College Park, Md. September 10, 2007 - The University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business MBA and undergraduate programs are rated among in the top 25 in the nation for entrepreneurship, according to a ranking published in the September issue of Fortune Small Business magazine.
If you are looking to immerse yourself in entrepreneurship, this school is among the best, writes Fortune Small Business of the Robert H. Smith School of Business in its Americas Best Colleges for Entrepreneurs feature.
The Smith Schools Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship is a key reason for its place as one of the top schools for entrepreneurship. The center, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, was one of the first university entrepreneurship centers in the nation to help students start and grow businesses. The magazine highlights Smith for Dingman Center programs that provide students with access to mentoring and weekly opportunities to pitch their business ideas for feedback from a roster of experienced entrepreneurs-in-residence.
In addition to mentoring, the Dingman Center provides funding opportunities to students with viable business plans. A $175,000 investment fund recently created with donations from Smith alumni Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard head, and Kevin Plank, founder of sports apparel company Under Armour allows the center to invest up to $30,000 in companies started by current and former students. An annual business competition, Cupids Cup, also funded by Plank, provides another opportunity for Smith student businesses to gain funding, with more than $25,000 in prize money split among winners.
The Smith School offers numerous entrepreneurship business courses for MBAs and undergraduates. Smith undergraduates can take part in the Entrepreneurship Fellows Program, which combines hands-on entrepreneurship experience with classroom learning. And the university has several students clubs and organizations that focus on entrepreneurship, including the Entrepreneurship Club (eClub) and the Maryland Undergraduate Society of Entrepreneurs.
The Smith School values entrepreneurship and were emphasizing it all aspects of business education, said Howard Frank, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. To truly develop into business leaders, students must understand how to react to the extraordinary pace of technological and global development and be able innovate. Smith School students are learning how to be entrepreneurial both in the classroom and through hands-on programs that have them starting and growing businesses.
Fortune Small Business compiled its selection of the best colleges for entrepreneurs listed alphabetically through seven months of interviews with hundreds of entrepreneurs, professors, students, alumni, university administrators and venture capitalists. The magazine asked each of its sources to report which programs they considered to be most innovative and effective, and why.