Innovation Studio

The Oberlin Innovation Studio, led by a board of advisors, fosters entrepreneurial life skills beyond traditional academic settings and works with students enrolled in the Pathfinder program.

A student presenter at the podium. The screen shows a logo, Twine.
Twine, a venture developed by a team of 3 third-year students, won $15,000 in funding after taking first place in a competition.
Photo credit: Jack Lichtenstein '23

Innovation and Obies

If you’ve ever been in a roomful of Obies, you know that the mix of creativity, intelligence, drive, and passion puts a charge into the air. Innovation comes naturally to Oberlin students, and our entrepreneurship programs are designed to focus that Obie energy and channel it to solve real challenges in the world.

Oberlin has a long history of working with entrepreneurial students to hone their ideas, find grants and competitions, and make their best pitch to take their ideas to the next level. Today the Innovation Studio brings these activities together, helping students to integrate these interests into their academic life.

Develop Your Idea

The Pathfinder program provides a structure, including rigorous feedback and learning opportunities, for students to develop a viable business idea. New in 2024, the program is open to all Oberlin College and Conservatory students.

Pathfinder is an experiential program. It provides resources – human, financial, and intellectual – along with connections to alumni, community, government, and business and nonprofit leaders.

Learn more about the Pathfinder program

Learn and Make Connections

Our "Ready for the World" series brings collaborative workshops, presentations, and guest speakers to campus throughout the year. These events are designed to help all Oberlin students – not just those enrolled in entrepreneurship programs – to expand and deepen their awareness and experience through the entrepreneurial lens. The series provides more opportunities for students to connect with Oberlin alumni who have made their mark as entrepreneurs.

A trumpeter plays in front of his laptop, while another is on screen listening.
The Obies behind Virtu.Academy returned to campus to share their story. Photo credit: Yevhen Gulenko

Find Funding

Oberlin students received over $13,000 in grant funds this past academic year through our longstanding partnership with the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. The foundation’s microgrant competition allows students to begin or continue a for-profit venture with grant funds available several times throughout the year. A legacy of founder and entrepreneur Burton D. Morgan, the foundation leverages its grant and staff resources to connect the people, ideas, organizations, and opportunities that comprise the vibrant and growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Ohio.