|UND ranked among top ten Universities for entrepreneurship|
The University has been named one of the top 10 Best Schools for Entrepreneurs in the nation, according to a survey of more than 700 schools by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. UND ranks eighth out of the top 25. The survey results, along with the analysis, appear in the October issue of Entrepreneur, which hits newsstands Sept. 26.
This is the second time the University has been recognized in a similar list as a national leader for producing and supporting entrepreneurs. In 2004, UND ranked 14th of 25 as a top entrepreneurial campus by Forbes.com and the Princeton Review.
“This ranking solidifies UND and the College of Business and Public Administration as a leader in the field of entrepreneurship,” said Dennis Elbert, dean of the College of Business and Public Administration. “To be considered one of the best undergraduate entrepreneur programs endorses our efforts in providing the best opportunities for up-and-coming business leaders. We are incredibly proud of this accomplishment.”
“I am not surprised that we have moved up on the list,” said President Charles Kupchella. “There is a very real entrepreneurial spirit that is pervasive throughout this campus. I recognized that when I came to UND in 1999. There are so many excellent examples here, including the College of Business and Public Administration, which, thanks to the generous help of a number of alumni as well as the leadership of Dean Elbert and his faculty and staff, has embraced that entrepreneurial spirit to create a state-of-the-art school. The creation of the major in entrepreneurship is itself entrepreneurial.”
"It is a thrill to be part of this vibrant and growing program. The students have responded so well to the challenges we have placed in front of them. North Dakota has always been about the pioneering spirit and it continues today. We enjoy such enthusiasm by the region's entrepreneurs and UND alumni who come back to the classroom and participate. It gives the next generation a real advantage in seeing their future," said Jeffrey Stamp, who holds the Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship. The College of Business and Public Administration's first endowed chair was funded by James Ray, one of the top donors to UND. Ray and his late wife, Joan, developed a cattle vaccine and founded the Ray Foundation, through which Ray has established a $2 million endowment within the Center for Innovation Foundation to support outreach to young entrepreneurs. He has been a strong supporter of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences and the College of Business and Public Administration.
The College of Business and Public Administration was ranked for its undergraduate program in entrepreneurship based on its success connected to a number of factors, including curriculum, mentoring, experiential learning, faculty credentials, and the success of graduating students and alumni. Robert Franek, editorial director of Princeton Review Books, said UND and other high-ranking schools demonstrated a commitment to practical, hands-on experiential learning to provide the skills that translate into real-world businesses.
UND has long been a leader in entrepreneurship. Formed in 1984 and nationally recognized five times for innovation and entrepreneurship, UND’s Center for Innovation was among the nation's first entrepreneur outreach centers. The Skalicky Tech Incubator was one of the very first business incubators in the nation. Its sister facility, the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center, was funded in large part through Gov. John Hoeven’s Centers of Excellence program and funding from Ray Rude, developer of the Duraflex diving board, in honor of his wife.
The Entrepreneur Program is one of the fastest-growing programs at UND, with more than 50 majors and more than 200 students enrolled in classes; 50 entrepreneur students are enrolled in the business plan course this semester alone.
Bruce Gjovig, who directs the Center for Innovation, said 21 student ventures have been started in the last two years through the Mueller Entrepreneur Program funded by Kurt Mueller, former president of the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. UND is among a small handful of campuses with this kind of entrepreneur activity, said Gjovig, who added that students have offices in Skalicky Tech Incubator on campus.
Gjovig also cited a student-run venture fund established this fall by Bart and Lynn Holaday. It is among the first funds of this kind in the nation offering student hands-on experience with venture investing. The Holadays are venture capitalists who founded the Dakota Foundation.
For more information and a complete listing of the schools, go to Entrepreneur.com.