School Updates

11 universities recognized for outstanding entrepreneurship programs by Rice-based consortium

by Jeff Falk

Eleven universities with leading-edge entrepreneurship programs, along with 19 finalists, were recognized for their outstanding programs at the 2019 Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) conference in Stockholm. Now in its 23rd year, the GCEC conference in September was attended by more than 400 individuals from 240 top universities representing 29 countries and six continents.

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business serve as the central office for the GCEC organization.

Universities specializing in venture creation and specialty programs, such as women’s entrepreneurship, were among those acknowledged. The award winners were selected through a rigorous nomination and evaluation process, undergoing review by a panel of 95 academic peers. More than 100 university programs were nominated this year from the 240 GCEC member schools.

Awards were presented in eight categories including the top award, the Nasdaq Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence award. Since 2000, Nasdaq has honored university centers that have made and will continue to make enormous contributions in advancing entrepreneurship as the force in economic growth throughout the world.

In addition, two individuals were honored for their lifetime contribution to university entrepreneurship.

“Entrepreneurship has become a central and vibrant educational component at most top universities around the world,” said Brad Burke, executive director of the GCEC and managing director of the Rice Alliance. “Universities play a critical role in global innovation and economic development. The GCEC has been a driver of vigorous and innovative academic and experiential entrepreneurial programs. More and more institutes of higher education are recognizing that teaching entrepreneurial skills are key to the success of our students and the world’s future economy.”

A complete list of award winners and finalists follows.

Outstanding Contributions to Venture Creation


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — Illinois Entrepreneurship


Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego — California Institute for Innovation and Development

Clarkson University — Shipley Center for Innovation

Grand Valley State University — Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

University College Cork — IGNITE

Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education      


Rutgers University — Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development


Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University — Arsenal

University of Delaware — Horn Entrepreneurship

Utah State University — Center for Entrepreneurship

University of Texas at Dallas — Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation


University of California, Berkeley — Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Teaching

University of Colorado Boulder — Deming Center for Entrepreneurship

Texas Christian University — Neely Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation


Munich University of Applied Sciences — Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship

Wisconsin School of Business — Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship

Outstanding Student Engagement & Leadership


Michigan State University — MSU Entrepreneurship


West Virginia University — IDEA Hub Ecosystem and LaunchLab Network

University of Houston — Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship

Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center


Dartmouth College — Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship

Brown University — Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship


Rice University — Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Hebrew University Jerusalem — HUJI Innovate

Memorial University — Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship

Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines


Florida State University — Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship


Texas A&M University — McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship

Pennsylvania State University — The Center for Penn State Student Entrepreneurship

Florida Polytechnic University — Entrepreneurship Center

Harvard University — Harvard Innovation Labs

GCEC Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

Winner: Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship

GCEC Legacy Award


Saras Sarasvathy, Paul M. Hammaker Professor in Business Administration, University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Ted Zoller, T.W. Lewis Clinical Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

Nasdaq Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence

Winner: University of Chicago — Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The GCEC is the premier academic organization addressing the emerging topics of importance to the nation’s university-based centers for entrepreneurship. It has become the vehicle by which the top, established entrepreneurship centers as well as emerging centers work together to share best practices, develop programs and initiatives and collaborate and assist each other in advancing, strengthening and celebrating the role of universities in teaching the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

The GCEC conference was hosted by the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its founding.