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Innovate Cyber

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Coastal Virginia Center for Cyber Innovation (COVA CCI) wants to help you develop work skills while you resolve important issues faced by local business and industry.

At INNOVATE Cyber you will work within a team to identify a challenge or issue related to cybersecurity. Using the design thinking approach to problem-solving, you will be empowered to express your ideas, think creatively, and research within a high-impact team environment to identify solutions. Design thinking focuses on creating innovators--a human-centered method for creative action that leans heavily on empathy, observation, interviewing, and brainstorming.

You will participate in field work (observing or asking questions of your client), dig into key topics, test ideas, challenge assumptions, and lend a diverse perspective to the issue identified. Finally, you will present your work at a final showcase to your client at the end of the project timeline.

Join us: Virtual Student Showcase & Pitch Event

April 19, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm via Zoom

RSVP Today

INNOVATE Cyber is a high-impact, experiential learning opportunity where students use a design thinking mindset to learn and resolve cybersecurity challenges through a human centered perspective. Join the Pitch Event to hear from our INNOVATE Cyber teams about their innovative solutions to cybersecurity challenges facing our community.

Come hear their pitches, learn about their experiences, ask questions, and offer feedback!

Funding for Innovate Cyber was provided by Commonwealth Cyber Initiative Coastal Virginia, southeastern Virginia's node of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative.

  • INNOVATE Cyber will help students develop the skills that necessary to succeed and in the cybersecurity and IT fields. According to the Global Economic Forum and LinkedIn, the ASK's continuing to grow in prominence by 2022 include:

    analytical thinking ▪ innovation ▪ active learning ▪ learning strategies ▪ creativity ▪ originality ▪ initiative ▪ critical thinking ▪ persuasion ▪ negotiation ▪ resilience ▪ flexibility ▪ complex problem-solving ▪ social influence ▪ leadership ▪ emotional intelligence ▪ positiveness ▪ progressiveness

  • INNOVATE Cyber comes with an award package that includes a $1,000 project award for the fall 2021 semester, a showcase event, and an additional paid opportunity for selected teams to continue working on their prototypes into the spring 2022 semester.
  • INNOVATE Cyber is a competitive process limited to a select group of undergraduates, though no previous experience with design thinking is necessary. Eligible students must be in a program with coursework related to cybersecurity and currently taking classes at public two- or four-year institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


  • INNOVATE Cyber Launch Event: Fri, Jan 7th, 9am-2pm
  • All-group meetings weekly on Tuesdays (Jan 11th-April 12th) from 7-8:30pm
  • Weekly design team meetings scheduled based on group availability
  • INNOVATE Cyber Pitch & Showcase Event: Date TBD, 3-4:30pm
  • Readings & virtual work
  • INNOVATE Cyber final prototype and team website

*Note: All meetings and events will take place virtually via Zoom