Citi Ventures Partners with Howard University to Provide Students a Look Inside Innovation at Citi

Thursday, October 04, 2018

by Citibank

 Citi Ventures today announced an expansion of its Citi® University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery (CUPID) program with Howard University School of Business to engage and embed students in innovation efforts across Citi.

Students of Howard's 21st Century Advantage Program and the School of Business Executive Leadership Honors Program (SBEL) will be paired with Citi teams to work on emerging technology projects involving machine learning, natural language processing and big data analytics.

Students will have the opportunity to work on multi-year projects for course credit with access to Citi Ventures' entrepreneurs-in-residence and business leaders, as well as engage in a series of career development events and seminars hosted by Citi.

"We're thrilled to be a part of the education of Howard University students by immersing them in our innovation efforts at Citi," said Vanessa Colella, Chief Innovation Officer of Citi. "CUPID provides the space for new ideas to percolate among the next generation of innovators and allows them to work on issues critical to Citi's business."

Howard University is one of 18 universities participating in CUPID. As part of Citi's focus on increasing diversity across the firm, the program will continue to expand through new partnerships with additional academic institutions, including historically black colleges and universities.

"We know that to be a healthy, high-performing organization, we need diversity of experience and ideas on our teams," said Sara Wechter, Citi's Global Head of Human Resources. "Our university partnership program CUPID brings a broad range of experiences and ideas into Citi and connects a diverse group of students to our people, our business and our way of working."

Based on their interest and skill set, students are matched with internal Citi initiatives including projects within Citi's D10Xsm program, an internal strategic growth model managed by Citi Ventures that enables colleagues to take new business ideas from concept to launch.

CUPID builds on existing efforts including hackathons and design sprints to create, test and prototype new ideas that have the potential to generate the best solutions for clients. Since the start of this work in early 2017, more than 500 university students from 18 different universities in the U.S, U.K and Canada have participated in some element of innovation work through CUPID.

"Our students are keenly focused on understanding how organizations work and how their contributions might be received," said Barron Harvey, Dean of the School of Business at Howard University. "We are proud to partner with Citi in this way to provide an environment where students can test new ideas and get a real sense of the opportunities that exist at a global bank."

For more information about the Citi® University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery program, please visit

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