Duke Startup Showcase

Duke I&E’s annual event spotlights the ventures of advanced student founders from across Duke, with participants eligible for significant non-dilutive cash awards.  


Duke I&E accepts proposals year-round for non-dilutive monetary awards to help students take their ventures to the next level.  


Fuqua Fast Pitch, a celebration of entrepreneurship across Fuqua, has been integrated into the annual Duke Startup Showcase, in which MBA students are eligible to win non-dilutive funding. 


The Fuqua Entrepreneurship Loan Assistance Program offers student loan assistance to Fuqua students who have actively contributed to I&E programs and have founded or co-founded a for-profit business which they will pursue full-time after graduating. The Fuqua Entrepreneurship Loan Assistance Program provides funding to support students for up to two years post-graduation and is a competitive award.

Eligible applicants must have outstanding student loans from an accredited financial institution. Preference will be given to student debt incurred during the course of study at Fuqua. The monetary value of the Fuqua Entrepreneurship Loan Assistance Program will vary each year, depending on the number of awards made.

Applications will open in Spring 2025.


Daytime MBA students who are interested in working full time on their own startup OR working at a startup or investment organization unable to pay a market rate salary during the summer between their first year and second year are eligible to apply for financial support (the Fuqua Summer Entrepreneurial Internship (“E-ternship”) Award) to make this a viable option for the summer.

Taxable cash grants of up to $6,000 for founders and up to $4,000 for non-market rate internship opportunities are available from Fuqua to support students who are founders or interns at a startup or investment organization. Amounts will vary based on the number of applicants and the availability of funding. Priority will be given to 1) students founding their own companies and 2) students who have actively participated in the Duke entrepreneurial community, particularly students who have taken one or more of the New Venture courses.

Recipients of the E-ternship Grant will be expected to be ambassadors for Fuqua. Responsibilities will include blogging about your summer experience and preparing a profile for the Fuqua website. The grant will be allocated in two payments, one at the beginning of the summer term and the second mid-way through the summer assuming satisfactory completion of milestones. After being awarded the grant, the recipient is expected to meet with designated Fuqua representative to refine objectives and milestones. The recipient should meet with designated Fuqua representative 4-5 weeks into the summer to provide a progress update on milestones and to adjust milestones for the second half of the term.

All applicants should be prepared to provide:

  • Proof of intention to work on a startup or investment organization as a founder or early employee. This could include a copy of marketing or investment documentation which lists the applicant’s role or an offer letter.
  • 1-2 paragraph statement outlining the work to be done over the summer, highlighting key milestones and/or KPIs
  • Description of engagement with the Duke entrepreneurial community during the current academic year

Additional considerations specifically for E-ternship grants for students interning at a startup or investment organization include:

  • Internship must be with a for-profit startup or investment-related organization, such as an angel network or an accelerator.
  • Students working multiple paid internships will not be eligible
  • Expected gross earnings for the summer must not exceed $10,000, which includes the Fuqua E-ternship earnings. Verification will be required.
  • Students must have a defined project of strategic importance to the startup or investment-related organization. For example, creating a go-to-market plan for a product launch; conducting diligence on a set of prospective portfolio companies; or developing a capital expenditure strategy. Applications will be evaluated in part by the likelihood that the recipient will deliver a meaningful contribution to the startup.
  • Applicants will be required to prepare and submit a written statement describing how the internship opportunity will uniquely position the applicant to achieve their career aspirations.