UNH’s Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter) received the 2022 Excellence in Student Engagement in Entrepreneurship Award from the Deshpande Foundation at the national Deshpande Symposium on Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Higher Education in Cleveland recently.
“I celebrate the true beneficiaries, who are the curious, hard-working, passionate and fun UNH students who are committed to dream big dreams, solve problems with their ideas and push themselves to be successful at multiple levels.”
The award recognizes an institution that encourages student leadership and engagement in developing innovative extra and co-curricular activities that support the development of entrepreneurial awareness, skills and practice. The Deshpande Symposium brings together more than 350 higher education entrepreneur practitioners from colleges and universities around the United States to share and discuss current and future trends and ways to increase student engagement in innovation and entrepreneurship.
The award to UNH’s Entrepreneurship Center was based upon the ECenter’s signature high-impact experiential programs, including the nationally recognized i2 Passport Program, the first-year Idea + Innovation Society Program, the sophomore year Shaw Innovation Explorers Program, idea coaching, the Summer Seed Grant and Summer Paid Student Internships at Start-up Program, among many others. More importantly, the award recognizes the ECenter for the successful student outcomes from these programs.
“For a center that is just over six years old, this is a significant honor on the national stage,” says ECenter executive director Ian Grant.
“This award is a tribute to the belief by ECenter donors, advisory board members and UNH administration in our ECenter vision and for their unwavering support. Because each of our signature programs are donor-funded, it is important to note this award would not even have been possible without their financial support,” Grant adds. “I am grateful to all of our stakeholders and celebrate the true beneficiaries, who are the curious, hard-working, passionate and fun UNH students who are committed to dream big dreams, solve problems with their ideas and push themselves to be successful at multiple levels.”
The award will sit in the hallway of honors at the ECenter. “We will pause to celebrate the honor, but our mantra is that ‘yesterday’s hits don’t win tomorrow’s ballgames,’” says Grant. “We will continue to work hard to develop and launch more programs over the next year to fill the important program gaps in student co-curricular experiential learning.”