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Universities Target Entrepreneurial Growth Inside, Outside Their System

June 18, 2015

Over the last month, several universities have announced new initiatives to support entrepreneurship among faculty, students, alumni, and the community that surrounds them. These efforts focus on providing individual and teams of entrepreneurs with access to capital, education, and other resources. In an effort to reshape their entrepreneurial ecosystem, Princeton University released a new report to guide the university’s entrepreneurial education and support efforts. 

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) alumnus James R. Swartz, a founding partner of the global venture capital firm Accel Partners, announced a $31 million donation to support the university’s entrepreneurship activities. The donation will spur the creation of the $10 million Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship to serve as a hub for university-wide entrepreneurial activities. The donation will support several activities including:

  • The development of a new campus-wide curriculum to increase entrepreneurial activity;
  • A new fund to seed ideas across CMU’s colleges and schools; and,
  • Community outreach efforts to engage local secondary schools in entrepreneurship learning opportunities.

Approximately $13 million of the fund will support scholarships and fellowships for students with high entrepreneurial potential, a faculty chair focused on entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs-in-residence, an executive director and staff for the center.

In Michigan, Kettering University announced the creation of an interactive modules program to help students and faculty to commercialize technologies into viable commercial products/services. Each of the 11 modules created by Navarre and Demonte focus on a different topic related to intrapreneurship – the idea that encourages “creating value within an existing enterprise.” The modules include short videos, presentation slides, complementary classroom activities and discussion topics. These modulus are intended to help students and faculty apply the principles of intrapreneurship selectively based upon the individual needs of students and classes, rather than replacing the university’s current entrepreneurial efforts. 

Arizona State University (ASU) will reach beyond its walls to provide entrepreneurial support to Arizona-based entrepreneurs. Startup Mill – run jointly by ASU’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Arizona Technology Enterprises – will provide Arizona-based entrepreneurs with the same acceleration services available to ASU students, faculty and post-doctoral researchers. Activities include:

  • Acceleration and venture support, including ASU and partner resources for intellectual property management and business/growth processes;
  • Interim or permanent C-level management drawn from a pool of more than 20 accomplished entrepreneurs and seasoned executives;
  • Provisions of university resources, including facilities, equipment, clinic, strategic partnerships and specialized test-beds for product and market validation;
  • ASU Startup School training and mentoring; and,
  • Pitch opportunities to ASU Foundation Angels and venture capital funding partners upon maturation.

The program also is intended to provide entrepreneurs with research conducted at the university. The program will accept startups on a continuing basis with selections based on the strategic value to the economic vitality of the region and ASU.  More information is available at: http://entrepreneurship.asu.edu/startup-mill.

Princeton University released a new report that is intended to help create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports students, faculty, and alumni engage in entrepreneurship and builds on the university’s commitments to liberal arts education, research and public service. Developed by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee (PEAC), the report contains a broad set of initiatives to enhance entrepreneurship at the university that include:

  • Establishing the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council to advise university leadership on the strategic direction and evolving vision of entrepreneurship at Princeton;
  • Opening an Entrepreneurship Hub, which would serve as an incubator space for students, faculty and alumni interested in entrepreneurship;
  • Offering an undergraduate certificate program in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Design that would be open to all majors;
  • Launching an Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund to support and encourage the creative potential of young entrepreneurs; and,
  • Piloting several other programs including a design competition for undergraduate students. 

Read the report…

entrepreneurship, higher ed