Entrepreneurship ranked #40

Entrepreneurship ranked #40

Princeton Review ranks Rowan Entrepreneurship #40 nationally; up 10 places in three years

ENT Rankings

Rowan University’s undergraduate entrepreneurship program, which grew from 22 students in 2017 to about 200 this semester, is not just fast expanding in enrollment. Its national prestige is rising fast, too.

The Princeton Review/Entrepreneur magazine’s annual study of the best 50 undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the country today ranked Rowan’s program #40 – a 10-place jump in just three years.

“The theme for entrepreneurship at Rowan right now is momentum,” said Dr. Eric Liguori, the William G. Rohrer Chair of Entrepreneurship and founding head of Rowan’s School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Liguori said a university-wide embrace of entrepreneurship, starting with President Ali Houshmand and extending to all schools, colleges and campuses, has greatly boosted the program’s rapid ascent.

“What I’m most excited about is the special community emerging here,” Liguori said. “For me, the most important thing is student outcomes.”

Among the most important outcomes is what students do with the skills and education they acquire through the program. While many do, in fact, launch businesses (some even before graduating), others develop an entrepreneurial mindset that supports a wide range of careers.

Recent successes include businesses founded by Nicholas Nastasi, a business major, and Joshua Perry, an engineering major, whose start-up 4U Medical Designs, is providing kid-friendly stickers for young patients’ medical devices, and a superfood granola bar company, Bobica Bars, that Nastasi’s younger brother Harrison started with his friend and classmate, Justin Iannelli.

Rowan offers two undergraduate entrepreneurship majors, a B.S. in Entrepreneurship based in the Rohrer College of Business (RCB), and a B.S. in Engineering Entrepreneurship based in the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering. Additionally, numerous inter-college partnerships – including with the College of Performing Arts, the Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts, the Shreiber School of Veterinary Medicine, and the School of Earth & Environment – continue to build, offering ever-greater opportunities for students to think and act entrepreneurially.

In addition to the core undergraduate entrepreneurship curricula, Rowan’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship hosts annual programs that encourage and support aspiring entrepreneurs. They include the Think Like an Entrepreneur summer academy for high school students (which has awarded more than 1,000 free college credits), the fall Idea Challenge Competiton, which is open to all Rowan student teams, and the spring Rohrer New Venture Competition, which awards $30,000 to the student or team with the most promising new business. (Psychology major Siena Rampulla last spring won the New Venture Competition for a phone app she’s building to keep women safe on campus and off.)

Further, the Rowan Innovation Venture Fund (RIVF) is a $25 million resource that supports budding, scalable businesses around South Jersey. That funding is available to qualifying students, graduates, and area residents, even if they have no connection to Rowan.

“Our job is to provide the education, the skills, the support, and sometimes the funding,” said RCB Interim Dean Dr. Morris Kalliny. “And then it’s up to the students to head out and make their own success.”