GWupstart Programs

DC Design Day for CGI U Application Development

DC-area university students are invited to come together for a day of networking, designing, and pitching their ideas for new, specific, and measurable projects that make a difference in a local or global community they care about.

During this fast-paced, interactive, supportive event, participants will:

(1) be oriented to the CGI U application process,
(2) learn who is in the room and what issues they want to solve,
(3) mingle and form teams,
(4) get ideas out of your head and onto paper,
(5) receive coaching and a chance to pitch your ideas and refine teams

Students from American, Catholic, Gallaudet, Georgetown, George Mason, George Washington, Howard, Johns Hopkins, MICA, Trinity, UMD, and UDC are especially invited to apply. 

The DC Design Day is happening Saturday, October 3rd, 10:30-3:30pm in GW's new Science and Engineering Hall, B1270. Space is limited! Click here to apply!

GWupstart Workshop Series 

The GWupstart Workshop Series is for students who want to master the skills that will equip them to transform their desire to make a difference into a functioning project or venture. Workshop sessions for Spring 2017 will be announced by the end of January. Each series meets weekly for three one-and-a-half hour sessions.  Each workshop series delivers a full skill set; you are strongly encouraged to attend all the workshops in the series. The skills learned will help you apply for one or more of the six opportunities available through the GWupstart Innovation Lab. These opportunities include:

  • Commitment Maker Challenge
  • GWupstart D-Prize Poverty Solution Award
  • Knapp Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Service-Learning
  • Public Service Grant Commission
  • Social Venture Track of the GW New Venture Competition
  • GWUpstart Fellowship Program
As a workshop participant, you will receive personalized coaching on the project or venture you are working to develop, and also receive tailored guidance as you prepare applications for the competitive opportunities available through GWupstart and our network.

Commitment Maker Challenge Prep Sessions

Do you want to participate in Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U)? One-on-one appointments are offered in the Fall to support students wanting to participate in the Commitment Maker Challenge, which will award over $10,000 to students to travel to CGI U in the Spring, and to carry out their Commitment to Action in the year following the annual gathering. 

Knapp Fellowship Open Feedback Sessions 

Open feedback sessions are held in October and November to provide interested student applicants with the opportunity to receive input on the projects they are developing to directly connect their academics to social entrepreneurial action in the DC community. Please contact Jonathan Butler at to set up an appointment.

Public Service Grant Commission - Commissioner Training and Info Sessions 

Competitively selected student commissioners receive training in how to evaluate applications and provide quality feedback to applicants. Information sessions are held for students interested to learn more about Public Service Grants and the process of applying for one. 

Mentor Match

GWupstart helps connect students with mentors who inspire, guide, and act as a sounding board for their social entrepreneurial efforts. Students with demonstrated commitment to their project or venture will be matched with a mentor, who will provide structured feedback to the student's progress to-date, and offer open-ended insights into next steps. GWupstart's staff provides students with strategies to widen their mentorship base and sustain valuable relationships over time.

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