Experiences shared from former grand prize winners.


2017 Winners

Full press release and  pictures!


2017 University Track Agenda



Thursday, August 17 –

  • Attendees fly into the Washington Dulles International Airport, Dulles, Virginia, for a two-day trip in Washington, D.C., August 17-19.
  • Attendees arrange their own transportation from the Washington Dulles International Airport to the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel.  Review the ground transportation options available from the airport.  For a convenient, economical connection between the Dulles Airport Main Terminal to the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel, attendees can use the Silver Line Express Bus from the airport to the metro station. From the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail, take the Silver Line towards Largo Town Center and get off at the Ballston Metro stop.  Access the map (.pdf) of the Ballston Metro stop to the hotel, by foot. Due to possible metro line work in the spring/summer, check for metro delays prior to making your arrangements from the airport to the Westin Arlington Gateway.
  • Attendees check-in to the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel. No formal activities planned, in light of this being a travel day.  Check in with your name at the front desk, under the “VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Event” hotel room block, and have your passport identification and credit card available. You will need to present a credit card for any hotel room service or incidental charges made to your room during your stay.  You will not be charged for the cost of the hotel room itself for August 17-19 only.

Friday, August 18 –

  • All attendees should meet in the main lobby at 7:45 a.m. of the Westin Arlington Gateway to walk over to Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington. Departure by 7:50 a.m.
  • Breakfast provided by Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development at 8:00 a.m.
  • Panel through 9:45 a.m., facilitated by Afroze Mohammed, Associate Director of Strategic Alliances, Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development.
  • Chartered bus provided by VT KnowledgeWorks to Washington, D.C., for sightseeing on the National Mall.
  • Lunch at 1776 at 1:30 p.m., located at 2231 Crystal Drive, #1000 (10th floor), in Arlington. 
  • 1776 overview and “Insights on Starting Up” discussion until 2:40 p.m.
  • Bus departure at 2:45 p.m. to the National Mall for afternoon sightseeing in Washington, D.C.
  • Dinner and chartered bus back to the hotel.
  • Attendees can enjoy the evening on their own. Refer to the Event Resources Guide (pdf), http://vtkwglobal.com/2017/resources, and click on “Transportation Recommendations,” as well as “Explore Washington, D.C.” from the table of contents for suggestions on where to go and how to get there.

Saturday, August 19 –

  • Light breakfast at hotel provided by VT KnowledgeWorks.
  • Check-out of Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel and load luggage on the chartered bus arranged by VT KnowledgeWorks.
  • Informal half-day of sightseeing in Washington, D.C.
  • Group tour of Capitol Hill.
  • Lunch on the National Mall provided by VT KnowledgeWorks.
  • Chartered bus leaves from Washington, D.C. at 2:00 p.m. to Blacksburg, Virginia.
  • Dinner on the bus, with arrival time between 7:30-8:00 p.m. at The Inn at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg.  Event attendees will need to use $10-$15 of their personal spending money to order carryout food to eat on the bus for the trip to Blacksburg.
  • Arrival at The Inn at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg. Students are picked up their host families at the main hotel entrance and University Track attendees can check into their hotel for the event week. 



Sunday, August 20 –

  • Arrive and check into hotel.  Free day to relax and enjoy Blacksburg and the surrounding region. Student teams will be enjoying the day with their host families.  This would be a great day to do some souvenir shopping and/or enjoy the outdoors.

Monday, August 21 –

  • Morning free to schedule individual meetings with Virginia Tech leaders. Contact the VTKW Staff for scheduling assistance.
  • Kick-off lunch and introductions at 12:30 p.m.
  • Tour and overview of the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Global Programs – Food and Health Research Afternoon Learning Lab at 2:00 p.m.
  • Tour begins at the Department of Biochemistry, Fralin Hall, located on West Campus Drive, and led by Dr. Azadeh Aryan, Research Scientist, from 2:00 – 2:40 p.m.  Participants will learn about the research and studies being conducted on mosquitos and the infectious diseases they carry like malaria, dengue and Zika fever.
  • From 2:50 – 3:30 p.m., participants will visit the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, led by Dr. Matthew Hulver, Associate Professor and Department Head. The tour will conclude from 3:45 – 4:25 p.m., at the Department of Food Science and Technology, Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building  (HABB1), led by Professor Dr. Sean O’Keefe, who will discuss Virginia Tech’s brewhouse, malting system, and distilling facilities with samples provided of locally grown hops and malted barley.
  • Tour guide leads attendees to the main entrance of the Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1 (HABB1), located at 1230 Washington St. SW on the Virginia Tech campus at 4:30 p.m. for departure on The Inn at Virginia Tech’s shuttle.
  • Informal welcome dinner with student teams at the Wikiteria Market and Café at 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 22 –

  • Global Partnership Roundtable - networking and exploring research and education collaborations.
  • Luncheon at The Inn at Virginia Tech.
  • Global Partnership Roundtable continued until 5:00 p.m.
  • Dinner on your own.

Wednesday, August 23 –

  • Meeting in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center to discuss and brainstorm future Global Partnership Event initiatives at 8:00 a.m., hosted by Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
  • Discussion from 9:00-11:00 a.m. for all University Track attendees to discuss "opportunities for collaboration" among their institutions, including relevant events, student exchange programs, research projects, new global or entrepreneurship initiatives, and more. 
  • Lunch provided by VT KnowledgeWorks in Blacksburg.
  • Return to The Inn at Virginia Tech at 1:00 p.m. to enjoy a free afternoon. University Track attendees can use the afternoon to schedule any additional meetings with Virginia Tech leaders or join their student team at Alumni Assembly Hall (in The Inn at Virginia Tech) for their audio visual test and/or to assist the team with their presentation. Contact the VTKW Staff for scheduling assistance.
  • Private dinner at 6:00 p.m. at VT KnowledgeWorks Executive Director's house, Jim Flowers.

Thursday, August 24 –

  • Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge in Alumni Assembly Hall, at The Inn at Virginia Tech & Skelton Conference Center. Lunch provided for global event attendees.
  • Awards banquet and celebration at The Inn at Virginia Tech with host families.
  • Attendees can enjoy the evening on their own in Downtown Blacksburg or see a free movie on the Drillfield, located on the Virginia Tech campus.  For Downtown Blacksburg, host families will drop off their student(s) at PK’s Bar & Grill located at 432 N Main Street, Blacksburg.  Please bring your passport to enter and spending money if you wish to purchase alcohol. All bars in Downtown Blacksburg require a picture ID to enter. A shuttle ride can be arranged at the front desk of The Inn at Virginia Tech, if you wish to go into Downtown Blacksburg.

Friday, August 25 –

  • Host family drops their student off at The Inn at Virginia Tech main hotel entrance to load chartered bus to Roanoke.
  • Bus to Roanoke and check into The Hotel Roanoke.
  • Visit downtown Roanoke attractions and informal lunch.
  • Closing celebration and reception at The Hotel Roanoke.
  • Opportunities to visit downtown Roanoke bars and restaurants at your leisure.
  • Overnight at The Hotel Roanoke (arranged by University Track attendee).

Saturday, August 26 –

  • Attendees need to check out of The Hotel Roanoke no later than 11:00 a.m.  All attendees are responsible for arranging their personal transportation reservations from the hotel to the airport they are flying out of. The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is just 10 minutes away from The Hotel Roanoke; otherwise, you can depart from whichever airport best suits your travel plans. Refer to the Event Resources Guide (pdf), http://vtkwglobal.com/2017/resources, and click on “Transportation Recommendations” to learn more about transportation methods out of Roanoke to the city/state you are departing out of.