Using the University as a Startup Incubator

, Universities, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

This course will explore why the US university has become the hottest launchpad for high growth firms -- Nike and Under Armour to Google and Facebook. It will help you get the most out of the campus as you build your venture.

Our session will present a framework for understanding how entrepreneurs use the university for opportunity recognition and firm formation. Cases, themes, and strategies will be discussed.

Participants gain a deep understanding of university assets and structures supporting entrepreneurship and innovation and also the ability navigate and exploit these assets in their entrepreneurial pursuits. Get the most out of your tuition dollars, learn to leverage the campus.

**US higher education is the most respected and highest rated in the world and there is a great deal to learn from the socio-economic phenomena of students creating high growth firms from campus. Looking forward to discussing this topic with you.

This class is open to those interested in entrepreneurship, currently working on a new venture, or looking to bring entrepreneurial thinking into their current position. Additionally, those interested in higher education policy, economic development and
  • Using the University as a Startup Incubator


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David Miller

Universities, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

I have been researching the intersection of high growth firms, entrepreneurship, and US higher education at GMU's School of Public Policy for 6 years. I am currently creating the first database of high growth firms created by students at US universities and completing  in-depth case studies of two leading 'startup' Universities in the US (The University of Chicago and the University of Maryland). I cover and comment on this topic at and I tweet via @campus_entre.

I teach New Venture Creation at GMU's School of Management and am the Director of Entrepreneurship at the Mason Center for Social Entrepreneurship. I am currently a PhD Candidate in GMU's SPP, hold an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, an MSc in the International Politics of Asia from University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, and a BA in International Relations from the University of Michigan.

Additionally, I have participated full time in 6 new ventures over the past 15 years, including 2 during the Internet Boom and Bust. I have served as an advisor to over 100 ventures during the past 15 years.


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