Entrepreneurial Internship Program Builds Model For Partnership Between Higher Education And Start-Ups, Emphasizes Benefits Of Entrepreneurial Internships Regardless Of Major
SAN FRANCISCO, July 28, 2022 — The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, a non-profit committed to growing inclusion and access for entrepreneurs worldwide, today celebrated the fifth anniversary of its unique collaboration in entrepreneurial education with Lehigh University through Lehigh@NasdaqCenter. The immersive campus extension for Lehigh University students has established a new partnership model between higher education and the private sector, giving students scaffolded internship experiences with early-stage start-ups, which equally benefit the start-ups by providing them with support around talent management.
With a goal of advancing the entrepreneurial mindset of students in any discipline, 1,000 students across 65 majors have experienced entrepreneurship through Lehigh@NasdaqCenter programs, classes and mentorship. Programs include the flagship Startup Academy, where students are placed in start-up internships, which are framed by weekly classes, mentor pairings in their professional area of interest, and Intern Management Workbooks; the Global Entrepreneurial Fellowship, which immerses students in startup internships across the globe; the remote Silicon Valley Innovation Internship; and an array of resources, including the Lehigh@NasdaqCenter podcast and multiple toolkits.
Key program learnings to-date include:
- When an entrepreneurial internship experience is mapped with mindset training, key skills relating to confidence and resilience are exponentially developed, regardless of whether the student plans to pursue a career at a start-up.
- Peer support systems (especially in a pairing environment) is a key to building the social infrastructure students need to venture into a new experience and feel they can navigate the many unknowns of start-ups.
- This partnership taught the students and start-ups how to invest in themselves as leaders. On both sides, it gives on-the-job training around how you grow leadership development.
- Startup onboarding is a challenging and daunting task. Helping startups invest in themselves and prioritize building and developing their onboarding early in the company lifecycle is likely to help with retention and support the founder journey.
- The initiative also highlighted the importance for the start-ups of spending time on things that impact your staff and community even if they don’t have a clear return. The human talent layer is an essential one, and the highest cost of talent for start-up is on the retention layer.
“The ‘curriculum’ of the future will occur both inside and outside of the classroom. The entrepreneurial mindset and pursuit of value creation should be universally taught across higher education,” said Lehigh President Joseph J. Helble.
“Lehigh University is leading the way internationally on entrepreneurial studies and talent development, and the impact of this model will help enrich students and start-ups far beyond the program,” said Nicola Corzine, executive director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center.
Lehigh@NasdaqCenter rang the Nasdaq Opening Bell from the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center on Tuesday, July 26 to commemorate the program’s five-year anniversary. Lehigh@NasdaqCenter 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.
About Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center:
The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center is a non-profit committed to growing inclusion and access for entrepreneurs worldwide. The Center meets the real-time needs of entrepreneurs through educational programming and then shares its learnings with policy-leaders, capital allocators and academic institutions. Established with the support of the Nasdaq Educational Foundation, the Center has been a resource for more than 50,000 entrepreneurs since its inception in 2014, a majority of whom come from underrepresented audiences. For more information please visit: http://thecenter.nasdaq.org/.
About Lehigh University:
Located in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Lehigh Valley, Lehigh University is one of the nation’s most distinguished private research universities. Through academic rigor, an entrepreneurial mindset and collaborative opportunities we challenge our students to become the leaders of the future: http://www.lehigh.edu.
Director of Media Relations, Lehigh University