The EC Difference

Our Advantage

Two things set us apart from other entrepreneurship programs.

First, our program embraces an operating model that dissolves barriers between research and engagement. The practicality of our mission and vision is enhanced by our ‘real world’ culture and applied learning environment in which our research faculty members are deeply engaged in understanding and contributing directly to practice, and our clinical faculty are respectful of the need to embrace research-based insights and to bring these to the classroom and to the entrepreneurship communities.

Second, we embrace Emerson’s dictum that “There is no limit to what can be accomplished if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.” We take seriously the proposition that we best build value through productive collaboration with others having an interest in entrepreneurship. We continue to engage with and support a large number of research, teaching and engagement activities across departments and colleges at NC State and beyond.

Below, we briefly present our perspective on research, teaching and engagement.


Our unique focus on the interaction of research and teaching differentiates our entrepreneurship efforts from those at most other research I universities, enabling us to attract strong research-oriented junior tenure-track entrepreneurship faculty members. Our goal is to continue growing our entrepreneurship faculty.


As has been suggested both informally and through peer-reviewed research, our TEC graduate curriculum is among a small group of elite graduate entrepreneurship programs globally. We have also continued to revise our young undergraduate concentration to take advantage of what we have learned through TEC. We have continued to invest time and other resources in enhancing all of our teaching activities. Importantly, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, our pedagogy is grounded firmly in both cutting edge research and hands-on engagement with the creation and continued leadership of new ventures. Our goal is to continue growing enrollment and course offerings.


We have a 16-year history of engaging in a heterogeneous set of activities that bring us into productive contact with many key participants in the entrepreneurship community. At the graduate level in our Tec course sequence, several dozen professionals commit many hours of their time to our programs and students term after term, year after year. Traditionally, we have also had some community support, though recently in less structured ways, for our undergraduate programs. Because relatively few employers recruit for “entrepreneurship jobs,” our goal is to provide venture-based opportunities for our students, “embedding” them in important local social networks so that they can know and be known by leading members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem who are able to provide opportunities and support.

In summary, we have unique strengths and opportunities that clearly differentiate us from virtually all other entrepreneurship programs. Our Tec program is recognized worldwide and is benchmarked by many other universities. Our strategic plan to build our program around a clinical model that integrates research, teaching and engagement – with the support of our faculty and departmental culture – will further differentiate and lead us toward our aspirational goal, which is to be known as a top 10 or perhaps top five entrepreneurship research and education program. We welcome you to join us on our journey.