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Top for Entrepreneurs

The University of Dayton was named the 11th-best school in the nation for students aspiring to launch their own businesses.

The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine listed the University among the Top 25 Undergraduate Schools for Entrepreneurship Studies for the 12th year in a row. The program jumped four spots for 2018, and was the highest ranked in Ohio and among Catholic institutions nationwide. 

“This distinction speaks to the strength of our faculty and the depth of experiential learning opportunities offered to students,” said Vincent Lewis, director of the University’s L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “As an undergraduate, you don’t just read about starting a business, you do it. You can take part in a venture capital fund or even lead a seven-figure student corporation. Our faculty, who developed the curriculum and focus their scholarly research on entrepreneurship, connect the classroom to the entrepreneurship ecosystem in our region and around the world. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive here and it’s growing.”  

The Princeton Review evaluated hundreds of schools based on the percentage of faculty, students and alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors; the number and reach of mentorship programs; funding for scholarships and grants for entrepreneurial studies and projects; the level of support for school-sponsored business plan competitions; and dozens of other areas. Its top 25 list was published at and will be featured in the December issue of Entrepreneur, available on newsstands Nov. 28.

“These colleges and business schools have superb entrepreneurship programs,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's editor-in-chief. “We highly recommend them to any applicant aspiring to launch a business. Their faculties are truly engaged in entrepreneurism. Their courses are rich with in-class and out-of-class experiential components, and the financial and networking support their students and programs receive via donors and alumni is extraordinary.”

The University was highlighted for its alumni success. The Princeton Review notes graduates have started 122 companies and collectively raised more than $17 million in funding during the last 10 years.

The University supports new ventures through its Flyer Pitch competition, among the the largest business plan contests at the collegiate level with more than $100,000 in cash prizes and $100,000 of in-kind support awarded. It is the only global competition with sites in multiple countries — the U.S., China and Vietnam. The University also hosts a contest for high school students in the entrepreneurship 101 boot camp with $70,000 in scholarships awarded.

Undergraduates also can gain experience through Flyer Enterprises, the fourth-largest student-run business in the country with annual revenues of more than $1.2 million and nearly 200 employees. Flyer Angels allows students to run a $1 million angel investment fund and Flyer Consulting gives them the chance to work with nonprofits on operational issues, marketing, development challenges and more.

All entrepreneurship students start and run micro-businesses during their first year in the program. The Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership provides $60,000 in venture capital for the year-long business. Proceeds go to charities, with $10,000 donated last year alone. The center also regularly connects students with successful entrepreneurs through curriculum and experiential opportunities. The University is also an anchor in the redevelopment of the city of Dayton’s downtown Arcade, which will provide a space to bring students and local entrepreneurs together.

“The University’s continued recognition as a leading program in entrepreneurship is a credit to the Crotty Center and its leadership, to the faculty and students of UD, and to the entrepreneurial ecosystem that is developing in the Dayton area,” said School of Business Administration Dean John Mittelstaedt.

“Helping to build a culture of entrepreneurship reflects our Catholic, Marianist roots: innovation, empowerment and engagement,” he said. “The entrepreneurial mindset students develop at the University of Dayton will pay dividends for our community and for the people they will serve — in business and in their personal lives.”


News and Communications Staff