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Lehigh University, Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center Partnership Enters Fifth Year

By Colin McEvoy on September 7, 2022

Samantha Dewalt, managing director of the [email protected], and other students and instructors from the program ring the opening bell of the Nasdaq Market. (photo courtesy Lehigh University)

A unique partnership between Lehigh University and the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center is entering its fifth year, and it kicked off this anniversary by ringing the opening bell of the Nasdaq market this summer.

Students and instructors from [email protected] participated in the July ceremony at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center in San Francisco, and were also featured on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square as part of the event.

[email protected] is a collaboration in entrepreneurial education that seeks to advance the entrepreneurial mindset of students in any discipline. Since its inception five years ago, more than 1,000 students across 65 majors have experienced entrepreneurship through [email protected] programs, classes and mentorship.

“Our first-of-its-kind partnership serves as an important exemplar for how educational institutions can partner with the private sector to grow an entrepreneurial mindset and create a synergistic and immersive model conducive to student and company growth,” said Samantha Dewalt, managing director of the [email protected]

A variety of programs are offered through [email protected], include Lehigh’s flagship Startup Academy, in which top talent students are placed in early-to-mid-stage startups in Silicon Valley. Students work alongside founders and entrepreneurial leaders on business critical milestones key to company growth.

Other [email protected] programs include the Global Entrepreneurial Fellowship, which immerses students in startup internships across the globe; the Silicon Valley Innovation Internship, a remote internship and online source created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and resources that include the [email protected] podcast and toolkits.

“Entering today’s dynamic work environment requires tremendous flexibility, adaptability and creativity,” Dewalt said. “Higher education plays a vital role in helping students from all backgrounds, and across disciplines, to develop an entrepreneurial mindset in their chosen careers and to recognize problems as opportunities to create solutions with value.”

Lehigh University’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity & Innovation created virtual and hybrid versions of its flagship LehighSiliconValley entrepreneurship immersion program, further strengthening the university’s connections with its partners in Silicon Valley.

Also this summer, the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center and [email protected] launched the “Intern Ready Workbook for Managers and Interns.” The workbook contains a set of exercises, reflections, and best practices, as shared from previous intern hosts and students, to help effectively onboard and support student talent working at early-stage companies.

Internships are crucial for developing the workforce of tomorrow. That’s why the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) hosts an annual Lehigh Valley Internship Summit event, and recently released a newly-revised version of the Lehigh Valley Internship Resources guide.

[email protected] partners closely with Lehigh’s Western Regional Office (WRO) on academic programs, student recruitment, alumni relations, university events, development, corporate and industry partnerships and career services.

“The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center and Lehigh believe the entrepreneurial mindset is a powerful force of societal change,” Dewalt said. “An immersive entrepreneurial education helps to activate it.”

Lehigh University is dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship and developing entrepreneurial thinking through a variety of programs. The Baker Institute is the university’s premier organization dedicated to entrepreneurial thinking, and recently showcased venture projects created by students during its Hatchery summer immersion program.

Additionally, Lehigh University offers a multi-disciplinary Master of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship (TE) program that welcomes students from a variety of engineering, science, business, and design backgrounds to help them develop entrepreneurial thinking.

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