Skip Navigation

Entrepreneurship

Building a culture of innovation

As one of the nation’s top 25 public universities, UConn is actively engaged in promoting entrepreneurship and commercial ventures as part of its mission. Here to drive the future of innovation, enterprising students and businesses alike can tap into a variety of resources, from our Technology Incubation Program (TIP) to the Learning Community Innovation Zone and beyond.

UConn supports every aspect of innovation and business development, from the research that breeds new inventions to connecting entrepreneurs with funding resources and training. As a result, UConn-supported businesses make a lasting impact on Connecticut’s economy and the future of industry. The Technology Incubation Program, for instance, has backed more than 90 startup companies, contributing to the creation of more than 2,000 jobs supported and sustained annually by the University. More than 500 U.S. patents have been granted based on UConn innovations, with 28 issued last year alone.

UConn is dedicated to unleashing the solutions to major challenges for tomorrow’s citizens, and supporting trailblazing businesses is key to achieving that goal. To learn more about UConn’s entrepreneurship resources, visit entrepreneurship.uconn.edu.

Research

Discovering solutions for a better future

Fostering core values of open communication and creative problem solving, UConn’s faculty, staff, and students are dedicated to learning more about the world around them through research and translating those discoveries into innovations. Nearly $681 million in external sponsored programs funding in the last year years has supported UConn and UConn Health’s pursuit of knowledge to help surmount major public health challenges, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, and obesity, as well as major public policy challenges, such as energy, cybersecurity, environmental sustainability, and more. Read more about UConn’s research endeavors at research.uconn.edu.

With annual expenditures in excess of $200 million, collaborative research is carried out within the departments of our 14 schools and colleges and at our more than 100 research centers and institutes. Two of our centers are dedicated solely to nurturing entrepreneurship and innovation:

Peter J. Werth, at podium, speaks at an event to announce his $22.5 millon to the UConn Foundation
Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Philanthropist and entrepreneur Peter J. Werth has committed $22.5 million to establish The Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The institute, under University leadership, will bring together student and faculty programs fostering entrepreneurship and innovation that potentially have commercial application and can be used to create new companies. In addition to nurturing innovation, the Institute will facilitate entrepreneurship speaker forums and host an entrepreneur-in-residence to instruct students. Werth’s commitment is the second-largest in University history, behind Ray and Carole Neag’s $23 million pledge in 1999. “An investment in UConn is an investment in the University’s spirit of innovation,” said Werth, CEO, president, and chairman of ChemWerth, Inc. when he announced his gift. Read the latest news on the Werth Institute.

Male students wearing Oculus VR
CCEI (The Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation)

The Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation helps UConn students and faculty develop the skills needed to become successful entrepreneurs. CCEI offers entrepreneurial training and new venture support programs for faculty, staff and students across the University. Programs such as Accelerate UConn, Verge Consulting, the CCEI Summer Fellowship program, and our Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Initiative help aspiring entrepreneurs identify and analyze the market opportunity for new products and technology. CCEI also works in partnership with and supports several other entrepreneurial initiatives within the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, including: the TIP Summer Internship Program, the Nursing Shark Tank event, HackUConn, reSET Summer Internship Program, the Forum on Healthcare Innovation, and the xCITE women’s entrepreneurship conference. For more information about CCEI programs or opportunities to get involved, please visit: ccei.uconn.edu.

Programs and Organizations

Forging an immersive community

A rich variety of programs, clubs, and services support the entrepreneurship community at UConn. Organizations that provide a place for student entrepreneurs to cultivate their passions, services that connect inventors to funding sources, and specialized training programs for skill enhancement complement each other through different approaches and expertise.

Aerial view of maker space
Funding

Funding is available to UConn-affiliated and Connecticut-based companies through many state-funded and private sources. Grants and funding are also available for intellectual property and emerging technology to those in the early stages of forming a business. For a list of funding sources available for idea development, visit https://entrepreneurship.uconn.edu/idea-development/. To learn about funding sources for businesses in the startup phase, visit https://entrepreneurship.uconn.edu/startups/. For grants that support established businesses, visit https://entrepreneurship.uconn.edu/established-companies/.

View of students in a collarboration space
Startups

The university facilitates the transformation of UConn discoveries into products and services that benefit society through patent protection, licensing, startup formation, and connections with industry partners. Continuing its commitment to fostering new businesses, the University of Connecticut has produced many startups led by both students and faculty. These startups include: Amastan, Biorasis, Control Station, Instant Imaging Technology, LLC, Lambdavision, Macroscopic Solutions, Mobile Sense Technologies, SMPL Bio, and Solution Spray Technologies. Learn more about these startups at: https://entrepreneurship.uconn.edu/uconn-startups/.

Male veteran saluting the American flag
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program offers cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans with disabilities resulting from their service to our country. The UConn School of Business is proud to participate in this program, which is designed to give focused, practical training in the tools and skills of new venture creation and growth and provides a support structure for graduates of the program. For details on the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, visit https://ebv.business.uconn.edu/.

Row of students in a lecture hall

Academic Enrichment

Engaging entrepreneurs through scholarship

UConn offers students a wide range of courses to help them engage in foundational, advanced, and experiential levels of entrepreneurship. Visit https://entrepreneurship.uconn.edu/courses/ for a list of entrepreneurship-focused courses in business, engineering, and law.

Students can also pursue their interests through joint degrees, majors, minors, or creating their own curricula. Learn about entrepreneurship and innovation minors at https://entrepreneurship.uconn.edu/minors/.

In addition, numerous academic-based programs, activities, and makerspaces are available across campus to encourage exploration and innovation outside the classroom; explore them at https://entrepreneurship.uconn.edu/academic-programs/.