Patten Family Foundation Expands Support for UNH’s Entrepreneurship Center


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Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Harry Patten, UNH alumnus, and Ian Grant, director of the UNH ECenter.

Harry Patten, founder of the Patten Family Foundation and a 1958 graduate of UNH; and Ian Grant, director of UNH’s Entrepreneurship Center. 

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire’s Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter) has received a $360,000 gift from the Patten Family Foundation to expand several programs that provide financial support for entrepreneurial students. 

“The ECenter is nationally recognized for the work it does to engage students and I am so honored we are able to help support the ECenter’s work and specifically the i2 Passport and Paid Student Internship at Start-ups programs,” said Harry Patten, founder of the Patten Family Foundation and a 1958 graduate of UNH. “I have met so many students who never dreamed they could launch their ideas into reality until they took part in programs at the ECenter. To me, success is measured by outcomes and the ECenter has certainly proven it can deliver significant outcomes for students. I encourage all entrepreneurs to consider ‘giving back’ to support the ECenter.”

Patten’s prior gifts helped to launch a paid summer internship program for students to work with the founder or co-founder of a start-up company and the ECenter’s i2 Passport program, which rewards students with credit for every activity or event they participate in on campus that focuses on ideas, innovation, or entrepreneurship. The program offers more than $25,000 in cash prizes to help student entrepreneurs pay loans or tuition.

“Harry’s original funding to pilot the two programs was essential when we opened the ECenter,” said Ian Grant, director of the ECenter. “This new commitment will allow us to offer more internships each summer and increase the number and engagement of students in the i2 Passport Program. The short and long-term impact on students will be amazing and exciting to watch.”

The donation will also provide funding to the student-run Entrepreneurship Club that has more than 100 members and the newly created student idea seed fund to help students cover limited launch expenses, as well as provide materials and supplies to the student-managed Makerspace, allowing students to build prototypes of their ideas and products without incurring any material costs.

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 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. 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, 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. 

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Harry Patten, founder of the Patten Family Foundation and a 1958 graduate of UNH; and Ian Grant, director of UNH’s Entrepreneurship Center.