About Us

The Innovation Factory in the University Center

The Innovation Factory is an immersive collaboration between existing programs and services on campus, composed administratively around entrepreneurship and design. IF executive partners include the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, the Office of the Provost, and the President’s Office. The administrative and programming team includes leaders from Blackstone LaunchPad (BLP) and faculty from the School of Visual and Media Arts. Campus collaborators include the Broader Impacts Group (BIG), SpectrUM, UM researchers, The University Center, The Mansfield Center, Office of Admissions, and several UM academic programs.

The Innovation Factory is a creative space that provides connections, design and building spaces, and resources for students and members of the public to engage with innovative projects.  It makes possible deep research through vertically integrated project teams and IFtern student cohorts assigned grant-based projects. 

At IF, the intersection of design, prototyping, and entrepreneurship can be particularly innovative soil to cultivate on campus with deep liberal arts skillsets, and in a community with deeply creative and resourceful characteristics.

Entrepreneurship is fore-fronted through BLP programming, several student entrepreneurship teams, and Innovation Certificate capstone teams that bridge entrepreneurship, design, and prototyping. Blackstone Launchpad and the Epic Humans program center around co-curricular, experiential, campus-based programming designed to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career path through individualized coaching, ideation, and venture creation support. Targeted outcomes could include private businesses launching to market, non-profit teams forming to tackle important local issues, or artists and design teams building better monetization strategies as part of Montana’s growing creative economy.

We believe IF can be a safe space to model and test new programming, curriculum, and delivery methods, as well as being a portal to campus for private and City partnerships.

Check out the slideshow of 15 items below:

  • Slide Title: Innovation Factory @ the University Center Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: Main Office Area Midyear Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: Senator Tester talks with Professor Brad Allen about the Worklab lasercutter Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: GrizNight Recruitment Event hosted at IF Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: Design Zone for Collaboration and Community Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: October 2018 Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: InnovateHS collaborative session Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: Governor Bullock Tours IF, February 2019 Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: Entrance Desk added in the Summer Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: Senator Jon Tester’s visit to IF, February 2019 Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: Engaging Visitors, UC 50th Birthday, Feb. 2019 Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: IFtern lab coat Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: Design Zone for Collaboration and Community Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: IF encourage collaboration and co-working Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: Entrance shadow Slide Caption:

Check out the slideshow of 7 items below:

  • Slide Title: IF began as a concept, Fall 2018 Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: IF is repurposing the 2nd floor of the UC Bookstore Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: IF is repurposing the 2nd floor of the UC Bookstore Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: Transforming the Worklab Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: IF involves students as design partners & interns Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: Planning vinyl design icons for tabletops Slide Caption:
  • Slide Title: Buildout early image Slide Caption: