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Entrepreneurship rank lends force to innovation efforts

October 21, 2009

The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) this week released its second annual ranking of universities that are home to the most student entrepreneurs. Arizona State University was ranked second with 31 student entrepreneurs. Babson College ranked first with 54.

GSEA, a program of the Entrepreneurs' Organization, is the world's premier competition for students who own and run businesses while attending a college or university.

"Today, university-based entrepreneurship is critical not just to students, but also to cities and nations that seek to foster innovation, job growth and economic development," said Kevin Langley, Entrepreneurs’ Organizations chairman-elect.

Other schools in the top 10 include the University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, Yale University, Harvard University, National University of Singapore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and New York University.

“Entrepreneurship at ASU has really taken off in the last few years. ASU students have fantastic energy and ideas and really, there are so many ASU students starting and running businesses on their own,” said Kimberly Loui, associate vice president and executive director in the Office of Student Initiatives. “We’re trying to encourage and support this movement by offering entrepreneurship courses and opportunities in disciplines as varied as journalism, nursing, design, theatre and film. With GSEA’s rankings, ASU students are just beginning to make their mark.”

Entrepreneurship at ASU is unique in that is crosses all academic. Students are experiencing ways to map entrepreneurial skills and ideas onto their regular course of study, combining classroom environments with real-world applications.

More than 23 undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs exist across the university, 112 courses are taught and seven certificate and degree programs in entrepreneurship are offered.

Outside the classroom, entrepreneurship at ASU provides opportunities to work with entrepreneurial companies, or to take ideas further, with funding to start a project or launch a business venture.

The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative, for example, is one of the broadest student entrepreneur programs in the country. Edson helps students explore innovative ideas for business products and services in partnership with faculty, researchers and successful entrepreneurs from both the academic and private sectors. To date, Edson ventures have received $100 million in external funding and in-kind services.

In 2006, ASU was designated a leading entrepreneurial university. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation awarded a $5 million grant to ASU to extend access to entrepreneurship education university-wide.

For more information on entrepreneurship at ASU, visit