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UMD Receives Entrepreneurial University Award at Annual Innovation Symposium

Deshpande Symposium Recognizes UMD for Leadership in Entrepreneurship Education and Engagement

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image ofHero Vice President for Research Gregory Ball, center, poses with members of the University of Maryland Office of Innovation at the 2024 Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education.

College Park, Md.—The University of Maryland was spotlighted for its innovative curriculum and robust student engagement in entrepreneurship at the annual Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education held June 12-14 in College Park.

UMD was presented with the Entrepreneurial University Award, an annual honor given to an institution that exemplifies excellence in fostering an entrepreneurial culture across its campus.

“Students, faculty, staff and alums of the University of Maryland have a long and inspiring tradition of innovation that spans the arts, humanities and sciences – from Google and Beyond Meat to The Muppets and Under Armour,” said University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines. “This award from the Deshpande Symposium will undoubtedly help our university build upon a distinguished past and present in innovation and entrepreneurship.”

UMD’s campus-wide innovation & entrepreneurship ecosystem was selected for the award in part because of the diversity and breadth of engagement in entrepreneurship education by faculty, students and staff. Nearly one in four undergraduates — more than 7,000 — in 89 majors are enrolled in undergraduate entrepreneurship courses at UMD, taught by 59 faculty members across 30 departments.

“Beyond traditional entrepreneurship, UMD also offers over 100 courses in innovation-related areas like creativity, entrepreneurial mindset, social value creation, business models and design thinking,” said Chief Innovation Officer Dean Chang. “We’re teaching our students that concepts learned through these courses can be applied to all aspects of life and careers in any field at any size organization, whether it’s a startup, large company, non-profit, government agency, or elsewhere.”

Programs that foster diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship and that empower students to co-create the entrepreneurial university they’d like to see also helped UMD stand out as worthy of this award, Chang said. For example, the Southern Management Leadership Program provides 80 partial scholarships each year to diverse, community college transfer students to help them become entrepreneurial leaders. Meanwhile, Technica, the world’s largest Hackathon for women and underrepresented genders, and Student Initiated Courses (STICs), which allow any student to develop and teach their own course on any subject, were founded and developed by students in Startup Shell, UMD’s student-run, 24/7 venture incubator also founded and launched by entrepreneurial students.

“A diversity of people, backgrounds, majors and interests must be included in the innovation process, or else that process won’t be as rich and will inevitably have inferior outcomes,” Chang said.

The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine also noted UMD’s prowess in innovation education, recently ranking the university No. 5 across all institutions, No. 4 among public universities and No. 1 in the Mid-Atlantic for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs – marking a ninth straight year in the top 10.

Additionally, together with other schools in the University System of Maryland, the University of Maryland ranked ninth among U.S. public institutions and 21st in the world for patents awarded in 2023, according to the National Academy of Inventors.

To learn more about innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland, visit UMD’s Innovation Gateway.

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland (UMD) is the state's flagship university and a leading public research institution, propelled by a $1.3 billion joint research enterprise. Located four miles from Washington, D.C., the university is dedicated to addressing the grand challenges of our time and is the nation's first Do Good campus. It is driven by a diverse and proudly inclusive community of more than 50,000 fearless Terrapins. UMD is a top producer of Fulbright scholars and offers an unparalleled student experience with more than 300 academic programs, 25 living-learning programs and 400 study abroad programs. Spurred by a culture of innovation and creativity, UMD faculty are global leaders in their field and include Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and members of the national academies. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit umd.edu.

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