13th Annual Symposium
Save-the-date: June 12-14, 2024 | College Park, MD

About Us

Co-founded by the Deshpande Foundation and the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2012, the Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education brings together academics, policy planners and practitioners to discuss best practices in integrating entrepreneurship throughout their college and university communities. This annual conference draws together national speakers and those at the forefront of innovative strategies in higher education.

What began as a small gathering now boasts a powerhouse lineup drawing from all facets of where the worlds of academia and business intersect. Past speakers have included entrepreneurship visionaries such as University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, who has co-chaired the national Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Professor Vladimir Bulovic, an entrepreneur and associate dean for innovation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT professor Donald Sadoway, who was named one of Time magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World”, Dr. Subra Suresh, President of Carnegie Mellon University and Jeff Hoffman, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Priceline.

The Symposium offers over twenty-eight panel discussions and draws hundreds of faculty, administrators, students and business people to discuss an array of topics, including entrepreneurial culture and ecosystems, innovative entrepreneurship curricula, research commercialization, startups and emerging trends.

Leaders from universities, business incubators, foundations and other organizations including the UNC Chapel Hill, MIT, UMass, Carnegie Mellon University, California Institute of Technology, Arizona State University and the National Science Foundation convene at the Symposium to explore ways to foster a culture of innovation, embed entrepreneurship in the curriculum, accelerate technology commercialization and establish partnerships with businesses and the community.

Organizations such as VentureWell, the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation, Cengage, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, ASU, Babson College and the University of Massachusetts President’s Office have provided financial support for the event in past years.

We hope you will join us at this year’s Symposium!