There are many ways for you to get involved with entrepreneurship at Duke outside of the classroom setting. Graduate and undergraduate students can choose from a variety of student clubs and living groups. There are several networking opportunities for students, faculty and alumni – including interest groups for social entrepreneurship, mobile applications, biotechnology and many more.
On Campus Incubator Facilities
Located in the Pratt School of Engineering School's Teer Building, DUhatch is an on-campus incubation space for undergraduate student-led new ventures. DUhatch connects enterprising students with mentors from faculty and industry, giving them office space, and facilitating business development to help solve the myriad problems a fledgling venture faces.
The Innovation Co-Lab is a creativity incubator, focused on exploring how new and emerging technologies can fundamentally reshape the research, academic, and service missions of the university. Working with entrepreneurial-minded colleagues around campus, the Co-Lab is building a model program that will elevate and inspire Duke students who are solving problems, big and small, through Duke's ever-changing technological environment. Duke students of all backgrounds, interests, and skill-sets are encouraged to participate.
The Duke Global Entrepreneurship Network (DukeGEN) is a sophisticated and active network that helps create debate, dialogue, and productive connections between Duke entrepreneurs. DukeGEN provides the energy and coordination to encourage Duke entrepreneurs, around the globe, to connect and increase their chances of success.
The Duke I&E Speaker Series provides an opportunity to hear from successful entrepreneurs with connections to the Duke community. After the talks, there is an opportunity to meet and mingle with like-minded students, faculty, and professionals from the Triangle community to discuss your interests in entrepreneurship.
The Duke Start-Up Challenge (founded in 1999) encourages students to plan and launch their own businesses, receiving feedback from experienced professionals and the chance to win seed capital along the way. Educational seminars are held to cover almost all aspects of starting a business. The competition includes seven independent “tracks”, including undergraduate team, social venture, life sciences, and women-led teams. We work to pair people that have great ideas with people from across the university who have the skills and experiences to turn those ideas into successful businesses. Each phase of the competition is also designed to provide feedback from the judges so that ideas can be further improved.
ChangeWorks is a pioneering social entrepreneurship competition that encourages Duke undergraduate students to develop brilliant and innovative ideas that have the potential to change the world. Through engaging the whole Duke community in the voting process of the competition, ChangeWorks gives entrepreneurial students the support they need to raise awareness about problems in our society and promote their unique solutions that could spark social change.
The Program for Entrepreneurs (P4E) lets Duke students receive course credit for work towards starting a company. Projects must be accepted into the Program by the P4E Advisors. Students with projects can attempt to join the program by pitching at the P4E: Idea Pitch Event. Any Duke student can pitch, but in order to enroll, there will need to be at least one Duke MBA student on the team committed to making this a real startup.
Clubs and Living Groups
InCube is a community of students who share a passion for entrepreneurship that surpasses classroom education and spills into entrepreneurial initiatives that influence the real world. The InCube community is centered around its entrepreneurship house, a selective living dormitory for some of the most passionate and accomplished entrepreneurial students at Duke University. InCube aspires to create an infectious entrepreneurial living environment where one student’s passion fuels another’s. In addition to fostering this environment through the living component, InCube will provide incubation-like resources to support start-ups, including events and some collaboration space. The combination of a supportive and close knit living community with incubation resources will allow InCube member’s entrepreneurial initiatives to flourish.
The Duke Entrepreneur (TDE) is Duke University’s undergraduate entrepreneurship umbrella organization. TDE’s mission is to provide an undergraduate voice to the entrepreneurial community at Duke University, to facilitate the exchange of business ideas and connections among students, faculty and alumni within the greater Duke community, and to facilitate the growth and cultivation of an entrepreneurial culture and community at Duke University. TDE is also part of Duke GEN, and is the way for undergraduates at Duke to join it.
Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club (EVCC) is focused on facilitating interactions between our members, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and venture capitalists around the world. The EVCC also acts as a liaison between students seeking opportunities in these fields and the Career Center.
Duke Venture Capital Club promotes undergraduate awareness about venture capital. We seek budding entrepreneurs as well as students who are looking for venture capital as their core career.
Design for Americia at Duke teaches human centered design to students and collaborating community partners through extra-curricular, university based, student led design studios to look locally, create fervently and act fearlessly. Duke DFA is a reflection of the passionate, intelligent, and creative culture that defines its campus. DFA Duke hopes to enable collaboration across Duke and the greater Durham area in order to create lasting social impact and elucidate the power of design.
Mentorship and Support
DUhatch offers offers “walk-up” access to legal, marketing, and start-up strategy advice during its weekly Coaches on Call program – students can review guest advisor schedule and sign-up for 30-minute appointment on-line. Students and faculty interested in developing new ventures, both social and commercial, can gain access to mentoring services through participation in venture development classes (for example the Program for Entrepreneurs) and the Summer Innovation Program. In addition, many teams in the Duke Start-Up Challenge are matched with alumni mentors to help in developing their business plans. These mentors are often selected from DukeGEN's Start-Up Matchmaker Directory.
The Start-Up Ventures Clinic sponsored by the Duke Law School offers free representation to a range of early-stage business and social entrepreneurship ventures on matters related to the startup process.
In downtown Durham at the American Tobacco campus, NCIdea, a funding agency for NC-based technology start-ups, holds office hours every Friday from 9:30-11:30. Sign up here for a slot.