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Reinventing University Entrepreneurship
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At the University of Texas at Dallas' Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, we have reinvented higher ed entrepreneurship.
Your Story
.Please upload your story using the document and/or video fields below.
Please upload your story - document
What is your innovation?
We have reinvented the pathway and process for higher education entrepreneurship by providing a multi-facted platform that funnels the highest potential ideas through lean startup methodology, product development, and customer interaction towards the launch of new business. We have expanded across a 27,000 student university to launch programs across all categories and to host entrepreneurial efforts in three main categories: academic (idea generation), startup (idea to launch), and incubation (launch to growth). We have developed a launched student led seed fund that funds successful startups and worked across the DFW startup community to spin out companies once they hit critical mass in the growth stage.
Fill in the following one-sentence “mad lib”: A inspired my innovation of B; B is important because of C and has made D impact.
A broken university entrepreneurship model inspired my innovation of rethinking the startup process in higher ed and it is important because of the cultural revolution among innovative millennials.
What was the motivation behind your innovation?
I am passionate about startups, entrepreneurship, higher ed and free market capitalism. I've seen universities across the U.S. and especially Texas struggle with true innovation. Most universities think entrepreneurship happens in the classroom through a closed loop, but real entrepreneurs and innovators understand the open loop, systems thinking reality of true innovation.
How does your story bring the "Wow Factor"?
In the past year since we initiated this change we've seen top down support from the university, increased program participation by 2x, and doubled the number of startups coming out of the university year over year. Additionally, we raised a $1M grant from the Blackstone Foundation, over $500,000 from corporate partners, and a $500,000 investment for our initial seed fund.
Anything else you want to share?
The mission of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is to utilize education, training, mentorship, and resources to support students, faculty and staff in the launch of new businesses. The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is leading the way in supporting students and faculty with entrepreneurial training and resources. Across the campus, the IIE works to engage and empower the UTD family in launching new businesses through academic courses, conferences, networking, and unique funding opportunities. For more information about IIE programs, please visit

Business Idea Competition (BIC): The BIC is an annual event open to both graduate and undergraduate student from every school on campus. It gives the student contestants the opportunity to develop and present their business ideas while competing for $20,000 in cash and scholarship prizes.

Venture Advisory Services: The Venture Advisory Services program is designed to leverage external mentors, guest speakers, and resources into a hub of information that can be mobilized to help student, faculty, and staff startup teams in the launch of their businesses.

Comet Accelerator: Comet Accelerator is a 10-week, experiential program for faculty, staff and students to incubate ideas and engage prospective customers in preparation for launch.

Student Seed Fund: The UT Dallas Student Seed Fund would enable entrepreneurial students to seek seed investments in high potential startups by engaging in a rigorous due diligence process that leads to initial equity investment funding. Investments would range from $25,000 to $100,000 in equity investment depending upon the need and success of the business.

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