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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

ViewPoint Launches As Part of Summit Ventures, Celebrates with Bell Ringing


On Thursday, November 9, 2023, ViewPoint celebrated its launch as part of Summit Venture Studio with a bell ringing held at Innovation Partnerships. ViewPoint founder Elisabeth Gerber of the U-M Ford School of Public Policy and other key team members, including U-M Center for Academic Innovation Executive Director James DeVaney and Senior Director for Educational Technology Ben Hayward, attended the ringing of the bell with the Summit Venture Studio team joining the ceremony virtually.

ViewPoint is a university-developed software for educators and other professionals to provide high-quality role-playing simulations. It is a highly customizable platform that provides options to organize groups, assign roles and preconfigure new tasks based on previous learning outcomes so that learning experiences can mirror real-world scenarios.

A long time in the making, the idea behind ViewPoint was first disclosed with Innovation Partnerships in 2016. Since then, the program has continued to evolve with pilots launched at U-M and other universities, and participation in the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program.

The first home for ViewPoint was with the Center for Academic Innovation. That relationship also began in 2016 when Gerber reached out to DeVaney. Through their conversations and identifying needs to ensure ViewPoint’s success, DeVaney connected Gerber with Hayward to create a flexible software toolkit to support scenario-based practice and learning – a relationship that continues to this day. 

In 2022, Innovation Partnerships met with Summit Venture Studio, a venture studio with a focus on commercializing novel faculty inventions via university tech transfer across the United States, and began discussions about commercialization opportunities for ViewPoint. After realizing that this was a win-win, Innovation Partnerships and Summit Venture Studio executed a license agreement for ViewPoint late last summer.  

“The support provided by Innovation Partnerships was incredible,” Gerber said. “They were always there to push me when needed, listen and guide me through my first journey as an entrepreneur. Their expertise and partnership allowed us to move forward with commercializing ViewPoint and bring the technology to support engaging learning experiences to more and more teachers and learners.”

To learn more about ViewPoint, visit: