Spotlight: Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Many students at UConn are intrigued by entrepreneurship and innovation but may not know how to nurture these interests. Luckily, the Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has a variety of opportunities to help students do so.

According to the About section on its website, the Institute “links the ecosystem of resources, programs, academic courses, funding, mentorship, education, and activities relating to entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the University….supporting ideas that potentially have commercial application and can be used to create new companies.” Indeed, the Institute allows students to get involved academically, network with othersparticipate in hands-on learning experiences, and build their own business.

There is a diverse sampling of academic opportunities that aim to develop entrepreneurial skills. For example, one can major or minor in entrepreneurship. It is recommended that all students take BADM/MGMT 2234 (The Entrepreneurial Journey) prior to declaring a minor or major. There are learning opportunities within multiple areas of study at UConn, including business, engineering, and fine arts.

There are also many opportunities for students to connect with peers and professionals interested or knowledgeable in the field. For instance, students can connect with peers by joining the Innovation House Learning Community or by joining one of the clubs centered around innovation and entrepreneurship. They can connect with alumni via the NetWerx program.

There are several ways students can get real world experience. For example, the on- campus Learning Community Innovation Zone (located in the Werth Tower residence hall) and Maker Space (located in the Homer Babbidge Library) provides a plethora of materials for this purpose. Students can also get involved with undergraduate research and even receive funding for their projects.

Once a student has a business idea in mind, they can use the university’s resources to build it from scratch. Funding is provided for many students looking to start their own business, and there are many different programs that provide mentorship and support during the entire process.

To learn even more about the Institute, check out its website!

By Michelle Shavnya
Michelle Shavnya