Student Founders Program Group ShotSince 2013, the Melissa & Doug Entrepreneurs Program has been the premier program supporting Duke student founders. We’ve been working hard to build upon the success of Melissa & Doug and grow our programmatic offerings to serve a broader range of undergrads and graduate/professional students across Duke.

The new Student Founders Program is designed for ALL students interested in creating a product or service, testing a pilot, and someday launching their own venture—whether commercial, social, artistic, or beyond. Students at any phase of the innovation process are welcome to apply for the Student Founders Program, including those with no background in innovation or entrepreneurship. The application deadline for the Fall 2020 semester is September 4, 2020 at 11:59pm ET.

The program will provide:

  • Experiential education
  • Mentoring
  • Community
  • Resources (including small prototyping grants)
  • All students and teams with a successful pilot will be considered for the Melissa & Doug Entrepreneurs program (by invitation only), which confers additional funding and opportunities.

Questions about the Student Founders Program or this application? Email

Apply for Fall 2020 cohort by September 4, 2020