Shaw Innovation Explorers Program

  • Shaw Innovation Explorers program collage of participants celebrating outdoors and speakers

Help us reach our $2M goal of endowing the Shaw Innovation Explorers Program in perpetuity. 

Your gift will ensure that students today and for generations to come, will take part in transformational, hands on, high-impact learning experiences. The Explorer Program sets these students up for entrepreneurial success, while moving them toward becoming tomorrow's changemakers and problem solvers.

Gifts can also be made via check and appreciated securities.

Please contact Jennifer Lowrey for more information. 

Shaw Innovation Explorers logo
A UNH Entrepreneurship Center Student Fellows Program

Make a gift to become an Explorer champion.


About the Explorers Program

The Shaw Innovation Explorers (“Explorers”) Program is an innovative student fellowship designed for proven creative and innovative UNH sophomores to gain a 360-degree understanding of innovation through hands-on, high-impact experiences. The vision is to have a breadth of introductions and engagements with pioneering leaders in areas that include art, music, technology, science/marine, theater, municipalities, and New Hampshire and New England native industries. A training workshop provides the basics of innovation and start-up development.


Each student selected to participate will receive a $3,000 scholarship to support their education at UNH.


The Shaw Innovation Explorer Speaker Series will introduce both the Explorers group and the larger university and Seacoast communities to high-profile innovators and pioneers in their fields of expertise. This pioneer will take stage with David Shaw for an insightful and thoughtful conversation.  In addition, a “Round-Table” session with the pioneer speaker and the Explorers will provide highly personalized conversation and interactions.


Are you creative and innovative? Want to be part of what is already becoming known as a top program to get in to? Are you ready to roll your sleeves up and dive into a full world of creative and innovative events and activities?  Apply to the Shaw Innovation Explorers Program!

OPEN TO ALL UNH DURHAM RISING SOPHOMORES.  All college and all majors welcome.


The Shaw Innovation Explorers Program is possible due to the generous support of David E. Shaw '73, CEO Black Point Group,  John Shaw, CEO of Itaconix (a company built on technology licensed from UNH),  and the Shaw family.


  • Embracing creativity and innovation over academic achievement
  • Baseline understanding of Start-Up principles/Innovation Process including Customer Discover
  • Embrace diverse student backgrounds and collaboration
  • Introduction to a wide range of types of innovation through hands-on experiences
  • Application of learnings into a team project

  • Fostering of innovation skills
  • Hands-on project work
  • Common life-long fellowship among  each Explorer cohort and ALL Explorers over time.
  • Skills builder for success in post-graduate employment/entrepreneurship

Person-to-person interactive experiences

Up to 16 sophomore students. Competitive application process.

Students to be “proven” adventurous, curious, and creative innovative students prior to college or during their freshman year. Innovation over academic achievement is the priority.

Each student receives $3,000/year “Shaw Explorer Scholarship” understanding cost of college is a potential barrier for innovative students to work and embrace the Explorer Program

Program’s required events/activities including:

  •   3-Day Start-Up Camp
  •   Innovation Explorer Speaker Series and Explorer Roundtable
  •   Weekend Team Building/Outdoor type program
  •   Innovation Field Trips (4-5)
  •   Individuals or teams will develop an innovative project in the area of their choice to present in May 2023
  •   1-2 round-table events of Explorers with David Shaw and/or appropriate family members
  •   Presentation of the Explorer Project(s) at end of year to include a short video.
  •   Bi-weekly group Explorer round table sessions, 12:45 pm - 1:45 pm at the ECenter

Applications Open

  • January 1, 2025

Information Sessions

  • Tuesday, February 4 | 1 - 2 pm | ECenter Training Room
  • Thursday, February 6 | 1 - 2 pm | ECenter Training Room

Application Deadline Now CLOSED

  • Applications for 2025-26 will open in the spring of 2025.

Interviews (if necessary):

  • Week of March 3, 2025 | Invitation only

Explorer Acceptance Notifications

  • March 24, 2025

Kick-Off Meeting:

  • April 1st, 2025 | 5:30 - 6:00 pm | ECenter Training Room