Innovate 4 Change

Innovate 4 Change LogoA hackathon led by nursing students

Innovate 4 Change is a nursing student-led hackathon that aims to bring together interdisciplinary groups of University of Michigan students over five weeks, when they can collaborate and expand their skills related to innovation and leadership. Hackathons are generally defined timeframes where teams come together to solve complex problems. Founded in the fall of 2019, the University of Michigan School of Nursing Student Innovation Ambassadors came together to identify key priorities to foster innovation specifically among nursing students. One of their recommendations was to host an Innovate 4 Change hackathon at the U-M School of Nursing led by nursing students and supported by School of Nursing faculty mentors. The goal is to foster innovation among nursing students by engaging an interdisciplinary group of students to focus on the following health care topics: 

  • Environmental sustainability
  • Health equity
  • Psychological and physical safety of nurses
  • Global health
  • Open topic


Group of students working together on laptops

Event details:

While the Innovate 4 Change hackathon is led by Nursing School students, the event is open to all U-M students. The student-only event will consist of three phases: kickoff, hacking and the pitch competition. Beginning August 16, 2021, all participants will have access to a Canvas educational site with short, prerecorded sessions on giving a pitch, design thinking, prototyping, intellectual property and funding/commercialization. During the five-week hacking phase, participants also have access to mentorship from faculty leaders with expertise in content development, design thinking and technology, as well as staff with experience scaling up innovation and entrepreneurship activities.

Innovate 4 Change schedule:






Sept. 156-8 p.m.             

426 N. Ingalls, Room 1240/1250

Two hour kickoff event with an introduction to hackathons, details about the event and team formation.


Sept. 16-Oct. 22


This is where the teams do the work! They will work together in whatever method works with them with high touch by the hackathon team, including:

  • A Canvas site with prerecorded short videos.
  • Weekly announcements via Canvas to help teams benchmark goals.
  • Weekly office hours with coaches.

The Pitch       

Oct. 24, 1-4 p.m.                                                          

426 N. Ingalls, Room 2250

Each team will pitch their innovation to a panel of experts. There are prizes for the top teams as well as mentorship from the HiiP team to move their innovation forward.

Why should I attend?

  • All participants will have the opportunity to practice leadership skills in nurse-led interdisciplinary teams to address health care’s most pressing and complex problems.
  • This is an excellent resume builder and gives participants the opportunity to think outside the box to create real-world solutions to clinical problems.
  • Winning teams will receive a monetary award and mentorship to move their innovative idea forward.
  • The “audience choice” winners will all receive a book about the innovation and design process.


Is there a cost to participate?
No. The Innovate 4 Change hackathon is free!

I am an alumni, faculty or staff member who wants to participate. What can I do?
We encourage all alumni, faculty and staff to reach out to our team. We are actively looking for coaches, judges and support for this event and would love to have your help.

What do I do after our register?
Our team will be reaching out to all registrants in late August to confirm your registration and provide you with access to the Canvas event site.


Michelle Munro-Kramer, Innovate 4 Change Faculty Lead

Ann Fitzsimons, HiiP Portfolio Manager & Engagement Specialist