From its new offices that straddle the UNH campus and the town of Durham, UNHInnovation has been quietly — and not so quietly — making waves recently. Its Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center, known as the ECenter, won the 2017 Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center Award from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship.
The ECenter aims to build a culture of entrepreneurship on campus, which it’s done in part by leveraging a gift from Harry Patten ’58 to fund five UNH students to do paid summer internships with start-ups and to create the i2 (Idea and Innovation) Passport program, which rewards students — with an additional focus on first-generation college students, for whom the financial risk of entrepreneurship might be especially daunting — for engaging in entrepreneurship activities on campus. “As a first-generation student, it has been especially hard coming into college not knowing what you’re going to do when it comes to loans and your future career path, but i2 Passport and the ECenter have really opened up new doors for me to explore and see what I’m capable of,” Abby Kourafas ’18, one of the six i2 Passport winners, said of her $3,500 award.
The Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter)
In November, the Association of Public & Land- Grant Universities recognized UNH’s exemplary contributions to regional economic development and resiliency with its Innovation and Economic Prosperity designation. UNHInnovation led the university to a record $844,000 in commercialization revenue in FY17. “Our objective is to be the economic development engine of the state through knowledge,” says Marc Sedam, associate vice provost for innovation and new ventures and managing director of UNHInnovation.