Applications Now Open for 2024 Intelligence++ Innovation Showcase of Inclusive Design

April 3, 2024, 2 p.m.

student presenting product ideas

Applications are now open for the Intelligence++ Innovation Showcase, which takes place on Thursday, April 25, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the first-floor auditorium of the Nancy Cantor Warehouse, 350 West Fayette St., Syracuse, NY.

The event will highlight undergraduate and graduate student teams from across campus who have created concepts for products, services, and technologies that can assist intellectually disabled people and their families. A distinguished panel of experts will award a total of $2,500 for the best showcase ideas.

Students wishing to present should e-mail Donald Carr, Professor of Industrial and Interaction Design, College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and Program Coordinator, at before April 15 to secure a spot and to receive showcase instructions.

The event is sponsored by Intelligence++, a collaboration among InclusiveU, a program of the Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education at the School of Education, VPA School of Design, and Syracuse University Libraries. The event is open to students across campus, and all are welcome to attend the showcase.

Launched in 2020 through a generous donation by Gianfranco Zaccai ’70, H’09 and the Zaccai Foundation for Augmented Intelligence, Intelligence++ is an innovative, interdisciplinary initiative focused on inclusive entrepreneurship, design, and community. The initiative is available to both undergraduate and graduate students from all academic disciplines, including students with intellectual disability. A key element of the initiative is a two-semester course (DES 400/600) that encourages students to work in teams to imagine and create products, devices, digital platforms, and services for persons with disabilities, culminating in the spring showcase.

Intelligence++ centers around three main concepts:

DES 400/600 is taught by Professor Carr, with support from Beth Myers, Lawrence B. Taishoff Assistant Professor of Inclusive Education in the School of Education and Executive Director of the Taishoff Center. Linda Dickerson Hartsock, founder of Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse Libraries and an entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises adjunct faculty member in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management provides entrepreneurial support to teams.

In addition to the course and the annual showcase, students can seek funding to commercialize their ideas through Intelligence++ Ventures. Students from any school or college can apply for this funding, and they do not need to take DES 400/600 to apply. However, priority is given students working with research and commercialization programs such as the Blackstone LaunchPad, CASE, Couri Hatchery at the Whitman School of Management, Invent@SU, Innovation Law Center, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Intelligence++, NSF I-Corps program, The SOURCE, and Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems.

Intelligence++ Ventures funding supports specifically defined projects with clearly identified timeframes and outcomes that move a research project or venture toward proof of concept and commercialization. Funds assist tangible needs through four innovation phases: discovery, testing, building, and launching to market.

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