

Google Engineer Testimonial

As an engineer working at Google, I’ve interacted with some of the most imaginative and creative thinkers in the country. While it is not surprising that a multi-billion dollar company can (and does) devote incredible resources to innovating, I was surprised to see firsthand how simply and playfully the process often begins.

Anderson University’s IDEA-U Innovation Laboratory is structured very much like some of the design spaces at Google. Technology is minimized so that human creativity can pioneer unhindered.

Creativity can flow from whiteboard sketches, post-it notes, tape, crayons, scissors, paper, straws, marshmallows, fishing line, yarn, chocolate, Legos, coffee, and most importantly, people intent on learning and innovating together!

— Dr. Scott Kennedy


IDEA-U supports academic departments, faculty, and students in their efforts to develop active, dynamic professional connections to people who are working in the fields that our students want to enter. We provide resources and assistance in facilitating these professional relationships with professionals across Indiana and across the country. IDEA-U also partners with the Office of Alumni Engagement to help our current students build fruitful relationships with our alumni, all of whom are eager to assist new graduates as they transition from student life to professional life.

Vision and Goals


  • To stimulate and support synergy between existing AU constituencies and Indiana community partners
  • To develop professional networks that link students, alumni and community partners
  • To increase students’ readiness for professional engagement.


  • Incubate collaborative partnerships and innovative entrepreneurial projects that will impact communities in central Indiana.
  • Keep more AU graduates in Indiana by equipping students, faculty and staff with the entrepreneurial and professional skills needed to create and fill new job opportunities within the state of Indiana based on a knowledge economy.

IDEA-U Structure:

  • Incubator Laboratory located in Nicholson Library and supervised by a faculty director and an advisory council.
  • Collaborative Networks developed and sustained as part of students’ curricular and co-curricular experiences at Anderson University.
  • Strategic Professional Preparation embedded in the core curriculum, career development services, major courses and co-curricular activities.
Professional Development

IDEA-U supports AU’s advising model, ASPIRE, by integrating the development of professional skills and the completion of professionally relevant learning opportunities into each student’s educational experience.  Faculty advisors discuss these skills and experiences with students during advising sessions, and courses include many of these skills as required assignments and class activities.  Professional development is a significant component of a liberal arts education, not an ancillary concern.

Inside the IDEA-U Lab

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