University of Denver
As a company that started on a college campus, we are passionate about innovating in the education space. We have done technology consulting for the University of Denver, building custom websites and software solutions for various departments, helped design new experiential learning programs, held student government positions, and even designed and implemented a new class.
After running Denver’s #1 food instagram for over a year, we designed and launched a new social media marketing class to have students run the account through a course, learning how to conduct affiliate marketing, organize PR events, and drive conversions for businesses in the hospitality industry.
Most of our focus on our education work, however, has focused on fostering experiential learning, and Project X-ITE has been a fantastic partner in that work.
Project X-ITE is a cross departmental initiative at DU aimed at fostering innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. We got involved with project X-ITE initially in an advisory role, helping them design their operations to help engage students and grow entrepreneurial action on campus.
Cultivo helped Project X-ITE in updating their website and deploying an interactive map of resources around campus. We have also done consulting for Project X-ITE, helping design the university’s summer startup accelerator program, acting as peer mentors for other student founders as they try to get their businesses started up.
The work alongside project X-ITE evolved from an advisory capacity when efforts to create a more connected campus began. Offering digital resources for students looking to become involved on campus was a central goal for Project X-ITE to advance their cause.
Cultivo Media has designed and built three digital resources for the university to connect students and foster entrepreneurship. Resular, a platform built in response to an issue career services was having with connecting students to freelance work, has been up and running for almost two years and is getting ready to scale to additional schools.
Our first university wide project started with a question: how can we enable students to better connect with DU’s community and alumni network to bring students access to mentorship? With a massive network spanning across a variety of industries and areas of expertise, as well as a variety of purposes students may want mentorship, we set out to design a solution.
We spent a few weeks analyzing types of mentor relationships students may look for, the areas of expertise among mentors, and the availability of mentors to spend time with students. We decided a simple card system for displaying mentors would be a great format if searching and filtering was intuitive.
Next, mentors were categorized into a number of categories to make filtering easy and a form was built out and integrated using the Typeform API for students to request a meeting with a mentor.
Before we knew it, Project X-ITE had a digital platform for students to connect with community mentors.
The second digital solution we built for DU was a result of a problem with the actual campus layout. There are a few areas on campus dedicated to entrepreneurship, and students of certain disciplines tend to stay near their respective schools. This leads to many students not being aware of hubs on campus for technology and entrepreneurship. Incubator spaces, co-working areas, faculty resources and more are spread out and often tucked away.
The solution was simple; to build out an interactive map of campus plotting and detailing resources for innovative students. We used React Native and Mapbox to easily build a search and filter system on top of a map allowing students to get a birds eye view of the innovation centers on and around campus. Utilizing existing APIs and building the solution as simple as possible allowed us to stay well within the client’s budget and deliver an outstanding product to the students at DU.
Cultivo’s human centered design process allows us to build simple web based software solutions to complex problems. Smart, cost-effective, simple, quickly deployable solutions are where we shine. As we continue to be passionate about helping higher education flourish and produce confident professionals who are ready to change the world, we would love to see how we can help with any education related projects your organization is working on.