A Powerful, Collaborative & Diverse Network
Success in entrepreneurship and innovation is built on a foundation of community. Every day, Duke alumni, parents, donors, and friends are making an impact by sharing their expertise, advising students, providing resources, and connecting with one another. Involvement by these partners helps us bring real-world expertise into our programs, allows us to scale our programs with excellence, and provides pathways for the Duke community to learn from and rely on each other. We believe that by working together, we can make the Duke network even more powerful.
In 2023, Duke I&E worked to grow our network of entrepreneurs and innovators by:
Engaging more than 217 volunteers as mentors, classroom speakers, advisors, and advocates
Hosting or co-creating 10 Duke I&E events to engage and connect, many in partnership with entities around Duke, including Venture Studio sessions at Duke and Fuqua reunions and Duke Women’s Weekend; Fuqua Forums: Entrepreneurship; and regional alumni events in Dallas and the San Francisco Bay area
Connecting more than 1,308 community members at Duke I&E Network in-person and virtual events
Creating virtual channels for Duke the I&E community to connect, including the Duke I&E Network on LinkedIn and the Duke I&E alumni industry group on Dukealumni.com
Presenting Duke I&E’s vision, mission, faculty research, and program offerings to more than 500 Duke alumni, parents, friends, and donors
Securing more than $2.4M in investment in Duke I&E’s work from Duke alumni, parents, and friends
The Ronald & Carrie Ludwig Duke in Silicon Valley Program
The Ronald & Carrie Ludwig Duke in Silicon Valley Program gives undergraduate students an intensive experience in the creation of new ventures. Over the course of a month, students gain an understanding of the resources, skills, and planning required to launch a new product or service and gain an understanding of how the startup funding landscape operates, all while immersing themselves in the Silicon Valley culture and building a network of support. In 2023, 20 students visited 14 companies and spoke with 54 Duke alumni and parents about their career journeys.
StartupConnect Networking Fair
Duke I&E’s annual StartupConnect Networking Fair—a partnership with Pratt, Fuqua, and the Duke Career Center—gives students the chance to network in person with startup representatives, allowing students to gain an inside look into possible careers in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. At this year’s event, 24 employers met with 211 students.
Private Equity & Venture Capital Conference
This year’s Private Equity & Venture Capital Conference, co-hosted by Duke I&E and the Fuqua Private Equity & Venture Capital Club, united more than 500 students, alumni, and investors. The event featured Fuqua Fast Pitch (a pitch competition by students across Fuqua), a Best Ideas Showcase (showcasing proposals from Fuqua’s Private Equity Buyouts Lab course), and a keynote conversation with David Rubenstein ’70, co-founder and co-chairman of the Carlyle Group.
VCs in the Hot Seat
As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week—an annual celebration of entrepreneurship with a focus on broadening entrepreneurship access to traditionally underrepresented communities—Duke I&E hosted VCs in the Hot Seat, an event drawing students, alumni, and community members to hear “pitches” by representatives from nine early-stage startup investment firms with a Southeast regional focus.
Entrepreneurial Leaders Network
The Entrepreneurial Leaders Network (ELN) consists of members across the U.S who receive ongoing access to emerging opportunities from Duke I&E, the Office of Translation & Commercialization, the Pratt School of Engineering, and Triangle-area growth-stage ventures. 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.
Celebrating Duke Women in Innovation
Duke I&E celebrated 2023's International Women’s Day theme—“DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”—by showcasing 33 of Duke’s many student and alumnae innovators working to make an impact through technology. In fields such as ethical AI, STEM education, and health tech, these women are making the world safer, more inclusive, more equitable, more sustainable, and more fun.