The Commons

Innovation Accelerator Program

What happens?

Motivated students from Northeast Ohio universities work in teams with the support of mentors on innovation projects with companies like Akron Children’s Hospital, Consolidus, FinMango, FirstEnergy, Goodyear, Moen, The J.M. Smucker Company, The Timken Company and more.  Participating companies provide guidance on innovation challenges and can participate on multiple levels to guide their team’s work.  In the end, students present their findings – offering a fresh perspective to how each company approaches its innovation challenges while forging new relationships with area talent. Help build a community of around innovation!


Why should universities participate in The Commons?

  1. Give students access to area mentors as well as companies that are interested in innovation;
  2. Provide students an opportunity to work on real company innovation challenges that complement classwork or introduce students to new fields;
  3. Allow schools to collaborate together to provide joint programming that might not otherwise be possible.
  4. Have an impact on the Northeast Ohio Innovation Community.

LEARN MORE about The Common Milwaukee:

What is The Commons Innovation Accelerator Program?

The Commons Program is a collaboration between area universities, innovative businesses and the region’s entrepreneurs and is designed to attract, develop, and retain the most talented and motivated minds by blending corporate innovation with mentoring professionals to give students a truly unique, real-world experience. And the program works with the most motivated undergraduate students of ANY major and ANY year in school.

In 2019 and 2020, three pilot programs engaged students, companies and mentors who wrestled with different innovation challenges: “How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) impact customer engagement?”, “How may the Internet of Things (IoT) impact how you serve your customers?” or even “Mapping Your Customer’s Experience and How to Create Peak Moments.”  The results … Great ideas, great engagement and great energy!

Akron Children's Team

FirstEnergy's Team

Moen's Team

Ken Evans, Sr. Design Technician, Moen

Scott Glasgow, CEO and Founder, FinMango