Alum Donates $50,000 to Expand Entrepreneurship at UNH

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Harry Patten ’58 donated $50,000 to the University of New Hampshire’s Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter) to start two new programs that promote entrepeneurship: the Paid Student Internship at Start-ups and i2 Passport programs. 

DURHAM, N.H. – Harry Patten ’58 donated $50,000 to the University of New Hampshire’s Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter) to start two new programs that promote entrepreneurship: the Paid Student Internship at Start-ups and i2 Passport programs.

“This gift funds an important expansion of our mission to include experiential learning for students’ understanding of ideas, innovation, and entrepreneurship,” said ECenter Director Ian Grant. “We recognize that not all students have the “a-ha" idea right away and/or they want to learn about and understand the inner workings of a start-up and help in the building process.” 

The internship program will provide that experiential learning opportunity over a 10-week period in the summer of 2017. Students will receive a stipend of $4,500 and get hands-on experience working at a start-up company with its founder or co-founder. Priority is given to UNH alumni start-up companies.

The Idea and Innovation Passport (i2 Passport) is designed to drive voluntary activity and event engagement by all undergraduate students in the areas of ideas, innovation, and entrepreneurship with the reward of winning money to help pay off student loans. “Visa stamp” credits are awarded to students for each identified activity in which they participate. In the pilot year, the student with the most credits will win $8,000 to help pay off his or her student loans. All students who reach a minimum level will be entered into a drawing to receive $3,500, and students who are first-generation college students can also be entered into a drawing to win $3,500.

“We are tackling the number one pain point impacting students today and the response in the early promotion of i2 Passport has been amazing. Students want to know how fast they can sign up to participate. Harry Patten’s core financial support of this has allowed us to bring this program from an idea to reality and we can’t be more excited.”

Patten is the owner, chairman, and founder of National Land Partners, LLC, a successful land sales company, which to date has sales in excess of $1 billion dollars in land; NLP Finance, LLC, a mortgage servicing company; and NLP Homes, LLC, a home building company.

“As a serial entrepreneur, I share the passion of having an idea, a dream, and growing it into a successful venture,” said Patten. “I am impressed with the proactive nature UNH has taken to start to provide the necessary tools for students to identify problems and create solutions to those problems that can grow into products and companies. The ECenter is a vibrant facility and it is my genuine honor to be a part of helping it grow through both the internship and i2 Passport programs.”

The ECenter’s goal is to continue building the positive and supportive idea, innovation, and entrepreneurial culture at UNH for all students, faculty, staff, researchers, and alumni. It creates opportunities for engagement through new co-curricular programming, as well as supporting existing academic, student, university, and independent initiatives. It supports any stage of idea and start-up development in any discipline or industry. Like most university entrepreneurial centers, its focus is not solely on helping to support the creation of start-up companies but on helping individuals and teams understand the process to see problems and find a range of possible ideas and solutions. For more information about these new programs and everything the ECenter offers visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and SnapChat at @UNHECenter.

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.