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Partnering on a Business Innovation Lab

Work with future leaders in business and design innovation.

Partnering on a Business Innovation Lab

Business Innovation Lab (formerly known as Integration Project) is the capstone educational experience of the MMM Program and a unique opportunity for companies to innovate in collaboration with our students and Northwestern faculty. Students will work in teams of four to six under the guidance of a faculty lead to apply best-in-class methodologies as they tackle your business problem. Typically, the final deliverables are presented to senior-level executives within the industry partner organization. The result is an outstanding educational experience for the students and high-caliber, economical problem-solving support for your company.

Innovation-driven companies collaborate with MMM students each year on Business Innovation Labs through discovering, designing, and delivering valuable business solutions in a real world context. The benefits to collaborating are clear:

  • Firms get economical consulting from top engineering and management students and faculty.
  • Students get to work on a problem of real importance and apply their growing expertise in design and management.
  • Both Northwestern and firms such as yours develop long-term partnerships that create opportunities for future talent recruitment and faculty enrichment.

Let's work together.

Download the Business Innovation Lab brochure and proposal form to learn more about partnering with us on a project.

Download the Brochure

What we need from you

You provide a challenging project and resources. Our students do the rest. Let's get started!

What you'll need to know


Business Innovation Lab typically takes place over a 10-week period in fall quarter (from September to December) or winter quarter (January to March). Project proposals should be submitted no later than August 1 for fall quarter projects and no later than October 1 for winter quarter projects. At the beginning of the project, a kickoff meeting will be held with the industry partner organization, student team, and faculty lead. The kickoff meeting is typically held on site at the company, but may also be held on campus or via web conference.

Project champions will then participate in regularly scheduled check-ins (typically web conference or call) throughout the 10-week period. Final presentations will take place in the final week of the project and should involve a senior audience from the company. Final presentations may be held at the company site, on campus, or via web conference.


Financial Support

Your partnership will support faculty and administrative costs as well as project expenses, which typically include research, travel, and supplies. Please contact Susan Goren, Associate Director for the MMM Program, to discuss further details. 


It is important for educational purposes that our students may exchange some information about their Business Innovation Lab experiences. We don't require that the entire project content be shared. In fact, many Business Innovation Lab partners request a non-disclosure agreement between the student team and company, but a key deliverable for the students will be an executive summary of the project that is acceptable for sharing in a learning environment.

If you would like to share and promote your participation externally, you are welcome to do so. We are always happy to promote projects and partnerships at a level that works best for the partner organization.


Please direct questions or interest in additional information about Business Innovation Lab to:

Susan Goren
Associate Director, MMM Program

Professor Greg Holderfield
Co-Director, MMM Program

What companies say about our collaborations

I've been a project champion on six projects at two different Global Fortune 500 companies, and I am always impressed with the quality, professionalism, and creativity of the students and the strategic selection of my project faculty advisors. As long as I have been diligent in preparing good projects for the students, they have exceeded my expectations.”

Chad Kartchner, Honeywell Aerospace
Chad Kartchner

Our Experiential Learning Partners

Many MSDI courses integrate real business challenges into the learning journey – creating a dynamic and immersive learning experience, utilizing a human-center approach and a design thinking methodology.

  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Zillow
  • Abbott
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Walgreens
  • McDonald’s
  • Intuit
  • Foxtrot
  • IBM
  • Adobe
  • Nissan
  • Marriott
  • Hilton
  • Southwest
  • United
  • Honda
  • Ford
  • Harley-Davidson
  • Back of America
  • AB INbev
  • Nestle
  • Mastercard
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Under Armour

Want us to work on your project?

Let's get started!

Submit a project proposal
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