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Navigating Lehigh’s entrepreneurial infrastructure

These two students demonstrate Lehigh's entrepreneurial spirit as they work on a lacrosse stick prototype for an IPD class.

Last month, Lehigh University garnered national attention for helping to transform the Lehigh Valley into a premier destination for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Students from all backgrounds have tapped into that entrepreneurial mindset and used Lehigh’s resources as a launching pad for their own business ventures.

Take the past four Grand Prize winners of the prestigious Joan F. & John M. Thalheimer ’55 Student Entrepreneurs Competition, for example. Each has established a start-up business within fifteen miles of Lehigh’s campus.

For the first time, however, that successful track record is on display for everyone to see on a new Web site dedicated exclusively to Lehigh’s entrepreneurial activities.

Today, Lehigh launched a Web site that showcases the university’s unique, cross-disciplinary approach to entrepreneurship. It provides an in-depth look at Lehigh’s curriculum while giving viewers a glimpse at the university’s entrepreneurial landscape.

The site was developed by the Entrepreneurship Initiative Implementation Group following the recommendations of an earlier task force which reported that Lehigh needed a more strategic Web presence outlining its entrepreneurial efforts.

It’s the first of many projects designed to showcase Lehigh’s entrepreneurial culture, particularly for students, investors and funding agencies.

“In most universities, entrepreneurship almost exclusively falls under engineering or business,” explains Todd Watkins, co-founder of Lehigh’s Integrated Product Development program and co-chair of the implementation group. “That’s certainly not the case here. We’ve had a lot of success building an entrepreneurial infrastructure that extends to all corners of the community and to every college here at Lehigh.”

The Web site is designed to illustrate how Lehigh University has created an atmosphere in which business, cultural, and social entrepreneurship can equally thrive. It’s part of an aggressive effort by the university to create a new model for entrepreneurial education—one that encourages faculty and students alike to explore real opportunities to tackle societal issues.

“Lehigh thrives on being a hub of creativity and an integral part of our community’s economic and cultural resurgence,” says Paul Brown, dean of the College of Business and Economics who also served as co-chair of the Entrepreneurship Initiative Implementation Group. “This Web site really captures our entrepreneurial spirit and showcases the resources and opportunities that Lehigh has to offer to the entire community.”

--Tom Yencho

Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2008

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