The Edge of Innovation: A Denison Edge Summer Program

man looking at a board

Learn how to solve unique challenges through a human-centered approach in this 6-week, fully immersive and hands-on program in Columbus, OH.

The Edge of Innovation isn’t your average business foundations program.

This immersive summer program is about Human-Centered Innovation powered by critical business and industry skills in Project Management, Finance, Marketing, Sales, Analytics, and more.

Both For-Profit and Non-Profit organizations attempt to innovate every day, but innovation is more than just throwing post-its on a board and brainstorming to see what sticks. It’s about creating a structured, collaborative process across inclusive multidisciplinary teams AND maintaining sustainable and fiscal responsibility

Why an Immersive Summer Program at Denison Edge?

Rishad Tobaccowala identifies the six Cs of modern success as: Cognition, Creativity, Curiosity, Collaborate, Communicate, Convince. Also noted as important to overall student success by Denison University’s president, Adam Weinberg, these six Cs are fully covered in this program.

Use part of your summer to increase your six Cs and overall skills capacity by challenging yourself in 6 weeks of learning, skills development, collaboration and innovation:

  • 20+ hours of focused content and skills learning with top-tier instructors who are experts in their fields
  • 100+ hours of client-facing project work with a nationally recognized personal care, beauty, and logistics company
  • 70+ hours of developing your own new product or service

Join a summer program that holistically leverages innovation, design thinking, finance, accounting, marketing, sales, analytics, logistics…to solve human-centered challenges through hands-on experiences with a real client.

The 6-Week Experience

In-Person in Columbus, OH: 6 weeks, 36 hours per week (Note: we will not be in session on Monday, July 4)

  • Week 1
    • Learn the critical tools and concepts of Design Thinking and how they can be applied to solve human-centered problems across any industry
    • Engage with concepts like Finance, Marketing, Sales, Analytics, Logistics, etc. and understand how they play a critical role in human-centered problem solving
  • Weeks 2, 3, 4, & 5
    • Work with a nationally recognized Columbus-based company to tackle a current problem they’re facing
    • Understand how to apply Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Sales, and Analytics as part of the innovative process and influence the possible solutions you come up with
    • Immerse yourself in Market Research, Design Thinking, Project Management, Stage Gating, and Development Operations
    • Get real client-facing experience and develop human-centered solutions your client can use
    • Present your final solution to the client and receive real-time feedback on your innovative ideas
  • Week 6
    • Take the feedback from the presentation in Week 5 before and make adjustments to your innovative solution, whether you need to rethink, redo, or expand on your idea
    • Create a personal portfolio outlining your work and what you learned to share with future employers

What are the Outcomes?

  • Internship experience that translates into future career opportunities
  • Networking with industry experts and other aspiring students
  • A complete Innovation Lifecycle toolkit with templates such as Customer Journeys, Business Plans, Financial Statements, and more
  • The opportunity to present to clients and thought leaders
  • Human-centered approaches to problem solving that can be applied to any industry
  • Professional portfolio of your 6-week journey to share with future employers


Cost: $6000 (includes daily breakfast and lunch and any program-related evening events; lodging* is NOT included)

Non-refundable deposit: $250 due within 30 days of acceptance (applied toward total cost)

Financial Assistance

Needs-based scholarship funds are available. Application instructions will be provided in your acceptance letter.


*Lodging is not included in the cost of the program.

Program Leader

Michael Compton is a Product Developer at Denison Edge. Mike has over 25 years of product development and innovation experience in both corporations and academia. Mike teaches several other key courses for Denison Edge.

Program Contact

Molly Colantonio
Denison Edge Program Manager