Have you ever had a great idea and thought you could turn it into a business? Felt lost about how you should develop it?

The New Venture Design Experience (NVDE) is a project under the Pathways to Innovation umbrella. It seeks to develop a culture of innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship within our campus.

NVDE is a one-year, 2 semester long effort, in which students work on developing products, services or processes that provide benefits for society and have the potential for commercialization in interdisciplinary teams. Each team is assigned a specific amount of funds to develop prototypes and will receive mentoring from professors and real-life entrepreneurs!

Who can participate?
Students from any department can participate of the NVDE given that it seeks to create an interdisciplinary experience for students.
What courses will I take as part of the NVDE?

The NVDE begins each August semester with the Design Thinking (INME 5010) or Consumer Behavior (MERC 4217) courses.


Design Thinking: Design Thinking is one of the design methods used by major companies such as Google, Apple and IDEO. It focuses on “user-centered design approach” to discover consumer needs in order to develop products, services, and/or processes that they might need.


Consumer Behavior: Consumer Behavior is a course that teaches students about the different factors that influence consumer behavior and the decision process. If you have already taken Principles of Marketing (MERC 3115), you are eligible to register the course.


The second part of the NVDE continues with the courses on Product Development (INME 4065), Capstone (INME 4057), and/or Technology-Based Entrepreneurship (ADMI 3125). Students will be able to register in one of these courses and develop the prototypes of their products along with the business model to be pursued.


What perks come from being a part of the NVDE versus working on my business alone?
All NVDE students will be able to use the university’s first markerspace, Starting Point, located at the student center.  Student teams will also be assigned outside mentors, and have assistance from other professors within our entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the entire process. Students will also have help from the UPR-Rio Piedras Campus Law School in terms of branding, Intellectual Property, and setting up their business models. In addition, the courses that students take as part of the NVDE implement “Get out of the building” techniques, where professors seek to teach students by moving away from the traditional lecture format.

Finally, you will also get to participate in the Weekend Design Challenge, a two-day long Design Thinking Challenge (perk: we provide free food!).

What will I do in the NVDE?
You will develop and create products with the potential for commercialization that will help solve society’s problems.
What skills will I learn from this experience?
  • Observation
  • Interviewing skills
  • Qualitative data analysis
  • Brainstorming
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Prototype development
  • Working with interdisciplinary groups
  • Intellectual Property
  • Crowdfunding
  • And more!
What are the dates and times in which the courses meet?
All NVDE courses always meet on Mondays and Wednesday from 4:30pm to 5:45pm.

If you are interested in forming part of the New Venture Design Experience, please follow these steps:

1. Email Dr. Jose E. Lugo (jose.lugo2@upr.edu) and Dr. Mari Luz Zapata Ramos (maril.zapata@upr.edu) or newventure@uprm.edu. Let them know that you are interested in participating of the NVDE and ask any questions you might have.

 2. Complete the following survey: https://goo.gl/PYQcQo



Infosession Document

Below you will be able to find the document used in the NVDE Infosession. It contains additional details on team formations and the process to participate in the NVDE.
For more information click here.