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Monday, Aug 21, 2017

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Center for Entrepreneurship recognized for innovation, engagement and growth of student ventures

From left: event organizer Steven Tello, UMass Lowell sr. assoc. VC for entrepreneurship and economic development; event emcee Deborah Hoover; Luke Pittaway, OHIO Center for Entrepreneurship director; Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, co-founder of the symposium.

Photographer: Tory Germann for UMass Lowell

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OHIO wins Deshpande Symposium’s 2017 Excellence in Student Engagement in Entrepreneurship award

Center for Entrepreneurship recognized for innovation, engagement and growth of student ventures


The Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio University, a partnership between the College of Business and Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, was named the winner of the 2017 Deshpande Symposium Award for Excellence in Student Engagement in Entrepreneurship.  

The Desphande Symposium Awards provide national recognition of outstanding success in entrepreneurship and innovation. The awards are highly recognized by peer institutions and have historically received applications from the United States and India. The Deshpande Foundation actively supports efforts to train the next generation of entrepreneurs and help startups thrive.   

The Center’s award recognizes an institution that encourages student leadership and engagement in developing innovative extra and co-curricular activities that support the development of entrepreneurial awareness, skills and practice. The award is one of five that are given each year.

Luke Pittaway, chair of Ohio University’s Management Department and former director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, attended the 6th Annual Deshpande Symposium for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Higher Education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell to receive the award on June 13.

"Our University is student centered, so this is an exceptionally important award,” said Pittaway. “Student engagement is central to everything we do. Student initiative and action is part of what we see as most valuable in entrepreneurship education and this achievement puts us amongst the best programs.”

The recipient of this award is determined by nominations and supporting letters submitted by a university president, chancellor or provost, program participants, as well as third party supporters.

“The Center for Entrepreneurship is a perfect of example of what differentiates OHIO from its peers,” said Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. “Teaching an entrepreneurial mindset to students, while also providing them with the skills and real-world experiences that are essential to future success, is what makes this program one of the best in the nation.”

Through the assistance of various partners such as TechGROWTH Ohio, the Center for Entrepreneurship has actively supported the development and launch of student-led businesses including Imgur, Digital Edge Sports and Rap Chat. To provide aspiring entrepreneurs in Athens with a collaborative workspace, the Center is currently working to build C-Suite, an effort between Ohio University students and Stanford University Epicenter Innovation Fellows. C-Suite will provide a dedicated space for entrepreneurs to build their startups on the Ohio University Athens Campus. The project has received nearly $1M in funding through the University, grants and donors.

“This award reflects the very robust network of collaborating entities we have built over time, through which students can engage in any number of ways with the world of business startups, technology commercialization, nonprofit organizations and other initiatives,” Lynn Gellermann, executive d­­irector, TechGROWTH Ohio and the Center for Entrepreneurship, said.

About the Ohio University Center for Entrepreneurship

The Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio University, a partnership between the College of Business and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, aims to contribute to Ohio University's entrepreneurial ecosystem by enhancing entrepreneurial education, University-based entrepreneurial activity, and regionally focused venture development in southeast Ohio. 

Learn more about the Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio University.