Flexible Faculty Fund

To keep pace with growing participation in Duke I&E courses for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, gifts to the Flexible Faculty Fund provide resources to establish, enhance, and grow these curricular offerings.

The I&E Certificate is the second most popular undergraduate certificate at Duke. A rigorous interdisciplinary study of innovation and entrepreneurship, the Certificate complements any major, coupling in-depth theoretical coursework with hands-on practice. Industry experts and seasoned entrepreneurs are engaged to enrich classroom programming. With over 300 students, the Certificate enhances students’ ability to explore the complex problems facing our world—and develop innovative solutions.

Innovate Duke is an integrated family of courses for aspiring innovators, entrepreneurs, and founders enrolled in any graduate or professional degree program. Students from across the university work in multi-disciplinary teams to identify a problem worth solving, move from idea to impact, and bring an innovation to the world. These offerings complement graduate and professional students’ areas of study and support a wide range of career goals.

Student Experience Fund

Gifts to the Student Experience Fund allow the Director of Duke I&E to strategically invest in student programming outside the classroom, enhancing and enriching the student experience in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Duke I&E engages and brings together students from across Duke to learn, connect, and create. Co-curricular opportunities such as a suite of weekly and monthly community-building sessions and skill-building workshops enrich the student entrepreneurial ecosystem, enhance the student experience, and serve as the heartbeat of student I&E activity across Duke. Duke I&E also supports clubs, student-organized activities, immersive experiences, civic engagement, and international pitch competitions. These activities are designed to complement curricular offerings to give students the most comprehensive education in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Student teams from a variety of I&E programs at Duke who are actively working on projects may apply to remain in Durham for the summer and participate in the Duke I&E Summer Accelerator. Selected teams receive stipends to support living expenses, access to co-working space, mentorship and community-building activities, and the opportunity for a “kicker” investment at the end of the summer based on progress made.

Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator

The Innovation Accelerator, a unique partnership between Duke and UNICEF, supports social impact innovators in finding and implementing solutions to the most pressing challenges facing children worldwide. Selected innovators are supplied the knowledge, tools, and networks to build and scale their innovations in order to address situations that endanger children earlier, faster, and with better outcomes. The Accelerator also provides partnership opportunities to faculty and students, uniting Duke’s social impact community and nurturing the next generation of humanitarian leaders.

Mentors in Residence

Mentors-in-Residence (MIRs) are entrepreneurs who have successfully raised capital for, built, sold, or invested in start-up companies. These forward thinkers share their insights, experiences, and numerous connections with faculty and staff startup projects. Each MIR handles a portfolio of projects related to their particular field of expertise and provides astute and personalized guidance to help create great new ventures.

In conjunction with Duke’s Office of Licensing and Ventures New Ventures Group, this network of entrepreneurs will assist faculty and staff in accelerating their Duke start-up, evaluating early-stage technology, and transforming promising technologies into business ventures. Their fields of experience include pharmaceuticals, medical devices, software/technology, materials, and hardware, among others.

Director’s Opportunity Fund

As we expand the Initiative’s programming and partner with outside entities, this general, unrestricted support is invaluable. A gift to the Director’s Opportunity Fund will give Duke I&E the horsepower to drive our work, the agility to take advantage of exciting opportunities as they arise, and the resources to fill gaps in our current programming to maintain Duke’s world-class leadership in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship.