This Entrepreneurship Initiative, building on the strengths of existing programs at the Center for Civic Engagement and across campus, was motivated in part by strong interest from both alumni and students. It is one of our new Transition to Impact programs, which help our students move easily from our campus environment to work and a meaningful life after graduation.
For the past year, we have been exploring the many relevant and important connections between entrepreneurship, innovation, and the liberal arts and what kinds of entrepreneurial opportunities exist for our students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
This summer we piloted two new programs: the Venture Lab and the Entrepreneurship Internship Programs. The Venture Lab, based in Packard Place in Charlotte, accelerates the growth of student start-ups through education, mentorship, and seed funding. Through the internship program, 11 students were placed with start-ups around the world in paid positions created by Davidson alumi for Davidson students.
This next academic year, we look forward to launching the Davidson Venture Fund, welcoming our first Entrepreneur in Residence Mark Williams ’86, continuing the Avinger Scholarship for accomplished student entrepreneurs, and growing successful programs in social innovation through the Center for Civic Engagement.
As we move forward, we will continue to evaluate how this initiative can help Davidson to cultivate creativity, courage, resilience, and analytical acuity, while testing strategies and ideas in iterative ways—adapting as we go. In this, we honor the abiding primary purpose of this amazing and special place.