A $1 million gift from Harry Patten ’58 and the Patten Family Foundation will launch the Patten Family Sales and Funding Accelerator program at the University of New Hampshire’s Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter) this fall.
The program will provide sales coaching to startup founders/co-founders who engaged at the ECenter as students and after graduation as young alumni. The professional training will focus on the unique aspects of selling products and services as a new startup. After three months of training, founders will be certified and eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in non-equity/non-recourse loans.
The sales coaching will increase the probability of successful ventures — which is the goal. In addition, the current co-working space will be named the Patten Family Co-Working Space and Accelerator.
“I am so appreciative of Harry Patten’s continued support of the Entrepreneurship Center which in turn helps entrepreneurial UNH students succeed,” said UNH President James W. Dean Jr. “This important gift will also increase the recognition of UNH as an innovative and entrepreneurial university for students to attend.”
Patten is the foremost buyer and seller of recreational and residential land in America. He has generated billions of dollars in land sales over the course of his career, beginning in 1962. Patten is currently chairman of National Land Partners, LLC, and Fortune magazine named him one of the year’s “50 Most Fascinating Businesspeople.” In 2011, he received the Horatio Alger Award and was inaugurated into the UNH Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2019.
“I’m sure that every student who completes this groundbreaking program will have a leg up on their future success,” said Patten. “Whether they move into a sales career or not, these students will benefit from the experience. I say this because I firmly believe that everything in life involves selling.”
According to ECenter Executive Director Ian Grant, there is already a waiting list of students and young alumni wanting to join the program.
“Over the past six years ECenter students have made great strides to develop ideas and launch companies,” said Grant. “The two biggest gaps are for student and young alumni founders to learn how to sell their start-up idea/product/services to get paying customers and to secure early-stage funding.”