NC State once again earned recognition as one of the nation’s best undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs in the nation by the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine.
Coming in at No. 16 in a list of Top 50 Undergraduate Schools for Entrepreneurship Studies for 2021 and No. 17 in the list of Top 50 Graduate Schools for Entrepreneurship Studies for 2021, NC State is one of eight universities in the nation to be top 20 for both undergraduate and graduate programs.
These rankings are based on a summer 2020 survey of more than 300 schools with offerings in entrepreneurship studies. The survey asked administrators more than 60 questions about their school’s commitment to entrepreneurship studies inside and outside the classroom. More than 40 survey data points determine the school lists and rankings for 2021 including the number of entrepreneurship courses offered, enrollment numbers, faculty involvement, awards offered at entrepreneurship competitions, companies started by alumni and funding raised, student mentoring, networking support, among other factors. These rankings are intended to give future entrepreneurs guidance on the robust education programs that can help them start their journey in entrepreneurship and NC State has once again demonstrated to be amongst the best in the nation.
“NC State Entrepreneurship has been largely successful due to the holistic approach we’ve taken in providing a broad array of curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular opportunities to students across the university. Additionally, our Entrepreneurship Alliance model and our K-12 and alumni outreach efforts create a unique pipeline of engagement not only for our current students but the broader NC State community,” said Tom Miller, senior vice provost for Academic Outreach and Entrepreneurship and McPherson Family Distinguished Professor.
An Entrepreneurial Mindset
Students across the university can build their entrepreneurial mindsets, skills and attitudes through entrepreneurship-related courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Academic offerings include a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship, graduate and undergraduate certificates in entrepreneurship, minors offered with an entrepreneurship concentration, and graduate degrees such as the MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization, or an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering for students interested in acquiring the skills necessary to lead biomedical-related early-stage ventures.
Along the way, students are joined by world-class faculty including the McPherson Family Distinguished Professor of Engineering Entrepreneurship, the Jenkins Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor.
“Being ranked top 20 in the country for our undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship education reflects the tremendous creative energy and collaboration of students, faculty and staff across campus,” said Lewis Sheats, assistant vice provost for entrepreneurship and executive director of the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic. “It is an example of NC State think and do, supporting an entrepreneurial mindset that enables students to bring ideas to market.”
Students at NC State benefit from startup spaces designed to give big ideas room to grow. From living with like-minded entrepreneurs in the Albright Entrepreneurs Village to co-working and developing entrepreneurial prototypes in the Entrepreneurship Garage on Centennial Campus, students have access to the resources and network required to build their entrepreneurial skills.
But entrepreneurship education does not stop in the classroom. Our comprehensive entrepreneurship programs combine award-winning coursework and experiential opportunities, equipping student entrepreneurs to turn ideas into action. In fact, NC State’s Entrepreneurship Alliance is a federation of university departments, programs and groups offering opportunities for the NC State community to learn and explore various aspects of entrepreneurship throughout campus. Most recently, students from the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program walked away with $28,000 of startup award money at the virtual eGames – NC State’s largest annual pitch competition. Programs like the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic embed students into Raleigh’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with great results — serving over 1,000 students who have worked with over 350 company partners.
“NC State Entrepreneurship is walking the walk. We are pivoting, evolving and moving forward in uncertain times, just like we teach our students to do” said Jennifer Capps, interim assistant vice provost of NC State Entrepreneurship. “We continue to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem by balancing the safety precautions that are necessary due to COVID-19 with the needs of the entrepreneurial community. This year alone we offered 7 new scholarships, will be introducing a new student support program to be announced in the coming months and continued the support of the Andrews Accelerator participants, Miller Fellows and Entrepreneurship Scholars with virtual peer meet-ups, virtual skills training, virtual mentoring and additional support where needed.”
Raleigh as a Hub for Entrepreneurship
Extending beyond campus, students benefit from Raleigh’s strong startup support and recognition as No. 3 Tech Town in the US. Currently, Raleigh is home to more than 500 startup companies, totaling 2,500 jobs in a wide range of industry sectors including Software, Life Sciences, Consumer Products, Design-Media, and the Internet of Things. In the last 3 years alone, startups in Raleigh have raised over $300 million in Angel and Venture Capital investment.
Philanthropic contributions of alumni and friends have allowed NC State Entrepreneurship to continue growing and offering entrepreneurship scholarships. These scholarships support NC State student entrepreneurs who have demonstrated initiative, determination, a “Think and Do” attitude and a commitment to entrepreneurial excellence in their daily lives. Currently, students can apply for the e5x Entrepreneurship Scholarship, The NC State Entrepreneurship Scholarship and The Sameer Murarka Entrepreneurship Scholarship. To be awarded for the first time in 2021 is the Alagu Periyannan and Theivanai Palaniappan Entrepreneurship Scholarship and the John and Linda Leazar Award for an outstanding entrepreneurship student.
Support for undergraduate students doesn’t end at graduation. Programs such as the Andrews Launch Accelerator and the Miller Fellowship provide mentorship and financial support for students and recent grads pursuing their startup full-time.
Graduates can connect with other alumni entrepreneurs; attend dedicated events; collaborate with companies with NC State roots through the Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN); or take advantage of the many services offered to startup companies and other partners. Over the last 4 years, WIN members have invested over $15mm into 25 companies that are led by NC State alums or are licensing technology from the university. During 2020 the group has invested $3.2mm in 11 transactions.
The entrepreneurial spirit is contagious at NC State. Whether you’re a prospective student visiting campus for the first time, a current student with an innovative concept or an alumnus, let us help you find the programs, places and people to bring your ideas to life.
This post was originally published in Entrepreneurship News.