Innovation & Entrepreneurship
The School of Engineering has strategically pursued initiatives that promote a culture of entrepreneurship at the university and provide training and resources to students. The school’s efforts have led to joint academic programs with schools across the University, and have supported students and faculty pursuing startup ventures. The School of Engineering’s entrepreneurship initiatives are a direct response to Connecticut’s need to support innovation and entrepreneurship as drivers of economic growth.
Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
In 2016, the deans of the Schools of Engineering and Business worked together to establish the UConn Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consortium. For the first time in the university, this initiative brought together more than 30 university units with activities in the entrepreneurship space. The consortium’s success, activities, and achievements became the foundation for securing the gift/endowment and commitment (amounting to $22.5M) from Peter J. Werth to establish the Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in December 2017. The institute brings together student and faculty programs fostering entrepreneurship and innovation that have potential commercial applications and can be used to create new companies. In addition to nurturing innovation, the institute will facilitate entrepreneurship speaker forums and host an entrepreneur-in-residence to instruct students.
Master of Engineering in Global Entrepreneurship
In spring 2018, the SoE secured a CTNext grant to establish a Global Entrepreneurship Network in Connecticut. A collaborative program among UConn, the University of New Haven, and Trinity College, the network aims to energize Connecticut’s innovation economy by attracting and retaining science and technology entrepreneurs from around the world and will strengthen Connecticut’s higher education infrastructure in entrepreneurship by establishing best practices in entrepreneurship education, technology transfer, technology incubation, recruitment of student entrepreneurs, and creation of entrepreneur-friendly communities. A Master of Engineering in Global Entrepreneurship (MGE) program designed to cultivate student entrepreneurs capable of responding to emergent global trends in business and technology and to embed student-led start-up companies in Connecticut is the cornerstone of the program.
Courses in Entrepreneurship
The School of Engineering currently offers Experiential Technology Entrepreneurship I and II, for graduate students and two undergraduate courses on Technology Entrepreneurship, cross-listed with the School of Business (ENGR/MGMT 3500 and 3501). In addition, an undergraduate minor in technology entrepreneurship was established in collaboration with the School of Business.
Funding for Startups
In the past few years, the SoE has been critical in securing sources of funding for our entrepreneurship ventures listed below. Dr. Hadi Bozorgmanesh, who leads the mission of entrepreneurship and innovation in the school, has been instrumental in promoting startups:
- Secured The Third Bridge and UConn Innovation Fund to support student and faculty entrepreneurs ($750K)
- Secured Bioscience Pipeline in collaboration with Yale and Quinnipiac (PI) ($600K)
- UConn Innovation Fund ($750K/year)
UConn Engineering Startups
Since 2017, the SoE supported the launch of over 40 startups with our faculty and students through individual mentoring and entrepreneurship courses.
For more information on entrepreneurship at the University of Connecticut, please visit https://entrepreneurship.uconn.edu.