Landscape For Innovation

Segment #8 from The University of Vermont


Let’s head over to meet Mason, a sophomore from Wellesley, Massachusetts. Like many UVM students, Mason has multiple interests, engineering, sustainability, and agriculture. He’s pursuing them all as part of a long term business startup plan. He’s also involved in some real world innovation and entrepreneurship, but still finds time to enjoy Vermont. Tell us your story, Mason.


– Thanks for the intro, Alex. Honestly, the University of Vermont was not at the top of my list when I first began looking at schools. But I ultimately realized that it embodied who I am and who I hope to become. UVM just fits me in so many ways. I’ve always been excited about building things and solving problems that actually impact the world. By majoring in engineering and minoring in sustainable innovation and plant biology I hope to bring skills and knowledge leading to my own clean tech or agro-tech business. The most valuable experience I’ve had is with the academic research commercialization or ARC program. We pair entrepreneurial students with researchers seeking to bring their innovative technologies to market. Last year I was a sustainability lead for our thin film solar team, commercializing a flexible solar panel. This year I’m thrilled to be the entrepreneurial lead, a paid part-time internship position, for a venture that’s pioneering the cultured meat industry. There are so many people to meet, communities to join and things to do here. In my first semester I joined the club rugby team, a fraternity, a band an even mountain biked for the first time. It’s the Trek program where I really found my people. Trek is an opportunity for first year students to connect through outdoor adventure or community service. Being a Wilderness Trek leader is such a unique experience. I just returned from co-guiding eight students through Vermont’s mountain bike trails for five nights, serving as a guide and mentor, navigating adjustments to college life. What I value most here and what I believe really sets UVM apart is how real it is. The opportunities are real, the outdoorsiness is real, but perhaps most importantly, the people are real. That’s my story. I’ll pass the torch back to you Alex.


– Your appreciation for this university and Vermont is contagious Mason. And the experiences you’re having here are already establishing you as an innovator and entrepreneur. You have so much to look forward to and we can’t wait to see where it takes you. Thanks for sharing this story, Mason.

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