The Duke Entrepreneurial Leaders Network (ELN) is a select group of Duke alumni and students who are committed to founding or leading an innovation-driven startup.

ELN members see the potential of science and technology to positively impact society and possess the bold spirit needed to start and scale organizations that support that mission. These dedicated entrepreneurs will improve their communities by creating economic value and jobs, delivering solutions to large-scale problems, and building durable new ventures. Members are invited to engage with Duke IP ready to be spun out, as well as to connect with local entrepreneurial leaders seeking senior talent to enable their growth.

ELN is part of a broader comprehensive suite of programs that prepare and support entrepreneurial Duke students and alumni, including courses like New Ventures Fellows, New Ventures Development, New Ventures Clinic: Healthcare, Design Health, and Duke Start-Up Ventures Clinic, along with co-curricular programs such as the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club, Melissa & Doug EntrepreneursDuke Capital PartnersNew Venture Fellows, and OTC Fellows.

With the entrepreneurial mindset and skills they gain from these and other Duke programs, students and alumni are prepared to become the next generation of impactful leaders, building a regional, national, and global entrepreneurship community.

The ELN is a partnership between Duke I&E and Duke’s Office of Translation & Commercialization (OTC) with support from Duke Capital Partners. Applications typically open in early spring each year. If you are interested in applying, please contact Josh Cohen.

Benefits of ELN Membership

ELN members receive:

  • Ongoing access to emerging opportunities from OTC, the Pratt School of Engineering, and Triangle-area growth-stage ventures
  • Lifelong access to a network of alumni who share your passion for innovation-driven entrepreneurship

Student Eligibility

  • Duke MBA students (Daytime, Weekend, Global, and Accelerated), law students, and STEM graduate students who will complete their programs within 12 months are eligible to apply.
  • To be selected, you should have clearly demonstrated your commitment to innovation-driven entrepreneurship during your time at Duke, taking courses and participating in programs that prepare you to be an entrepreneurial leader.
  • Those with a technical background aligned with their area of entrepreneurial interest are preferred.

Alumni Eligibility

  • Alumni of Duke’s MBA, law, and STEM graduate programs who were actively engaged in innovation and entrepreneurship activities during their time as students, as demonstrated by taking courses and participating in programs related to entrepreneurship, are eligible.
  • Ideal candidates are either currently leading their own innovation-driven startups or are interested in doing so in the future.
  • Those with a technical background aligned with their area of entrepreneurial interest are preferred.
Duke I&E horizontal logo standard transparent smaller
Duke Office of Translation and Commercialization logo OTC