About the iCenter


Inspiring Innovation Across Marshall University's Campus


To inspire learning and creativity that ignites the mind, nurtures the spirit, and fulfills the promise of a better future

Founded in 2018

Trained more than 2700 students, faculty, staff and community members in Design Thinking

Facilitated 43 Design Thinking Workshops in 2023

Our History

The Beginning

Born out of the Intuit Design for Delight Innovating for Impact Challenge, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iCenter) was founded in 2018 to promote innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the state of West Virginia and the Appalachian Region.

Teams from Marshall learn D4D

In March 2017, teams from seven of Marshall's colleges were taught Design for Delight (D4D), Intuit's customer-driven innovation approach, by the company's top Innovation Catalysts. Teams were challenged with applying these innovation techniques to three specific challenges facing West Virginia: education for youth, substance use disorder, and technology.

Presenting Ideas

In April, the seven teams went on to present their ideas to a panel of celebrity coaches in the style of the popular reality TV show "Shark Tank." The celebrity coaches were Marshall alumnus Brad D. Smith, former Intuit CEO and current President of Marshall University, Marshall and NFL football legend Chad Pennington, and actress, producer, and philanthropist Jennifer Garner.

Design Thinking had arrived at Marshall

The result of the Innovating for Impact Challenge was clear - design thinking had arrived at Marshall University. As the organizing team from Intuit and the Brad D. Smith Schools of Business reflected upon the 2017 competition, a key insight was made: the true purpose of the competition wasn’t to hold an annual competition, but instead, to be the spark that spread design thinking and the secrets of Silicon Valley throughout all of West Virginia and Appalachia. With that mission of reframing the economic future of the state and region in mind, the iCenter was created.