Frequently Asked Questions

What is it?

Da Vinci Works is an eclectic community of students, staff, faculty, and individuals in Richmond, VA that convenes each summer to translate great ideas into sustainable businesses.


When is it?

The summer at da Vinci Works begins Monday May 12 and ends Monday June 30 this year.


When did it begin?

Da Vinci began in the summer of 2013 with a pilot group of twelve VCU students and recent graduates.


Where is it located?

It is a community, not a location.  Da Vinci Works occupies space at the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce sometimes.  It uses space at the Virginia Science Museum sometimes.


Who manages it?

As a collaborative, self-motivated community, da Vinci Works operates successfully without much management.  Russ Jamison, a VCU engineering professor, facilitates the program.  He is assisted by mentors, coaches, and innovation evangelists from RVA and elsewhere.


Is it connected to the VCU da Vinci Center?

Yes.   Da Vinci Works was inspired by the VCU da Vinci Center and is one of its summer program.


What goes on at da Vinci Works?

Participants work in teams of four to design products, validate markets, build models and prototypes, and develop business models.  Sometimes they present those models to investors.


What does it cost to participate?



Will I be paid?

Students who successfully complete the program are provided a scholarship of $500.  Others are not paid.


Where do participants come from?

Anywhere.  Everywhere.


Are specific academic disciplines important or required?

No.  A core principle of da Vinci Works is the power of broad, interdisciplinary engagement.


What qualifications are required to participate?

Curiosity.  Passion.  Commitment.  Character.  Self-awareness.


How do I apply?

Participants apply online.  Sixteen are selected to participate.


Does da Vinci Works provide academic credit?



Is da Vinci Works an internship?

Maybe.   It depends on the policy of your department.  They make the decision.


What is a typical day at da Vinci Works like?

The day begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m. The morning is committed to project work.  Teams eat lunch together around noon and engage in a directed conversation or exercise until around 1:00.  The afternoon is committed to project work.  The formal workday ends at 4:00.


Is it every day?

Monday through Thursday.  Friday is a day off.


What is my commitment?

100% engagement all day, every day.  Total commitment to your team and to the da Vinci Works community.


What if I am taking a summer class or have a job?

Some things can be accommodated.  Other cannot.  Disclose your particular circumstances in the application.  They will be considered.