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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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Dragon Pitch 2020

The Close School of Entrepreneurship's Baiada Institute is hosting Dragon Pitch 2020 - a fully virtual student pitch competition for the first time ever. We are very excited to create this opportunity for our students, knowing that early-stage funding has become less accessible due to economic uncertainty. But we also know that great ideas exist across Drexel's student body and we're hopeful that you will be ultimately helping to create positive economic impact during and post pandemic.

We are also very fortunate to make this our very first competition that's fully supported and judged by Drexel alums in the Northern California (including Silicon Valley and San Francisco) areas. This chapter of the newly formed Entrepreneurship Affinity Network is comprised of alums who are successful entrepreneurs, investors and professionals and who are giving back to support this competition. The Chapter has graciously offered their time and money to support Drexel students and are looking forward to hearing your great ideas through this competition.

We are pleased to announce a total prize pool of $7,500 that will be split across the top three finalists in a two-phase competition. Initial applications will be taken through the end of May which will then be followed by an initial screening. The top competitors from the first round screening will move on to the live virtual competition in early June. 

You must be a current student (including those who are graduating in June) to participate.

Additional rules for the competition will generally follow the guidelines set out at Please contact us for any rules clarification.

Apply by end of day on Friday May 29th at and be ready to pitch your ideas in early June. 

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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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This virtual program introduces participants to the principles and actions used for new product and service commercialization that happens inside healthcare organizations and often happens through the creation of new startup ventures. The program serves as an introduction on how to cultivate a new idea, how to test your most critical assumptions, how to find and speak with prospective customers and partners, and how to rapidly iterate ideas based on real customer feedback.


The program also introduces an assessment tool called the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile (EMP) which is used to help would-be entrepreneurs to assess strengths and weaknesses in certain entrepreneurial traits and skills.


The curriculum includes education on tools such as the Lean Startup Methodology, approaches to corporate innovation, case study reviews, and learnings directly from nursing professionals who have launched new ideas in their fields to solve problems and improve the lives of others.


This non-matriculated certificate program serves as an introductory one, with the potential for future workshops that provide participants with deeper instruction in other areas of entrepreneurship and new venture building.

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