Daniels’ Entrepreneurship Department has grown and adapted with time, experience, technological advances…even a pandemic

In 2019, the Daniels Business magazine reported on Daniels’ Entrepreneurship Department in “The Power of the Pivot.” Things are, well, different since then. Bigger. Better. As entrepreneurial ventures ought to, the department has grown and adapted with time, experience, technological advances … even a pandemic.

In fall 2020, what was formerly Project X-ITE—an inter-disciplinary hub for igniting innovation and entrepreneurship among DU students—merged with the Department of Entrepreneurship into a re-branded unit: Entrepreneurship@DU (E@DU).

Daniels Teaching Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and alumnus Joshua Ross (MBA 2001) took the reins as director. Teaching Assistant Professor Neil Pollard joined in spring 2021.

“This change greatly benefits our students with intentional coordination among the academic curriculum offered by Daniels and the non-curricular programming implemented over the last few years as part of Project X-ITE,” said Dean Vivek Choudhury. “Entrepreneurship@DU will remain purposefully interdisciplinary and strive to create new paths for students from all disciplines across campus to study entrepreneurship and innovation.”

E@DU programming includes the entrepreneurship minor, a joint graduate certificate in music entrepreneurship with the Lamont School of Music, the Madden Challenge pitch competition and a speaker series. The Fourth Industrial Revolution class also is required for all undergraduate business majors, who develop go-to-market strategies for prototypes they create using artificial intelligence, 3D printing, blockchain, cryptocurrency and other disruptive new technologies.

Sprints—one-day, 1-credit classes on more than 30 topics—are open to undergraduate and graduate students from any program, and are among the most popular classes at DU.

There’s also a robust mentorship program, $1,000 microgrants and Pioneer Venture Group funding to support student start-ups—even a TikTok pitch competition.

“There’s an opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship in whichever way you’re most comfortable, and it’s accessible and inclusive to everyone,” said Ross.

Entrepreneurship@DU encourages students to explore their interests, passions and purpose. To think big, disrupt, solve problems and make an impact.

“I think this is the most exciting time to be an entrepreneur because of the technology that’s available,” Ross said. “While there are some concerns and risks, there’s also an opportunity to take these technologies to help improve the way we do things, help improve processes and the way we live our lives.”

If you are interested in mentoring student entrepreneurs with their ideas and innovations, contact Joshua Ross at joshua.ross@du.edu.