Princeton Review Recognizes Campus for Its Graduate Entrepreneurship Studies
December 11, 2020
For the first time, UMass Amherst has earned recognition on Princeton Review’s annual roster, Top Schools for Graduate Entrepreneurship Studies. In the publication’s forthcoming 2021 list, the Amherst campus ranks 40th among 50 colleges and universities. Based on surveys of 300+ schools, the rankings encompass a broad brush of entrepreneurial activities inside and outside the classroom. The catalyst for student entrepreneurship on the Amherst campus is the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship. The Center serves the entire campus through a wealth of activities and resources.
Entrepreneurship courses and scholarships, faculty who focus on entrepreneurship, student competitions, student mentorship by entrepreneurs, and ventures by alumni and nonalumni—all fall within the Center’s purview. Its annual Innovation Challenge propels student start-ups through pitch contests and a final competition judged by entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Last year, the finals awarded $65,000 in seed money to student start-ups. The Center brings student innovators together from different disciplines for entrepreneurial collaborations. It offers networking and mentorship with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and academics. And it provides incubator space for student start-ups.
“Our mandate emphasizes participation and synergies on a pan-campus level,” notes Center director Gregory Thomas. “We may be physically based in Isenberg, but our mission is campus-wide.” A former member of the Amherst campus’ Foundation, Thomas was hired two years ago in part because of his extensive relationships with the campus’s deans and administrators. Since then, the chancellor and campus leaders have supported the center’s campus-wide vision, including creation earlier this year of a 13-member pan-campus team to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. We want innovation and entrepreneurship to be more,” underscores Thomas. “To accomplish that, you have to start walking like you’re number one.”