UNH's Idea and Innovation Society held its kickoff event Sept. 6 at the Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter) to welcome and celebrate 23 first-year students who were selected from a pool of over 100 applications. The society was created to embrace incoming and innovative-minded first-year students — from all colleges and backgrounds — to immediately provide a community of other students to connect, collaborate, share ideas and resources and to help them run faster with their ideas and innovations. The selection was based upon students who have started a company, organization/nonprofit or been active in an innovation program in high school.
“This is the first year of the program,” notes Ian Grant, executive director of the ECenter, “and the quality of the selected students and what they have already achieved before coming to UNH is remarkable. We are excited to see how they grow their companies, organizations and new ideas over the next four years. It is an additional bonus that they immediately get to connect with other students from all of the other colleges at UNH. The society provides an excellent opportunity for inter-disciplinary engagement.”
In addition to having an active community that meets monthly, each student can receive up to $250 of seed funding to help take their current or new idea to the next level as well as access to alumni entrepreneur mentors, one-on-one coaching, an early understanding of all programs on campus available to them and more.
Nine women and 14 men from five states were selected. Eight students are enrolled in the Paul College for Business and Economics, nine in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, four in the College of Liberal Arts and one each from the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and the College of Health and Human Services. The society is funded by the ECenter’s WildCatalysts Network, a group of entrepreneurial UNH alumni donors.
ECenter in the UNHInnovation wing of Madbury Commons is the co-curricular heart of ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship at UNH. Its goal is to create the next generation of leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset who can see opportunities and identify creative solutions others have missed, one idea at a time. Although part of UNH, it is independent of any one college. The ECenter delivers unique hands-on experiential programming that inspires, nurtures and mentors students from any major, at every step of process, anywhere from idea development to company creation. The ECenter operates as a start-up in an academic environment, and all programs are donor-funded. Led by a proven serial entrepreneur, the ECenter is rapidly demonstrating significant success throughout the UNH student community.
In 2017, within its first two years, the ECenter was recognized as the top emerging entrepreneurship center by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, which represents 250 member institutions in 15 countries. The award was based upon the quality, depth, and breadth of the program’s impact on students. Learn more about the ECenter.