Puppets, Poetry and Other Entrepreneurial Studies

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This story appears in the October 2011 issue of . Subscribe »

Gurus & Grads
Gurus and Grads
A new crop of grad school professors is moving beyond books and lectures and taking a hands-on approach to getting their students started in business. 

The schools surveyed in our annual review of entrepreneurship programs get a chance to brag about certain special or nontraditional programs they offer. Here are some highlights of what's available to entrepreneurship students.


University of Houston: The school has developed computer models that allow students to transfer ideas through multiple levels of research, which ultimately results in a determination of the viability of the ideas and a realistic business plan.

Syracuse University: Program focuses include helping entrepreneurs with disabilities, entrepreneurship for disabled veterans, working with low-income, aspiring entrepreneurs and working with entrepreneurs in Africa.

University of Southern California: Instead of being required to declare a major, students have the opportunity to aggregate courses in an area of their interest.

Drexel University: Philadelphia is the first major U.S. city where all parking meters accept electronic card payments, thanks to help from OmPay, a company located at the Baiada Center incubator and run by Drexel alumni.

Related: The Top 50 Entrepreneurship Programs

By The Numbers
$366,618: Average amount of scholarship money available for undergrad entrepreneurship students

$301,638: Average amount of scholarship money available for graduate entrepreneurship students

$99,718: Average annual amount awarded to undergrad students in business plan competitions

$126,704: Average annual amount awarded to graduate students in business plan competitions

26: Schools on both lists where 100 percent of the faculty are entrepreneurs


Babson College: As part of their Two-Year MBA Program, students are placed in creativity groups facilitated by a practicing artist or creativity consultant from a different discipline, including painting, music, movement, sculpture, improvisation, puppetry and poetry.

Rice University: Courses are offered in which students develop business plans for new medical technologies and then travel to Rwanda in east-central Africa to test the viability of their businesses.

Oklahoma State University: The school annually partners with the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. Students from each school are put on consulting teams and work with historically disadvantaged entrepreneurs to grow their ventures. Oklahoma State's Native American Entrepreneurship Academy works with Native American tribes in Oklahoma on new-venture creation.

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