Top university entrepreneurship centers announced at GCEC conference

McNair Hall, home of Rice Business

HOUSTON – (Oct. 11, 2023) – The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC), headquartered at the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship in Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, brought leading university entrepreneurship programs together to celebrate creativity and innovation in university-based entrepreneurship education for its annual conference Oct. 5-7 and announced the top programs in higher education.

The conference, which saw its largest attendance in history this year, is the flagship event of the GCEC, which facilitates collaboration of global entrepreneurship center leaders with the goal of advancing, strengthening and celebrating the role universities fulfill in educating future entrepreneurs. The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Dallas hosted more than 700 leaders from universities across the world for more than 140 breakout sessions.

At the close of the conference, 12 universities were awarded top honors in nine categories and several others were commended. The 2023 GCEC awardees:

Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center:

  • Schools with less than 5,000 students: eHive at Waynesburg University
  • Schools with more than 5,000 students: Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute at the University of Texas at Austin

Outstanding Contributions to Venture Creation

  • Harvard Innovation Labs at Harvard University

Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines

  • Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Buffalo
  • Highly Commended: Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship at Iowa State University

Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education

  • Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado, Boulder

Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation

  • Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah

Outstanding Student Engagement and Leadership:

  • Schools with less than 5,000 students: Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development at Loyola University New Orleans
  • Schools with greater than 5,000 students: Center for Entrepreneurship Education at Northeastern University

Exceptional Contributions in Entrepreneurship Research

  • Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship
  • Highly Commended: Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital at London Business School

Nasdaq Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence:

  • Schools with less than 5,000 students: Kirzner Entrepreneurship Center at Francisco Marroquin University; Highly Commended: Steven Dorfman Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at California Lutheran University
  • Schools with greater than 5,000 students: Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul University

GCEC Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

  • Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Dallas

One legacy award honors an individual for their pioneering work advancing entrepreneurship in universities and/or directing a university entrepreneurship center that created a legacy impact on the field. The candidates for this award demonstrate a long-term commitment to entrepreneurship in an academic setting, achieve a standard of excellence and make a substantial impact upon students, faculty, staff, startups and/or their region. This year’s winner:

  • Rebecca White, James W. Walter Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship and director of the John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Tampa

Under the new leadership of executive director Holly DeArmond, who is charged with accelerating the growth and longevity of the institution, GCEC is rolling out more offerings for members. The vision is to facilitate the development of a highly qualified network and seamless global collaboration with continuous learning of best practices over the course of the year, not just condensed into one annual conference.

“We aspire to create an environment that nurtures growth, fosters innovation and drives positive change in the field of entrepreneurship education,” DeArmond said. “Together, we will shape a brighter future where the impact of entrepreneurship in education reaches new heights, empowering individuals and communities worldwide.”

One of these new initiatives announced at the conference is the addition of a global summit, which furthers GCEC’s commitment to make an impact internationally. In June 2024, the Sasin School of Management will host GCEC’s inaugural global summit in Bangkok. GCEC will continue to hold its annual conference, which will be hosted by Babson College in November 2024.