UNH Launches Entrepreneurship Program for First-Year Students


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Thursday, January 11, 2018

DURHAM, N.H. – Beginning this fall, 25 first-year students at the University of New Hampshire will receive seed money and support to take their entrepreneurial ideas to the next level. The Idea & Innovation Society will identify and engage incoming students from all colleges and majors with a demonstrated passion for, or experience with, ideas, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Every accepted student will be invited to submit an application.

“The society will embrace incoming and innovative-minded first-year students and immediately provide a community for them to connect, collaborate, share ideas and resources, and run faster with their ideas and ventures,” said Ian Grant, director of the Entrepreneurship Center at UNH and manager of the society.

In addition to $200 of seed funding to help take their idea to the next level the selected students will have quarterly innovation meetings, access to alumni entrepreneur mentors, 1:1 coaching, and more.

“We are very excited to partner with the Entrepreneurship Center to offer this innovative program to first-year students,” said Victoria Dutcher, UNH’s vice president for enrollment management. “We think it helps differentiate UNH from other schools and reinforces UNH’s commitment to providing an innovative and entrepreneurial environment.”

The society is funded by the ECenter’s WildCatalysts Network, a group of entrepreneurial UNH alumni donors.

The Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter) 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 mind-set who can see opportunities and identify creative solutions others have missed, one idea at a time. 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. We operate as a start-up in an academic environment, and all programs are donor funded. 

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.