Ideas #StartAtGW

A Brllnt Case Study: George Washington University Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

The GW New Venture Competition is the largest of its kind in the Mid -Atlantic region, giving university teams real-world experience launching businesses.

OBJECTIVE || Increase diversity of applications, awareness of, and attendance to annual GW New Venture Competition

Role: Marketing Strategy | Art & Creative Strategy | Graphic Design
Deliverable: 9 Month Campaign
Date: September 2016 to April 2017

Brllnt created a community engagement campaign that increased attendance and diversified applications by repositioning how “entrepreneurship” is perceived by students across schools and lowering the barrier to entry for non-business school students.

2017 Results
Attendance Increase Y/Y
3.9M Organic Impressions vs. 52K in 2016
4.1K Total Engagement vs. 318 in 2016
12K Live Stream Views vs. 54 in 2016

Inspiring Students To Start Somewhere

Campaign Strategy

To reach beyond the business school, we needed to reposition how entrepreneurship was perceived by students of art, communications, or medicine.

Starting a business is intimidating, especially for people studying a specific craft or subject other than business. Through the Start Somewhere campaign, we highlighted ideas rather than “business” and paired it with language about how every good idea “starts somewhere.” Through email, social media, ambassador toolkits, and on-campus touch points, we inspired students to think big and start small: with an idea.

Creative Direction

We illustrated the narrative that all ideas begin in rough form and make it approachable.

Using a hand-drawn approach, we emulated the feel of scratching an idea down on a napkin. The simplicity and organic nature of the creative evolved with the competition over time as participants developed their ideas into clearer and more defined viable concepts.

The Competition Speaks For Itself

Content Production

Through tactical insights, videos, and stories from past participants, we illustrated the value of the competition and established the GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship as a resource for budding entrepreneurs.

Social Media Strategy

To build awareness and momentum leading up to the finals, we provided participating teams, sponsors, and judges with language and graphics to share with their networks, prompting them to see what big idea will #StartAtGW next.