January 04, 2012

How we created a startup culture at ASU's Cronkite School

Posted: January 04, 2012
The students who Retha Hill mentors are "buzzing" with business ideas. Hill, a journalism professor, credits ASU's encouragement of innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration.

ASU's Retha Hill, director of the New Media Innovation Lab and journalism professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, recalls a recent conversation with a friend at a small southern university. She was "bemoaning the lack of innovative spirit among her students."

By contrast, Hill writes that her office was "buzzing with students" who were immersed in the planning, producing and troubleshooting stages of startup projects: a Microsoft Word plug-in, an iPad app.

"As I was looking into the earnest faces of the students who paraded in and out of my office that day, with their Power Point presentations and legal yellow pads filled with sketches for their big ideas, I thought about what made the difference between my friend's institution of higher education and my own," Hill writes. She credits ASU's university-wide encouragement of innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration.  

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