Tuesday September 20, 2011

Consistent Excellence

For the sixth year, the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine have ranked the University's entrepreneurship program in the top 15 in the nation.

For the sixth-straight year, the University of Dayton is ranked as one of the top-15 undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the nation. 

The program ranks 12th in the 2012 list of best undergraduate entrepreneurial programs released Tuesday, Sept. 20, by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review. 

It's the highest-ranked undergraduate program among Catholic universities nationwide and among all schools in the Midwest (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois). 

"Only a handful of schools have consistently earned this elite status for a comparable length of time," said Dean McFarlin, chair of the management and marketing department. "We remain one of the best programs in the country as more and more universities add entrepreneurship programs. 

"We compete so well largely because of our innovations and the commitment of our faculty. After all, how many programs require students to start a business as part of a class, give students the opportunity to invest in some of Ohio's most exciting high-tech startups and offer thousands of dollars in prizes to help students start new ventures?"

Since the University first offered entrepreneurship classes in 1999, the program has seen steady growth and is the fastest growing major in the School of Business Administration. 

More than 2,000 schools were surveyed in the eighth-annual ranking, which picks the nation's top 25 undergraduate and top 25 graduate programs for entrepreneurship. The rankings can be seen on the Entrepreneur website and in the October issue of Entrepreneur

Schools were evaluated based on criteria in the areas of teaching entrepreneurship business fundamentals in the classroom; staffing departments with successful entrepreneurs; showing excellence in mentorship; providing experiential or entrepreneurial opportunities outside of the classroom and other aspects. 

"The right education enhances and reinforces curiosity and creative thinking in entrepreneurs," said Amy Cosper, vice president and editor-in-chief at Entrepreneur. "This ranking provides a unique look at top schools that offer the type of training, encouragement and direction that nurtures entrepreneurial skills. It's an excellent resource for those interested in academics as a pathway to their goals, and it can help tremendously in the discovery process to finding the right program." 

The University offers a wide range of entrepreneurship learning opportunities

· Through the L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, sophomore entrepreneur students receive $5,000 to create and run their own micro-businesses with profits going to charity. Local philanthropists and alumni Bill and Marilyn Crotty endowed the center with a $1 million gift in 1998 and later committed another $2.5 million. 

· Flyer Angels, one of a handful of undergraduate angel investment groups in the country, has already made six investments in high-tech startup companies. It was launched last year to allow entrepreneurship majors to partner with an angel organization to evaluate new venture business plans and decide whether to invest in them. Chicago alumnus Ron McDaniel launched Flyer Angels with a $1 million gift in 2009.

· Business students run Flyer Enterprises, the fastest-growing and sixth-largest student-run business in the nation, with more than $1.3 million in annual revenue earned from nine enterprises. Flyer Consulting, a nonprofit student-run entity, provides consulting services for nonprofits in the Dayton area. See more at http://www.flyerenterprises.com.

· The annual Business Plan Competition gives students and local entrepreneurs the opportunity to compete for funding and other support for the launch of a new venture.

For interviews, contact Cilla Shindell at shindell@udayton.edu or 937-229-3257.