Calling All Creators: Werth Institute Seeking Fellows to Join Championship Labs, Los Angeles Influencers Trip in November

An opportunity to help student-athletes build their brands, and gain valuable experience

UConn Men's Basketball players on the court during a game

A new fellowship is seeking UConn students interested in applying their special sets of skills to work with student-athletes seeking to monetize their Name, Image, and Likeness, or NIL. (UConn Athletics)

Are you a student creator?

Do you have a portfolio of photography, video production, animation, or design work and want to share your talent with the world?

Are you an actual or aspiring social media influencer looking to help build brands while growing your own?

If so, a new fellowship and experiential learning opportunity at UConn may be for you!

The Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is seeking undergraduate UConn students interested in applying their special sets of skills to work with student-athletes seeking to monetize their Name, Image, and Likeness, or NIL, through the institute’s new initiative, Championship Labs.

The handful of select students chosen to take part in an inaugural paid Championship Labs fellowship will kick-off their experience with a trip to the Los Angeles area from November 6 through November 11, where they’ll be able to network new connections in Silicon Valley.

“One of our goals with Championship Labs is to connect skilled students with student-athletes to help create a blueprint for building a personal brand,” says Tara Watrous, head of entrepreneurial transformation for the Werth Institute. “We’re looking to recruit home-grown talent to work with our student-athletes, and this trip will be a kick-off for our new fellows as they begin their work.”

Highlights of the trip will include a visit to the corporate headquarters of global giant Meta – parent company of Facebook – as well as to the Los Angeles offices of the social media powerhouse TikTok.

The trip will also include a visit with UConn alum, entrepreneur, and social media influencer Marc D’Amelio ’91 (CLAS), a strong supporter of Championship Labs, at his family’s studios.

“A huge piece will be the networking opportunities,” says Watrous, “and gaining a stronger understanding of how to build and leverage a brand.”

The trip will mark the second time that the Werth Institute has brought entrepreneurial-minded UConn students out to the West Coast – an experiential learning opportunity that the institute’s director, David Noble, says offers students a first-hand look at entrepreneurship in action.

“This is a chance for young creators and social media influencers at UConn to gain invaluable experience and insight into building content, products, and ventures, while also connecting with and learning from alumni and mentors who can help them along the way,” says Noble.

Championship Labs was created to prepare and propel UConn’s student-athletes to maximize their NIL opportunities, including third-party deals, brand development, and launching their own companies and ventures. With a network of serial entrepreneurs and business leaders on hand – most of whom are also former athletes – Championships Labs offers an array of entrepreneurial academic and hands-on experiential learning programs along with funding support to launch a business.

Undergraduate fellows will play a critical role, says Watrous, by contributing their unique perspective and skills to a team of like-minded young entrepreneurs and creators.

“We’re looking for artists,” says Watrous. “We’re looking for designers and producers. We’re looking for students who have already established themselves as a social media presence and want to inspire others to achieve similar success. We’re looking for students who have a voice and a vision and who want to work with us and their peers to build something new and exciting.”

Students interested in applying for a Championship Labs fellowship can do so through this online form. The deadline to apply is October 10.


For more information about educational and entrepreneurial opportunities available through the Werth Institute, visit