The Nicholas School Environmental Entrepreneurship & Innovation (EI&E) Program is a two-year program for graduate students at Duke who want to be entrepreneurs within startup or corporate platforms, with a particular focus on the environment and sustainability. A key feature of the program is its unique curriculum with an emphasis on practical and proven activities that generate value out of new innovations.
In its fourth year, the program has had a number of successes in integrating entrepreneurship into the Nicholas School. The program has awarded 11 certificates since graduating its first class in May 2014, with an overall enrollment of over 400 students in at least one of the 4 core courses. Taught by successful, serial entrepreneurs with deep experience in marketing, finance and start-up operations (see companies started and sold below), the program supports student and faculty efforts to engage with the marketplace and encourages the development of both for-profit and not-for-profit ventures.
The program offers summer seed funding for promising startup ideas and has awarded more than $60,000 to 15 teams. With this funding students have evaluated or launched more than 15 startups leading to a Duke Startup Challenge winner (Rangeland Solutions) as well as numerous winners in external entrepreneurial competitions. The EI&E team offers extensive advice and mentorship to teams that successfully launch environmental and social start-ups and efforts to raise funding for Duke innovations have generated more than $7.4M.