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Vertex Innovation Program

Students looking to experience corporate entrepreneurship have an excellent opportunity to apply for an independent corporate entrepreneurship co-op with the Vertex Innovation Labs. Vertex will develop a question set for the program application which is hosted in the Close School’s StartupTree platform. You must submit a plan that solves business problems mentioned in the application question set by early December. If your plan is approved, you will then work with the Vertex Innovation Labs during a 6 month co-op to enact your plan.

Students applying can be on either co-op cycle. Ideally, this will be their final co-op, as there is a chance of employment at the end of this program.

PHASE 1

The program is split into 4 phases. The first phase is the application process where student teams will review the question set provided by Vertex and submit their applications.

PHASE 2

Those who are selected to continue to phase 2 will become integrated in the Vertex Innovation Labs ecosystem. During this next three month period, students will work with experts in the Innovation Labs as well as receive mentoring from Charles D. Close School entrepreneurship mentors. In addition to receiving hands on experiential learning from industry leading experts, students will also earn a professional non-credit certificate. This course will cover modern business model development within corporations, the future of technologies as it relates to the Vertex business, and on the markets and competition in which Vertex is embedded.

PHASE 3

The next phase of the program provides time and space for the Vertex and Drexel student team to develop their ideas from Phase I and II, working as an Independent Project Team (I.P.T.) within Vertex. This officially starts the semi-autonomous independent corporate entrepreneurship co-op. Student teams will work out of the Vertex Innovation Labs in King of Prussia for 6 months. Students will be paid at the standard co-op rate and act as the managers of their I.P.T.’s. By the end of this phase, teams should have their idea developed into a full-fledged business initiative with prototype, business model and feasibility assessment.

PHASE 4

The final phase of this program is to prepare the team to present their work and findings to an Incubation Board, consisting of select members of Vertex Inc’s senior management. The Incubation Board will review the efforts to-date, identify the business model opportunity, review the technical requirements, and discuss the proposed sales channel strategy.

Following the final presentation, the Incubation Board will select certain projects to fund and move forward including an opportunity for associated students to apply for employment at Vertex.

To learn more about the application process and how to apply, please contact Damian Salas.

Timeline

Associates at Vertex will be at Startup Fest to meet students and applicants. This is a great time to introduce yourself and learn more about Vertex. In addition to Startup Fest, there are two information sessions with Vertex associates that take place in the Baiada Institute. These are excellent opportunities to review your application with associates from Vertex.

  • Nov 14 - Vertex at Startup Fest
  • Nov 19 - Information Session with Vertex
  • Nov 21 - Information Session with Vertex
  • Nov 25 - Application Deadline

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my co-op cycle matter? Or is this program year long?
This program is not specific to fall-winter or spring-summer co-op cycles. Any student on a fall-winter or spring-summer co-op cycle can apply for this program.

Is this the same as the Vertex Co-op listed on SCDC’s job listings?
No - this is an independent co-op and can only be assigned through your co-op advisor. Due to the selection process and placement within Vertex, this is not considered an average co-op.

Will my academic standing be taken into account?
As long as you are on good terms with the university, a low GPA does not hinder your chances of being accepted. If you are on academic probation, or at risk of being academically dismissed you will not be able to apply.

Are there opportunities to talk with Vertex?
Yes, there are three opportunities to speak with an associate at Vertex. During Startup Fest, Vertex will have a table and will be speaking about this independent corporate entrepreneurship co-op opportunity. They will also host office hours in the Baiada Institute during 2 information sessions, Nov 19 and Nov 21.

How many teams are usually accepted?
Vertex will usually select 3-4 students or teams per selection.

I have no idea where to start, but really want to apply. Help!
Don’t worry, we understand this is an intensive process. To help you get started, we recommend visiting the on-campus Vertex office hours. Visit StartupTree for more information on upcoming office hours.
Another great place to start is to speak with your co-op advisor, or ask Damian Salas your questions about this program. SCDC and the Close School are committed to seeing you succeed in this endeavor - so don’t hesitate to reach out!

This is a lot to digest - can you give me an elevator pitch for this?
This is the ultimate entrepreneurship experience in leading a startup, with an ultimate path that can lead to a career as a corporate entrepreneur.