Promoting Entrepreneurship Among Students and Faculty at Large Research Universities

Topics: Student Leadership Development, Student Experience, Student Affairs

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Universities increasingly seek to attract entrepreneurially-minded students and faculty and encourage these campus constituents to develop new ventures. Initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and connect campus constituents with seasoned entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and other industry professionals include the establishment of mentorship programs, business plan competitions, and "proof of concept centers."

This brief profiles the most robust practices to promote entrepreneurship among students at several large research universities.

  • Key observations from our research:

    1. Institutions seeking to enhance the entrepreneurship culture on campus and expand the scope of relevant programming should first invest in development of a critical mass of interested students and faculty.

    2. EAB recommends that institutions repurpose the concept of interdisciplinary faculty cluster hiring to promote entrepreneurial faculty recruitment, which is especially appropriate as entrepreneurship initiatives become more interdisciplinary in nature.

    3. Administrators evaluate entrepreneurship program success by the number of spinoff companies founded and the success of those ventures.