Lehigh University Extends Partnership with Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center

Lehigh University in Pennsylvania has expanded its partnership with the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center in San Francisco through Lehigh@NasdaqCenter, continuing its longstanding education-industry relationship.

Lehigh@NasdaqCenter (LNC), a collaboration between a top private research university in the country and an independent nonprofit organisation established by the Nasdaq Foundation in San Francisco, is dedicated to supporting budding student entrepreneurs. LNC offers programmes that match interns with startups globally and engages in entrepreneurship research that frequently features in leading national business news outlets.

“This partnership has enabled us to serve the needs of students and the startup community while attempting to perfect the art and science of entrepreneurship,” said Samantha Dewalt, Managing Director of Lehigh@NasdaqCenter. “We’ve seen exciting growth in demand for our programs from undergraduate and graduate students across the university, as well as increased demand from startup companies looking for top talent. Now, under our new arrangement, we’re going to take our successes at combining the scholarly with the practitioner to the next level.”

Since its inception in 2017, Lehigh@NasdaqCenter has impacted over 1,400 students through its collaborative efforts. In 2023 alone, its diverse array of programmes, courses, and workshops reached over 400 students and assisted 150 early-stage companies. Looking ahead, LNC is set to expand its startup internship programmes, aiming to benefit an even larger number of students and startups with its offerings over the next three years.

This expansion comes at a crucial time, as entrepreneurship experiences a boom in the US and the demand for entrepreneurial education reaches new heights. From the beginning, Lehigh@NasdaqCenter has been a champion for broadening access to entrepreneurship and instilling the belief that everyone, from corporate executives to independent contractors and aspiring startup founders, can and should adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. Among the students who have engaged with entrepreneurship through LNC, 47% belong to ethnic minority groups, 50% are women, and they come from 74 different fields of study.

The partnership benefits extend beyond the students; early-stage startups also gain from the fresh, innovative, and diverse perspectives brought by their college student interns.

“Our collaboration with Lehigh University has enabled us to broaden our services for early-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with valuable support through the Startup Internship Programme," explains Nicola Corzine, the Founding CEO and Executive Director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. "This endeavour has afforded us a significant vantage point into the transformative power of entrepreneurial learning experiences, which are instrumental in shaping the future landscape of education and work. Moreover, it consistently informs our actionable research in entrepreneurship education."

Lehigh@NasdaqCenter’s research and thought leadership – for example, on the 11 key attributes of an entrepreneurial mindset, how start-ups can better manage and mentor interns, and how entrepreneurs can be more emotionally intelligent – has appeared in publications like Fortune, Fast Company and Startups Magazine.  

LNC continues to utilise and develop relationships and experiences that create connections for students with Silicon Valley while also being rooted in San Francisco's financial district - further establishing Lehigh's presence on the West Coast.

LNC will break ground on new space in San Francisco this Spring, in preparation to welcome the 2024 summer cohort of Startup Academy interns who will live in San Francisco and work for Silicon Valley-based startups. As part of the 10-week summer immersion, the students will be required to complete a full-time internship along with a course of study on entrepreneurship led by Lehigh faculty, while working closely with mentors across industries to hone their professional development.

“Lehigh’s physical presence in San Francisco has become a second home to some of our students - a space to not only learn about entrepreneurship but also to experience it firsthand,” Lehigh Provost Nathan Urban said. “Our West Coast programs have turned out to be transformative experiences that enhance our approach to serving our students, alumni, and the startup community.