URBANA – The University of Illinois College of Business has been awarded a $4.5 million grant to establish an academy to build the entrepreneurial skills of graduate students and faculty.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation that supports entrepreneurship and education, awarded $25 million in grants to eight universities, including the UI, through its Kauffman Campuses Initiative.
The schools were selected from 15 finalists that received $50,000 planning grants in June to develop a five-year plan for entrepreneurship training.
The UI's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Development will develop courses, internships and other activities for almost 10,000 graduate students and faculty.
Paul Magelli, director of OSBI Consulting, a consulting firm of Illinois MBA students, led the development of the proposal for the academy.
"This is a remarkable opportunity to provide national and international leadership in entrepreneurship," Magelli said in a written statement. "The Illinois proposal is comprehensive, multidisciplinary and reaches well beyond the borders of this campus and the state of Illinois."
The proposal has three parts:
– Programs to expand the options for entrepreneurship research and hands-on experience on campus, including programs for faculty fellows, graduate student research, graduate student internships and entrepreneur mentors.
– Programs to foster research and develop critical instructional skills and knowledge for faculty and graduate students across campus. Academy staff will work with various colleges on campus to organize and integrate existing entrepreneurship courses and develop new ones. The academy will also partner with the colleges to develop a university minor in entrepreneurship.
– Outreach programs that will include an extension program in entrepreneurship, a clearinghouse that will be a repository for entrepreneurship information and a national network of UI alumni to serve as mentors.
The Tri-University Alliance will link the campus with Howard University in Washington, D.C., and the University of Texas at El Paso. UI academy officials will create and adapt activities here for both universities, and they will take advantage of the international business and cross-border strengths at UTEP and public policy at Howard University.
The other universities receiving entrepreneurship grants are:
– Florida International University, $3 million.
– Howard University, $3.1 million.
– University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, $3.5 million.
– University of Rochester, $3.5 million.
– University of Texas-El Paso, $2 million.
– Wake Forest University, $2.16 million.
– Washington University in St. Louis, $3 million.