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We are proud to announce that the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute was the recipient of two prestigious awards from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC). The awards by our peers recognized the Institute's Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education and Outstanding Contributions to Venture Creation. This is the first time in the history of the conference that one institution has won both categories!
The GCEC awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the very best of university entrepreneurship globally. The 2021 GCEC awards were announced during the 25th annual GCEC Conference in Baltimore on October 13-16, hosted by Loyola University, Maryland and the University of Baltimore.
The GCEC is the premier academic organization addressing the emerging topics of importance to the nation’s university-based centers for entrepreneurship. It has become the vehicle by which the top established entrepreneurship centers, as well as emerging centers, can work together to share best practices, develop programs and initiatives, and assist each other in advancing, strengthening, and celebrating the role of universities in teaching the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
The first of the awards the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute took home was the Outstanding Contributions to Venture Creation Award, which honors centers that creatively support the process of launching and accelerating university-affiliated startups through competitions, incubators, accelerators, or other programs. The Institute won the honor due for our innovative Startup Accelerator Series – our strategic combination of three accelerator programs. Over the last four years, we have honed the Series, an evidence-based accelerator pipeline at the center of our offerings, to best positions NYU startups for success. Powered by personalized coaching and mentorship, the Series provides sequenced skills development that begins with customer discovery in the Startup Bootcamp and continues with a fast and furious Startup Sprint. Finally, the Summer Launchpad positions teams for growth and matches them with vital funding, mentorship, and other critical resources. Along the way, teams have access to our venture coaching services, additional resources, programs, and events that support them throughout their startup journeys.
The second award we won was the Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education Award, which honors a center dedicated to expanding access to entrepreneurship education for a specific audience or area of focus such as women in entrepreneurship or traditionally underrepresented populations. The Institute received this award in recognition of our Female Founders Fellowship. The Fellowship provides community, as well as extensive training, mentorship, and networking opportunities to student entrepreneurs at NYU who are committed to advancing gender equity in entrepreneurship. Fellows can also apply for student loan alleviation grants of between $5,000-$50,000 to help ease the financial burden of building a startup (becoming Mark & Debra Leslie Fellows), enabling more NYU founders to pursue their ventures after graduation. All Fellows are encouraged to join the Accelerator Series described above through an invitation to participate in the Startup Sprint. They are also guaranteed an interview for a spot in our highly competitive NYU Summer Launchpad accelerator. In addition to these perks, Fellows are invited to participate in monthly female founder’s community events, an annual full-day Female Founders Forum, and gain access to a network of 120 external mentors and investors. Largely due to this and similar initiatives, over 60% of the ventures we now support are led by a woman founder, and over 70% are led by a person of color. To add to these accomplishments, 52% of the investments made by our Innovation Venture Fund (managed by the Institute) supported ventures led by women founders, with 35% of them having a woman CEO.
The NYU Entrepreneurial Institute is among the world’s premier university-based entrepreneurship institutes, and it was the only center to take home two awards at the 25th annual GCEC Conference. This is a testament to the work of our team and the impact we continue to have on the NYU startup ecosystem – and beyond! We are grateful for the ongoing contributions and support from our sponsors, mentors, faculty, and staff which help our participants on their entrepreneurial journeys. Though we are honored to be celebrated by our peers, we recognize that excellence in entrepreneurial support is an ongoing effort, and we are determined to continue to innovate and excel in these and new areas.