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March 13, 2012

The Laurence A. Baiada Center for Entrepreneurship will transition from a center of excellence within the LeBow College of Business at Drexel to a University-level institute, Drexel University President John A. Fry has announced.

“This step forward is a meaningful one for Drexel,” said Fry. “By building upon its established model for success, the Baiada Institute will elevate its mission, uniting Drexel’s entrepreneurial spirit with experiential education and pragmatic guidance for start-up businesses.”

With the change, students across the University will gain exposure to thought-provoking entrepreneurs while immersing themselves in cutting-edge, multidisciplinary coursework. A behavioral laboratory planned for the new 12-story LeBow College of Business building will provide increased opportunities for experiential learning in sales and negotiations. Ideas will be actively cultivated, through proof-of-concept labs for visualizing, prototyping and testing business models. The Baiada Institute will also pursue more seed capital, micro-grants and Small Business Innovation Research grants, helping more members of the Drexel community bring their entrepreneurial visions to fruition.

“From the very beginning, we have worked hard to make everything we do multidisciplinary, serving the needs of every college in the university,” said Mark Loschiavo, executive director of the Baiada Institute.  “With this change we are hoping to build even more meaningful interdisciplinary programs and initiatives that will drive innovation and foster entrepreneurship at Drexel and in the region.”

This transition was made possible by a $500,000 donation from the Barbara and Charles Close ’36 Foundation, one of the original benefactors of the center. Other Institute support includes a $250,000 pledge from trustee Mel and Mark Baiada, whose father Laurence is the Institute’s namesake.

The support of these benefactors, as well as unwavering dedication from faculty, professional staff, students and alumni, has helped the Center make strides since its inception in 1999 to its current standing as one of the top programs for entrepreneurship nationwide.

The Baiada Institute, in partnership with The University City Science Center, is a member of the Quorum Strategic Partner Alliance Program. For more information on the Baiada Institute, visit