LAWRENCE — The University Economic Development Association has awarded the University of Kansas its Award of Excellence in Innovation & Entrepreneurship for KU’s Entrepreneurs@KU program.
The award recognizes programs designed to accelerate economic development by supporting startups, high-growth companies and clusters within a region and converting talent into wealth through innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Entrepreneurs@KU program provides several tools for KU faculty and staff interested in starting new companies. The program offers educational opportunities through Startup School@KU, proof-of-concept funding, and generous and transparent licensing terms to help monetize new businesses.
“We’re excited and honored to receive this award recognizing a program that is another great example of how KU is driving economic development in our region,” said Julie Nagel, interim associate vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship. “It’s great to get national recognition for programs that help turn KU discoveries into jobs and companies.”
KU competed against other universities from around the country. Award finalists included the University of New Mexico, Penn State University and the University of Southern Indiana.
The Entrepreneurs@KU program started as a collaboration among KU Innovation & Collaboration, which Nagel also leads, the KU School of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurship and the Bioscience & Technology Business Center at KU.
The association announced its award winners at the annual UEDA Summit, which was Sept. 27-30, in Anchorage, Alaska. Finalists were invited to give presentations, and attendees of the summit selected the award recipients, which were chosen based on criteria including initiative replicability, scalability, sustainability, impact and originality.
This is the second time in two years KU has been recognized through the University Economic Development Association Awards of Excellence program. In 2013, KU was a national finalist with the Bioscience & Technology Business Center in the Community-Connected Campus category.
KU Innovation and Collaboration is the bi-campus technology commercialization office at KU. It manages KU’s intellectual property, licensing and start-up company activities, and it leads the university’s economic development mission.