L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Branch competes in VCU Venture’s Next Big Idea Challenge

Wilder School staff member Gwyneth Branch is competing in the 2019 Next Big Idea Challenge by VCU Ventures and Activation Capital. The Next Big Idea Challenge is an online competition for VCU staff to submit ideas for a new company, product, or service and the chance to win up to $1,400 in cash, just in time for the holidays.

VCU Ventures started this competition in 2013 to identify innovative concepts from around the university that has the potential to showcase the talents of individuals in the VCU community, foster creativity, and potentially grow into new businesses. 

Earlier this year, Branch formed the non-profit, COLOURING OUTSIDE the LINES, which teaches the art of creating handmade greeting cards which are then delivered to the elderly, hospitalized children and survivors of violence.

“Often when a child is hospitalized and his/her stay is extended, providing a handmade card can brighten that child's day,” said Branch.

“Many elderly people are also forgotten and not remembered until holiday time rolls around. Providing people with an unexpected greeting card that is handmade could make a world of difference.”

Branch has delivered handmade cards to nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities in Virginia and other states. She also sent cards to survivors of domestic violence and students who experienced shootings in their schools.

“Each card sent represents the time, creativity, and innovativeness it took displaying kindness, care, and concern for people tragic situations,” shared Branch.

"Staying within the lines, but approaching it with a creative mindset allows an individual to explore beyond ordinary lines! This is the philosophy of COLOURING OUTSIDE the LINES.”

The Next Big Idea Challenge is open to all VCU staff until December 13th. Individuals can vote for Branch and other VCU staff members at www.vcunextbigidea.com.