NEWPATH: An Innovative Program to Nurture IT Entrepreneurs

ABSTRACT

The number of freshmen interested in entrepreneurship has grown dramatically in the last few years. In response, many universities have created entrepreneurship programs, including ones focused on engineering entrepreneurship. In this paper, we report on NEWPATH, an innovative NSF-supported program at Ohio State, designed to nurture students to become IT entrepreneurs. While the program builds on the experiences of other schools, it includes a number of novel components that are integrated together in an unusual manner to interlock and complement each other. The result is an ecosystem that is exceptionally effective in achieving its key goal of helping students succeed as IT entrepreneurs. Indeed, between the 25 or so students who are active in NEWPATH, three or four enterprises have been launched and have acquired or are close to acquiring VC/angel funding; a couple of others were launched with seed-funding before the involved students decided their business model was not as viable as they thought and suspended work. The students involved range from sophomores through seniors/recent graduates.

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Neelam Soundarajan

Neelam Soundarajan

Stephen M. Camp

Stephen M. Camp

David Lee

David Lee

Rajiv Ramnath

Rajiv Ramnath

Bruce W. Weide

Bruce W. Weide

 

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