The Werth Innovators Program

is for UConn undergrads in any major who are interested in entrepreneurship and creating something they are passionate about. These students may not know what they want to create or how to do it, but are looking for help in making it happen.

werth innovators posing for a photo
Nvidia company visit during the student trip to Silicon Valley of spring break 2019.Nvidia company visit during the student trip to Silicon Valley of spring break 2019.Madison-Reed company visit during the student trip to Silicon Valley of spring break 2019. Students met and learned from CEO/Founder & UConn alum Amy Errett '79.UConn alumni networking dinner reception at Menlo Country Club during the student trip to Silicon Valley of spring break 2019.

We have over 100 Werth Innovators, see who they are!

2023 Werth Innovators
Werth Innovator Archive

How to Apply?

Applications are now open for the 2024 Werth Innovators cohort! Click the link below to apply and for additional information. Applications close April 7th, 2024 at midnight ET.


When do students apply?

  • Rising sophomores located in Storrs and Stamford apply in April. Selection is made in May and the program starts in September of their sophomore year.
    • Rising juniors with a Werth Institute staff nomination can also apply in April.
  • First-year women located in Storrs apply in September. Selection is made in October and the program begins in November of their first year.

Who Should Apply?

Students across all majors interested in building and growing their skills, confidence and leadership experiences while exploring the world of entrepreneurship and growing their network should consider applying. The value a student gains as a Werth Innovator is defined by the student. Each student has unique goals, ideas or projects to pursue and The Werth Institute provides personalized support in the forms of goal setting, skill-building guidance, networking opportunities, mentorship, leadership and ambassadorship opportunities. Students are selected based upon their innovative projects, entrepreneurial mindsets, and their passion in an area they are driven to problem solve in.

Why Should I Apply?

Being a Werth Innovator means you will have access to unique life-transformative opportunities and be a proud member of one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurial leadership development programs. Benefit highlights include:

  • Weekly support, guidance and resources to explore the problem they want to solve or idea they want to advance. Includes 1:1 and group Werth Innovator meetings.
  • A one-time $3k scholarship for rising sophomores and selected rising juniors.
  • 1st year women receive an additional $4k paid summer internship to develop their idea.
  • Participation in unique events, travel and experiential learning associated with entrepreneurship.
  • Development of an entrepreneurial mindset and skills including leadership, project management, problem solving, and communication skills.
  • Networking practice and growth through alumni visits and guest speaker events.
  • Career exploration.
  • Increased self-confidence, emotional intelligence and a sense of belonging.
  • Lasting friendships through a tight-knit community of like-minded individuals.
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Gain access to unique opportunities, startup company trip and visits and events reserved for Werth Innovators. Set personal career and passion project goals and craft your plan to gain skills and experiences toward achieving your goals.

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Receive scholarship* money and participate in unique networking connections. Join the greater community of existing interdisciplinary Werth Innovator UConn students and alum, meet like-minded people to collaborate, ideate, and connect with, and grow your network through the friends of The Werth Institute and experienced alum.

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Gained through mentorship and leadership development opportunities.

What are the responsibilities of Werth Innovators?

  • 1-2 volunteer hours per month in entrepreneurship related programs and activities.
  • UConn Gives champion.
  • Peer support and mentorship to other Werth Innovators.
  • FYE class guest speaker.
  • Posts on LinkedIn to promote Werth Innovator programs and events.
  • Involvement with the Werth Institute post graduation including an opportunity to be a mentor for the NetWerx program.
*Students selected in the spring (Track 2 for rising sophomores and juniors) receive a $3k scholarship in January of their next academic year. Students selected in the fall (Track 1 for first-year students) receive a $4k paid summer internship before their sophomore year and a $3k scholarship in January of their sophomore year. Students must be enrolled full-time and be in good-standing during the full academic year in order to receive their scholarship funds.


Scholarships disbursed to Werth Innovators since 2018


Women in Werth Innovators


Students traditionally underrepresented in entrepreneurship

Once a Werth Innovator, always a Werth Innovator


current Werth Innovators in 2023-2024


total Werth Innovators since the program began in 2018


different academic majors represented, spanning 7 different schools and colleges


of Werth Innovators are working for an entrepreneurial-related company or are building their own venture

Werth Innovators in the News

Aria Penna '25 (BUS) has found a passion in entrepreneurship and innovation through her work for the Werth Institute. (Contributed photo)

Month of Discovery Student Researcher: Aria Penna, BUS ‘25

'Aria Penna's transformative journey at UConn, from a law school hopeful to a budding entrepreneur and finance enthusiast. This story is part of the Month of Discovery series'. Read on UConn Today!

werth tower

Finance, Forests, and Forbes – A Summer of Experience for Werth Innovators

'Three students describe how UConn’s Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation has helped them make the most of their summers.'Read on UConn Today!

Werth Innovator Using Venture Capital to Support Social Justice This Summer

'Astou Diallo combines a flair for business with a passionate interest in social justice.'Read on UConn Today!