The annual IDEA Conference (IDEA CON) is a one-day event for college students and recent graduates to explore innovation and entrepreneurship.

Whether it’s through technology, social impact, or arts and culture, IDEA CON aims to ignite attendees’ passion and purpose to create meaningful impact in their careers and communities.

From start to finish, attendees will be inspired by world-class innovators, engage with strategies and useful tools for developing new ideas, and connect with resources and people from Boston University and beyond.

IDEA CON launched in 2018…

The IDEA Conference was launched by Boston University’s Innovate@BU initiative in April 2018. The in-person event held on Boston University’s (BU) Charles River Campus has welcomed over 400 attendees annually, including students and recent alumni from BU, University of New Hampshire, Emerson College, Tufts University, and many more.

In 2021, IDEA Conference was held virtually and welcomed over 500 attendees from more than 20 colleges and universities. Check out videos from previous years to learn more about the mission of the event.

This event is generously sponsored by Lou Volpe (Questrom’78) Managing Partner, Kodiak Venture Partners.

What to expect at IDEA Conference




Keynote Speaker


  • Find inspiration through the stories of young innovators, entrepreneurs, and community changemakers.

  • Prepare to make change in any career by learning innovation skills and developing an entrepreneurial mindset.

  • Uncover what you’re most passionate about and learn how to use that to create impact in your career and communities.

  • Learn how to understand problems deeply in order to launch new solutions.

  • Learn how different roles and talents contribute to the innovation process in all industries and career paths.

  • Attend engaging workshops–some sessions will focus on hard skills like pitching, fundraising, and marketing–others will focus inward and help you dig deep into the ideas and topics that inspire you most.

  • Meet people from around the world; learn from each other and forge new connections and collaborations.


Who attends IDEA Conference? Students and recent graduates who…

  • want to learn innovation skills and how they can use them throughout their life and career.

  • are driven to create positive change and meaningful impact in their community.

  • want to start from scratch by learning how innovative ideas are formed.

  • want to explore different ways of transforming ideas into impact.

  • are curious about how they can use their talents to contribute to an innovative team.

  • are seeking inspiration as they embark on the next chapter in their lives.

  • wants to connect with others both within and outside their discipline(s).