Skip to main content


Design Your Future


Design & Entrepreneurship Network

The DEN™ (Design & Entrepreneurship Network) is a student-led leadership team that helps students develop their innovation and entrepreneurship skills. They work with campus leadership to explore needs within the campus innovation and entrepreneurship eco-system, develop new programs for students, and engage alumni to share their time and talents.

The DEN is made up of people with new ideas they'd like to see further developed as well as those who just want to help out on other people's projects. Mentors are key to this improvement process--we have mentors that help lead specific teams as well as those that give advice to any and all groups that could use their expertise.

“We’re giving students ownership of what they are learning,” Przestrzelski said."They’re having to be innovative with what they’re doing beyond graduation.”

Breanne Przestrzelski

Cultivating Innovation

Students like Bre Przestrzelski help bring together students, faculty members, and real-world mentors to come up with new inventions and business ideas. Her work strikes at the core of a broader nationwide effort to advance personalized learning, one of the grand challenges identified by the National Academy of Engineering.


Seeing incredibly innovative and entrepreneurial students at Clemson with few immediate outlets, the DEN (Design and Entrepreneurial Network) seeks to address that concern with the CECAS Spark Challenge. To do this, the DEN functions as a two-semester startup incubator for around twelve teams of students each working on creating a product or business. Over the course of six months, we work with the Clemson alumni community to mentor our teams in each section of the entrepreneurship process. Our DEN sessions span each facet of design thinking, starting with teaching our teams customer empathy and leading them all the way through some of the various business phases for a startup. In the background, Spark also provides financial support for these teams, giving each one upwards of five hundred dollars for expenses they would need to build their idea into a real product. At the end of the six months, students pitch their newly-developed projects to industry professionals from Clemson for a chance at thousands of dollars in cash prizes and.


For more information about the DEN, email Dr. John DesJardins at

Watt Family Innovation Center