Universities compete for future startup leaders with focus on entrepreneurship

Dive Brief:

  • In 2013, more than 400,000 students took entrepreneurship classes and training through their higher education institutions, up significantly in recent decades as universities have begun to compete for students looking at higher education as a path toward a startup dream.
  • The New York Times reports that Rice, Harvard, NYU, Northwestern, and Princeton are among those that have opened entrepreneurship centers and labs in the last few years to draw students with resources to support their innovative tendencies.
  • While the resources seem to be attracting students, critics say colleges and universities are not doing enough to teach them the fundamentals of actually running and maintaining a business, leaving them unprepared for the startup world.

Dive Insight:

Since Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook and became a multibillionaire, college students across the country have had a striking new model for what the next big idea can bring them. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Evan Williams (co-founder of Twitter), Travis Kalanick (founder of Uber), and Jan Koum (founder of WhatsApp) also made their millions building successful tech companies instead of finishing their degrees.

While it is important to target opportunities for these students on campus as they become a larger portion of the student population, administrators must be sure to offer meaningful resources. These may even tempt the Mark Zuckerbergs of the future to stay through to completion.

Recommended Reading

The New York Times: Universities race to nurture start-up founders of the future