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News Release

For immediate use

Oct. 27, 2004 -- No. 525


UNC ranked nation’s top entrepreneurial campus, 5th ‘most connected’

CHAPEL HILL — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks as the nation’s top university for fostering entrepreneurship across campus, according to The Princeton Review and Forbes.com.

UNC also ranked fifth among the 25 "most connected campuses" in a separate ranking that measured "the technological capabilities of the country's best schools" and cutting-edge campuses.

Reasons cited for UNC’s first-place ranking in entrepreneurship included:
Kenan-Flagler Business School’s undergraduate business degree offering with a concentration in entrepreneurship, the College of Arts and Sciences minor in entrepreneurship that begins next fall, and the launch of the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative (CEI) to promote entrepreneurship among faculty, staff and students across the UNC campus.

In "The 25 Most Entrepreneurial Campuses," Forbes.com wrote that at UNC, "students are encouraged to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, including the Carolina Entrepreneurship Club and Students in Free Enterprise, and to exploit school-sponsored programs like the Carolina Launch Program, designed to guide students through the process of starting up their own venture. The school also partners with a number of prominent companies, including Ernst & Young, which hosts the Master Panel of Entrepreneurs, during which award-winning entrepreneurs share their stories with students."

The Carolina Launch Program is part of the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative, an $11 million program funded in part by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to infuse entrepreneurial approaches to education campuswide and help faculty, staff and students at UNC launch ventures of all kinds – commercial, social and artistic.

Forbes.com noted that "real-life entrepreneurs" teach on the faculty and cited as examples Clay Hamner, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and chief executive officer of Montrose Capital Corp., and Randy Myer, founder of Best Friends Pet Care.

"This is an important honor acknowledging the university’s commitment to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit that fuels the economic engine of our country and drives social change," said Dr. John D. Kasarda, director of Kenan-Flagler’s Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and the CEI. "We are fortunate to benefit from the curriculum and programs of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative as we spur innovation and foster entrepreneurship at UNC."

Among those listed with Carolina as campuses that "show a commitment to creating programs to encourage young entrepreneurs on campus, as well as looking at how their alumni have fared in the real world" were the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University at Bloomington, Carnegie Mellon University and Syracuse University.

Forbes.com partnered with The Princeton Review, which compiled data from 357 top colleges and universities nationwide, asking a series of questions about how they encourage and train undergraduate students to become successful entrepreneurs.

To track which colleges and universities are leaders in information technology, The Princeton Review conducts an annual survey of computing capabilities, technology policies and coursework. The result is "America’s Most Connected Campuses," a list of the most wired – and, increasingly, wireless – schools in the country, measuring the infrastructure that is available to students.

In 2000, UNC became the nation’s largest university and only major research campus requiring undergraduates to own laptop computers as part of the Carolina Computing Initiative. With more than 850 wireless access points, UNC’s information technology services department provides wireless connectivity in classrooms, labs, libraries, residence halls, offices and quadrangles on and near campus.

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Entrepreneurial campuses ranking link: http://www.forbes.com/home/lists/2004/10/20/04conncampentrepreland.html.

Most connected campuses ranking link:  http://www.forbes.com/2004/10/21/cx_de_102104conncampfeat_print.html

Kenan-Flagler contact: Allison Adams, (919) 962-7235, aadams@unc.edu

News Services contact: Lisa Katz, (919) 962-2093, lisa_katz@unc.edu