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Entrepreneurship Education Empowers Everyone 

The Close School offers a range of co-curricular programs to complement the academic experience of entrepreneurs at Drexel University. These funding opportunities and competitions reinforce lessons learned in the classroom and allow students to flex their entrepreneurial skills such as managing a product development cycle, speaking with potential investors and leading a team to accomplish a mission.

Entrepreneurship Co-op

In lieu of participating in a traditional co-op, entrepreneurship students have the opportunity to spend six co-op months establishing their own business. The Close School acts as a support system providing mentors, training, progress reports and $15,000 to fund their business. This opportunity is open to all Drexel students. Those with a pre-existing business idea are encouraged to apply.

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Startup Fest Competitions

Drexel’s premier entrepreneurship event and competition, Startup Fest, is one of the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship’s largest events of the year. It includes pitch presentations from students, along with business showcases, guest speakers and ample networking opportunities. The event culminates with final contestants of the Baiada Incubator Competition competing for funding from a $25,000 pool.

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Baiada Incubator Competition

The Baiada Institute Incubator Competition is designed to help student entrepreneurs in two critical ways:

  • Aid in the development and growth of their business ideas.
  • Provide opportunities to receive feedback and mentoring from professionals within the Baiada Institute.

Students compete for cash prizes up to $12,500. Students may apply in late spring and must make it through three rounds to qualify for the final presentation that will take place during Startup Fest.


  • 1st place: $12,500
  • 2nd place: $7,500
  • 3rd place: $5,000

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Botstiber Senior Design Entrepreneurship Competition

The Botstiber Senior Design Entrepreneurship Competition is designed for senior design students in the College of Engineering and the School of Biomedical Engineering. The purpose of the competition is to provide an opportunity to students with potential commercial ideas to receive funding and to be led in the proper direction in project development. Projects with commercial potential can discuss incubation options within the Baiada institute.

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Ciright / Dragon Startup Program

The Ciright Dragon Startup Program is for students with new technological ideas that have the potential for further development. In this competition, students have the chance to win funding money to put towards their ideas, as well as meet potential mentors who will help the students develop these ideas. Students must apply in teams with a team leader and have an idea in one of the following categories: technology, financial technology, business services, and healthcare.

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Business Model Competition - "Get Outside the Building"

The Business Model Competition is one of the more vigorous hands-on programs under the Baiada Institute. In the Business Model Competition, students are encouraged to “get outside the building.” This program is about recognizing that a new venture is a solution to a problem, and to figure out whether it works or not requires one to “get outside the building and start working with customers.” Students are encouraged to actively identify and validate a business model hypotheses instead of writing and following a static business plan.

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Alma Matters

Alma Matters is a three part program that keeps alumni, students and friends of Drexel University close to the action. Contributors are not faceless donors, but valuable assets to student and university growth. Through monetary donations, sharing advice to students via video, text or audio clip or proudly donning the university’s colors, contributors are involved and make a real difference to their alma mater - and that matters.

This program includes:

  • The Fund Run - every Fall!
  • 1 Minute Mentors - coming soon
  • Timeless Tartans - Fall and Spring products, coming soon

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Vertex Innovation Fellows Program

The Vertex Innovation Fellows Program combines the technological, business and market expertise of Vertex with the commercialization skills of the Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship, the deep knowledge of innovation strategy of the Charles D. Close School faculty and the burgeoning talent of Drexel University students. This twelve-month program is designed to source pioneering ideas from the Drexel student body that pertain to critical Vertex focus areas; to incubate selected idea(s) with a combined Vertex and Drexel student team; and to assess the feasibility and suitability of the idea(s) that come out of the incubation phase for inclusion in the Vertex Innovation Lab.

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