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Groups foster entrepreneurship

Aug 06, 2013   |   by Marian Lurio   |   The Dartmouth

The Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer will begin new initiatives to facilitate entrepreneurship at the College, executive director Trip Davis ’90 said.

Tillman Gerngross
Tillman Gerngross

The office, created in April, serves as an umbrella organization for existing entrepreneurial and technology transfer programs, including the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, the regional technology center and the technology transfer office. Davis is working with associate provost [and professor of engineering] Tillman Gerngross to develop the office’s role on campus.

They plan to create “venture incubator” positions to support new business ventures, as well as roles that will oversee the creation of the office’s long-term programs, Davis said.

The office serves students and faculty, although it currently sponsors few activities for students.

It has organized roundtable meetings with students and faculty to hear their ideas and will hold regular office hours in the fall to advise students and brainstorm further, Davis said. The office plans to add more services for students in the future.

Davis also met with student leaders and Career Services director Roger Woolsey to discuss their plans for facilitating student entrepreneurship.

“How do we work together to help students who want to enter into entrepreneurial ventures as opposed to traditional consulting and investment banking?” Davis said.

Getting the proper support for student entrepreneurs is vital to their success, said Riley Ennis ’15, co-founder of the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Society and Mitosis, a student group that promotes entrepreneurs.

Davis is helping Mitosis obtain support from the College, which is essential to the group’s survival.

“If the school tries to top-down create things, they’re not going to be successful, as they never are, so they should actually listen to the students,” Ennis said. “If we say we need help with this, they should support that.”

Davis said students, faculty and alumni have reached out to the office with their ideas.

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