The Millennial Trains Project: An Education on Rails

The Millennial Trains Project (MTP) is an experiment in innovation education: How do you produce an entrepreneurial generation? On the rails, says Patrick Dowd, founder of MTP.

Inspired by the Jagriti Yatra (Journey of Awakening), a two-week train journey across India with business students, MTP takes American Millennials on a transcontinental journey to discover & evaluate emerging opportunities and challenges in the U.S. In August, 24 participants hailing from Hawaii to New Hampshire secured a seat on the inaugural MTP journey, which went from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. by crowdfunding $5,000. The immediate purpose was to advance their projects ranging from data streams to contraception, food to exercise, while connecting with mentors and local leaders from across the U.S. Over the 10-day transcontinental trip, participants met innovators, artists, academics, capitalists, scientists, technologists, and thinkers to first-hand to grasp what is happening in the U.S. at the local level.

The takeaway? A cross-country expedition of inspiration and interaction between both people and the American landscape, and the realization that Millennials are just as passionate about discovering innovation in America's mid-tier cities as they are about hotspots on the coasts. The solution lies in reconnecting Millennials to these cities -- via trains is a good option as evidenced by these photos.

This article was co-written by Esha Chhabra and Smita Satiani

In Photos: An Education on Rails