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The Duke Entrepreneurial Leaders Network (ELN), a select group of Duke alumni who are committed to founding or leading an innovation-drive startup, has announced its 2023 cohort.

“ELN members are dedicated to channeling the power of innovation to positively impact society,” said Jamie Jones, director of Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Duke I&E). “They’re building bold new ventures and joining high-potential startups that are solving large-scale problems at the same time that they are improving their communities by creating economic value and jobs.”

Founded in 2020, ELN consists of 44 members across the U.S who receive ongoing access to emerging opportunities from Duke I&E, the Office of Translation & Commercialization (OTC), the Pratt School of Engineering, and Triangle-area growth-stage ventures. For instance, they may be invited to engage with Duke IP ready to be spun out, or to connect with local entrepreneurial leaders seeking senior talent to enable their companies’ growth.

April 18th Duke ELN event at the Durham Hotel

ELN members also cite Duke’s powerful innovation and entrepreneurship alumni network as motivation for joining the group, wanting to connect with others who share their passion for innovation-driven business growth.

“I’m grateful that during my two years at Duke, I’ve been able to meet and learn from so many entrepreneurs and startup executives,” said Abby Williams MBA ’23. “I’m looking forward to continuing to learn from this network while also giving back to Duke’s entrepreneurial community that has given me so much.”

“OTC is pleased to partner with Duke I&E to support the formation and growth of the ELN,” said Robin Rasor, Associate Vice President for Translation & Commercialization. “Finding business talent remains one of the largest issues for our student and faculty startups. Building a network of experienced leaders who have a passion for entrepreneurial activities and for Duke is very important for the future of this region and for Duke innovations.”

ELN’s 2023 cohort includes eight Duke students in their final year of study in law, business, chemistry, pharmacology, and electrical and computer engineering. The eight alumni members selected for the cohort are founders and executive leaders working in software, AI, healthcare, biotech, med tech, and legal counsel.

Student Inductees

Alumni Inductees

ELN—a partnership between Duke I&E and OTC, with support from Duke Capital Partners—is part of a broader comprehensive suite of programs that prepare and support entrepreneurial Duke students and alumni, including courses like New Ventures: Develop, New Ventures Clinic: Healthcare, Design Health, and Duke Start-Up Ventures Clinic, along with co-curricular programs such as the Student Founder Program, Melissa & Doug EntrepreneursDuke Capital Partners Associates, New Venture Fellows, and OTC Fellows.

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

“We were incredibly impressed by the quality of ELN applications we received this year,” said Josh Cohen, Duke I&E Director of MBA Entrepreneurship Programs and Startup Recruiting. “It’s inspiring to see how robust Duke’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is, and how passionate Duke alumni are about collaborating to advance innovative solutions.”