UR Entrepreneurs Club

UR Entrepreneurs works to promote and facilitate entrepreneurship in the UR community by providing education, inspiration, and networking opportunities. The club inspires and facilitates its members of varied backgrounds and disciplines to form foundations and collaborations for the development and launching of ideas. The UR Entrepreneurs also develops professional relationships with businesses and other entities that can offer advice and support and houses the UR Consulting Group.

Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year (KEY)

The University of Rochester defines entrepreneurship as “transforming an idea into an enterprise that generates value,” implying that the enterprise outlives the creator and that it positively affects others. The Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year (KEY) Program offers selected students a fifth, tuition-free, year of college to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. Qualified UR students may propose to devote as much as an entire academic year to internships, special projects, business plan development, research into various facets of entrepreneurship, or analysis of how culture and public policy influence entrepreneurial activity. Students may apply from the time that they have been accepted into a major through the first semester of their senior year.

Note that a special review process is implemented when a student includes any course taught outside of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, the Eastman School of Music, or includes graduate courses offered by the Simon Business School; ordinarily these courses are not approved.

To learn more about the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year Program, its guidelines, and how you may want to proceed with your application, you should attend an information session. The same information is presented at each meeting; you need only attend one.

View upcoming KEY information sessions, deadlines, and events.

The fall application deadline is November 1 and the spring application deadline is the first Thursday after Spring Break. Submit applications to Liz Monte in Lattimore 312.

For more information, please contact KEY Program Administrator Liz Monte.


Urban Fellows Program

The Urban Fellows Summer Program emphasizes civic engagement, promotes learning about urban issues, and encourages a celebration and appreciation for cross-cultural issues and urban living. Through the Urban Fellows program, University of Rochester students work in area community agencies, study urban issues, and meet with local leaders, all in an effort to contribute to the Rochester community.

Eighty-five college students—about one-half from the University of Rochester—have served at least 30 different organizations since Urban Fellows began in 2002. Run by the local nonprofit Leadership Rochester with the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, Urban Fellows is a collaborative effort funded by the Rochester Area Community Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and City Hall. Stipends are available to fund these fellowships in the Rochester Community.

Application Deadline: Friday, February 15

For more information, please contact Emma Rainwater.


Rochester Youth Year

The Rochester Youth Year Program provides an unusual opportunity for recent college graduates to engage in their community and provide much needed service to the youth of Rochester. It also offers a rare opportunity for recent graduates to become immersed in the life of the city as well as to connect to civic leaders of Rochester and Monroe County. Throughout the year, the program staff will work to develop special opportunities for Fellows to network with potential employers and young professionals living in the area.

Rochester Youth Year (RYY) combines the talent and expertise of community agencies, students, faculty and administrators to create and enhance the resources and support systems available for Rochester’s youth. The program is the product of collaborative efforts among the University of Rochester, SUNY Geneseo, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John Fisher, Nazareth College, and the College at Brockport.

Application Deadline: Friday, March 7

For more information, please contact


Skills for UR Leaders

The Rochester Center for Community Leadership (RCCL) offers workshops on a variety of topics for students and student groups; all workshops are scheduled at the request of students and student groups. Current workshop topics:

  • Meeting Management
  • Group Dynamics
  • Values Inventory
  • Program Planning
  • Consensus Building
  • Goal Setting
  • The Diversity Spectrum
  • Making the Transition
  • Leadership Styles
  • Conflict Resolution

Master of Science in Technical Entrepreneurship and Management (TEAM)

The Master of Science in Technical Entrepreneurship and Management, or TEAM, degree program at the University of Rochester offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a technical cluster of their choice while receiving a strong foundation in entrepreneurial management. Through a fast-paced curriculum at the University’s Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Simon Business School, students can complete the program in as little as one year. TEAM graduates are equipped with detailed technical knowledge in their field while becoming business-savvy. They have the tools to innovate, lead, and strategically manage in an industry that increasingly rewards interdisciplinary expertise. To learn more about the TEAM program, please contact the Center for Entrepreneurship at 585.276.3500 or email

Simon Entrepreneurs Association

Simon Entrepreneurs Association (SEA) is a student-run, faculty, industry, and community advised organization, centered at the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester. The association was founded in September, 2005 on the following vision: We declare the possibility of instilling entrepreneurship as a way of being in all endeavors and integrating students, faculty, alumni and external resources to create a platform for launching successful ventures and contributing to the development of a top ten entrepreneurship program. Implicit in this declaration is the realization that entrepreneurship is a way of managing one’s life and resources to undertake new ventures. It can be applied not only to emerging technologies, but also to family and small businesses, initiatives and restructuring in large corporations, social impact, and personal projects. It is the goal of SEA to create an environment that fosters such thinking in all disciplines by creating a portfolio of academic, professional, and social activities that integrate entrepreneurial interests and resources from throughout the Rochester community. In doing so, SEA believes it will help create leaders with the skills to thrive within uncertainty and ambiguity. Additionally, SEA activities will accelerate the rate of Rochester companies started per year, spurring economic growth in the region. These outcomes will prove to be self-perpetuating as they will yield knowledge that is fed back into the curriculum and attract more highly qualified students to Simon, ultimately leading to a program that is internationally recognized as top ten.

Summer Entrepreneurship Internship Program

The Summer Entrepreneurship Internship Program, supported by Simon alumni Mark S. Ain and Steven Levinn, is a 10-week position at local startups or economic development organizations for Simon School (with priority given to SEA members) and TEAM MS students. Interested students should submit their resumes to on a rolling basis. For more information, email Kathy Driscoll.

Simon School Venture Capital Fund

The Simon School Venture Capital Fund (SSVCF) is an early stage student-run venture capital fund run by 2nd year MBA students at the Simon School, University of Rochester. The SSVCF is an evergreen fund and was initially funded by alumni donations. The fund is guided by an advisory board, which consists of successful entrepreneurs, VC investors, and accomplished professionals in other fields. The purpose of the Simon School Venture Capital Fund is to create unique and experiential learning opportunities for students with respect to entrepreneurship and venture capital investment. The Fund will provide a unique educational experience for Simon students through hands-on due diligence, interaction with entrepreneurs, presentations to advisory board members, direct participation in investment decisions, and ongoing monitoring and analysis of investments. The objective is to make sound investment decisions based on comprehensive due diligence and investment analysis with the intent to perpetuate the life of the fund. The SSVCF will serve as a hallmark activity for the Simon School and increase the School’s visibility and participation in Rochester’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Simon School MBA Entrepreneurship Concentration

The Simon School is committed to the teaching of entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurship concentration allows MBA students to draw from a variety of carefully selected courses to become a business generalist, well versed in organizing and managing resources. Graduates with this concentration have started their own ventures or have pursued “intrapreneurial” careers with major corporations. Students often combine this concentration with finance or marketing to further enhance their educational base. This is especially true for those pursuing investment banking/M&A where the entrepreneurship knowledge can be very useful.

Simon School Lectures and Roundtables

Open to Simon School students, faculty, and staff, and TEAM MS students only, these lectures require pre-registration at SimonWorks. Please email Patricia DeCillis with any questions.

Simon VISION Partnership Program

The Vision Partnership Program at the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School is designed to foster relationships between students and the business community. Partners include companies of all sizes, nonprofit organizations, public institutions, the University, and Simon’s renowned network of alumni. It is a unique opportunity for students to work as a multi-disciplinary team and build experience by tackling real-world problems and challenges. Learn more by emailing the Vision team.

Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship Grants

The Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship Program (KDFP) was an annual competitive program that awarded Dissertation Fellowship grants of $20,000 each to Ph.D., D.B.A., or other doctoral students at accredited U.S. universities to support dissertations in the area of entrepreneurship. From 2003–2013, the KDFP received more than a thousand proposals, ultimately supporting 153 dissertations on various topics related to entrepreneurship from a wide range of disciplines while maintaining an overall high quality of research.

University-Wide Faculty and Staff Entrepreneurship Luncheons

The Center for Entrepreneurship hosts monthly luncheons for all faculty and staff with an interest in entrepreneurship courses and programming. The lunches usually feature a colleague or group of entrepreneurial students as guest speakers and an open forum of sharing and discussion. They are typically held the third Monday of the month from noon to 1 p.m. during the academic year. Please email if you are interested in attending these lunches.

Center for Entrepreneurship Faculty Seminar

Part of the Center for Entrepreneurship Lecture Series, the Faculty Seminar was the second part of this unique program. A leading entrepreneurship educator would moderate a seminar focused on a specialized entrepreneurship topic. The seminar was open to all entrepreneurship faculty and staff in the Upstate New York Region. Representatives from such schools as the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Nazareth College, and SUNY Geneseo have attended in previous years. Topics have included “Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism”; “The Future of Entrepreneurship Education”; and “Creativity and Innovation.” Running from 2007 to 2011, this series has featured Jeff Timmons of Babson College; Bob Litan of the Kauffman Foundation; Steve Mariotti of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE); Tina Seelig ’79, executive director, Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Stanford University; Nanette Levinson, director of the International Communication Program and associate professor at the School of International Service, American University; Marcus Hill, Prison Recruiter, and David Joekel, Executive Relations Manager, of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program; and Mary L. Walshok, Associate Vice Chancellor for Extended Studies and Public Programs, Dean of University Extension, and Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California at San Diego.

Kauffman Faculty Research Grants

The University of Rochester has adopted a broad definition of entrepreneurship: “Transforming Ideas into Enterprises that Create Value,” where the value could be economic, cultural or social. From 2005 to 2008, the University offered research grants on a semi-annual basis for clinical and tenured faculty at UR who were conducting research that helped us better understand how entrepreneurship thus defined may play out in different fields.


Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)

Transform ideas into enterprises in this yearlong academic program. Start as a student and finish as the CEO of your own company! YEA!, Inc. is responsible for the organization and implementation of the University of Rochester’s YEA! class. For more information on the program, call YEA! Inc. at 585.272.3535 or email Heather Forbes.

Rochester Scholars and Rochester Scholars Jr.

These innovative pre-college programs allow middle- and high-school students to gain new perspectives and meet peers with similar academic and personal interests while focusing upon an area of study. The wide range of subject areas include pre-med, graphic design, film making, sports medicine, and music. These non-credit courses are offered during winter, spring, and summer breaks. Learn more by emailing Ursula Balent.

Center for Entrepreneurship Lecture Series

Occurring in both the fall and spring semesters, the Center for Entrepreneurship Lecture Series features a leading entrepreneurship educator as a guest speaker. The educator presents a free lecture, open to the general public, in the late afternoon. The lecture is followed by an evening reception where the speaker can interact with the event attendees. The next morning, the lecturer moderates a Faculty Seminar, open to all entrepreneurship faculty and staff in the Upstate New York Region. Launched in 2007, past lecturers in this series have included Jeff Timmons of Babson College; Bob Litan of the Kauffman Foundation; Steve Mariotti of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE); Tina Seelig ’79, executive director, Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Stanford University; Nanette Levinson, director of the International Communication Program and associate professor at the School of International Service, American University; Marcus Hill, Prison Recruiter, and David Joekel, Executive Relations Manager, of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program; Daniel Lazarek ’91 (MBA), Chief Financial Officer and Co-owner, Access Insurance Holdings Inc.; Mary L. Walshok, Associate Vice Chancellor for Extended Studies and Public Programs, Dean of University Extension, and Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California at San Diego; Jane Plitt, entrepreneur and author of Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream: How One Woman Changed the Face of Modern Business; Nick Lantuh ’90S (MBA), president and director, NetWitness Corporation; Sam Ticknor ’89S (MBA), Executive Director of the Upstate Venture Association of New York (UVANY); Edward (Ted) F. Ruppel, Jr., Executive VP, CFO, and Corporate Compliance Officer, Vascular Dynamics, Inc.; and Tim Talley ’88, founder of U-Lace.

View videos of past lectures.

View upcoming lecture events.

Mark Ain Business Model Workshop Series

The Mark Ain Business Model Workshop Series is free and open to the public. A series of three workshops run January to April and cover the following topics: articulation of their concept, sizing up market dynamics, development of business and operational models, and exposure to startup implementation issues. The Mark Ain Business Model Competition is open to only current University of Rochester students at any level of study, from any discipline.

View upcoming workshops, deadlines, and presentation events.

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors—introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities. The University of Rochester has celebrated GEW since 2008.

View upcoming GEW events.

National Entrepreneurship Week

The Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education established National Entrepreneurship Week (NEW) in the United States in 2007. The Week represents a celebration of American entrepreneurs and the lifelong learning educational opportunities that prepare the “NEW” business leaders of the future.

View upcoming NEW events.

The F.I.R.E. Lecture Series

The F.I.R.E. (For Inventors, Researchers, and Entrepreneurs) Series is a regular lecture series designed to educate the university community about the many aspects of Technology Transfer, what it means to be an inventor, what every researcher should know in order to protect potential intellectual property rights, and the complexities of starting a business. This lecture series is run out of UR Ventures, the University of Rochester technology transfer office.

Clinical and Translational Science Institute Seminar Series

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute plans an exciting series of lectures each year. They are typically held on Tuesdays. For spring 2014, the series is titled “Crossing Elmwood: River Campus-Medical Center Research Collaborations.”

Mark Ain Business Model Workshop Series and Competition

The Mark Ain Business Model Workshop Series and Competition provides aspiring student entrepreneurs at the University of Rochester an opportunity to attend a series of three workshops that cover the following topics: articulation of their concept, sizing up market dynamics, development of business and operational models, and exposure to startup implementation issues.

At the conclusion of the workshops, student finalists present their concept, analysis, and recommended business model to a panel of distinguished alumni entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship professionals in a competition with a first-place cash prize of $10,000. The competition is made possible by support from Simon alumnus and entrepreneur Mark S. Ain ’67, founder of Kronos Incorporated, the Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based market leader in the workforce management industry.

View upcoming workshops, deadlines, and presentation events.

Charles and Janet Forbes Entrepreneurial Competition

The primary goal of the Charles and Janet Forbes Entrepreneurial Award is to encourage current, full-time UR undergraduate engineering students to consider the commercial potential of their design project or research. Monetary prizes are awarded. Students, individually or in teams, compete by submitting a business plan for a manufacturing or a technical business, which is often based on their senior design projects but not limited to those projects.

Many competitors enroll in ENT 225: Technical Entrepreneurship, which guides students in writing a full business plan.

For more information or for students who intend to compete for the Forbes Award, please email or call (585) 276-3500.

View upcoming deadlines and presentation event.

Eastman New Venture Challenge

The Eastman New Venture Challenge is a contest to encourage new thinking and innovative ideas in music. It gives Eastman students the opportunity to fulfill a business plan that could result in the launch of a new entrepreneurial enterprise. Successful entrants will have demonstrated creativity, innovation, uniqueness, and added value to the music field. For more information, please contact Michael Reed at the Institute for Music Leadership.

New York Business Plan Competition: Finger Lakes Regional Contest

The New York Business Plan Competition, The Premier Collegiate Contest, is a venture creation and innovation competition that was established in 2009 to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship throughout New York’s colleges and universities. The 10 major regions of New York (Capital Region, Central New York, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, Western New York, Southern Tier, Mid-Hudson, New York City, and Long Island) will hold regional competitions prior to the finals. The top teams from each of the regional zones will advance to the final statewide competition where the teams will go head-to-head for more than $225,000 in cash and in-kind prizes at the University at Albany in the spring.

View upcoming deadlines and presentation event.

Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest and Celebration of Entrepreneurship

The 2014 Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest and Annual Celebration of Entrepreneurship encourages entrepreneurship and recognizes new, high-growth ventures in the Greater Rochester New York Region. This year’s event offers contestants a chance at winning over $50,000 in cash and business service prizes, including a first place cash prize of $25,000. All finalists will receive a customized prize package, as well as significant exposure to the business and investment communities.

View upcoming workshops, deadlines, and presentation events.

Golden Horseshoe Business Challenge

The Golden Horseshoe Business Challenge was targeted toward entrepreneurs in cities in Western New York and Ontario, Canada. The first-place winner received $100,000 in cash to help implement the winning business plan. Judges included a select group of venture capitalists. The competition was made possible by generous support from Simon alumnus and entrepreneur Mark S. Ain ’67S (MBA), founder of Kronos Incorporated, and the Finger Lakes WIRED grant from the Department of Labor. Participants in the Golden Horseshoe Business Challenge were required to first compete at the regional level. The competition was held in 2007 and 2008.

Intercollegiate Business Competitions

University of Rochester students are encouraged to participate in intercollegiate business competitions. These are great opportunities for Rochester students to fine-tune their business models; network with students, faculty and entrepreneurs from around the country and abroad; raise capital; and learn about various approaches to venture creation and entrepreneurship. Students are responsible for verifying competition dates and eligibility and meeting all deadlines and requirements.

Please contact the Center for Entrepreneurship if you plan to enter any of the below competitions. We can connect you with mentors and faculty to help polish your submissions and presentations.

Application Deadline
Competition Date
Idea to Product Global CompetitionSao Paulo, BrazilSeptember 23, 2013 November 7-9, 2013Both Undergraduate and GraduateEarly-stage technology commercialization competition.
Ivey Business Plan CompetitionThe Richard Ivey School of BusinessNovember 2013January 24-25, 2014Graduate
NYC Next Idea: Global New Venture CompetitionColumbia University & NYC Economic Development CorporationNovember 11, 2013April 2, 2014Both Undergraduate and Graduate
Walmart Better Living Business Plan ChallengePurdue UniversityDecember 3, 2013 April 9-11, 2014Both Undergraduate and Graduate
Sustainable Venture Capital Investment CompetitionUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel Hill January 2014 February 14, 2014GraduateFocused on social return on investment.
Graduate Student Business CompetitionLES Licensing FoundationJanuary 3, 2014 March 24-25, 2014GraduateEarly-stage technology commercialization competition.
Social Enterprise Conference Pitch for a Change CompetitionHarvard UniversityJanuary 6, 2014February 15, 2014Anyone
Business Plan CompetitionTulane University January 15, 2014 April 11, 2014Both Undergraduate and Graduate
Rice Business Plan CompetitionRice UniversityFebruary, 2014April 16-18, 2015 GraduateA team with some undergraduates will be allowed to compete.
Arch Grants Global Startup CompetitionSt. Louis, MOFebruary 21, 2014April 2014Anyone
New York Young Entrepreneur ChallengeFrontStreetFebruary 28, 2014May 14, 2014Undergraduate
Agricultural Innovation PrizeHoward G. Buffett Foundation and the University of Wisconsin-MadisonFebruary 28, 2014April 25-26, 2014Both Undergraduate and Graduate
The Big SellPurdue University - CalumetMarch 1, 2014March 29, 2014AnyoneThree categories: Technology;
Social Entrepreneurship and Environmental; or Open Category
New York Business Plan Competition - Finger Lakes Region ContestUniversity of Rochester and RITMarch 9, 2014April 9, 2014Both Undergraduate and GraduateWinners of regional competition will compete in Albany on April 25, 2014.
UCCS Sports/Outdoors Business Plan CompetitionUniversity of Colorado Colorado SpringsMarch 17, 2014 April 24-25, 2014Both Undergraduate and GraduateAll entries must be business plans for scalable ventures in sports/outdoors industries.
Carnegie Mellon Venture ChallengeCarnegie Mellon UniversityMarch 18, 2014 April 5, 2014Undergraduate
Boomer Venture SummitSanta Clara UniversityMay 1, 2014 June 2014AnyoneCompetition for business plans that market to the baby boomer population.
43NorthBuffalo, New YorkMay 31, 2014October 2014Anyone$5 million cash to be given away with $1 million first place price
Verb U Social Innovation ChallengeUniversity of Texas, AustinSeptember 2014 December 2014Both Undergraduate and GraduateCompetition for business plans that incorporate a social or environmental value.
Undergraduate Venture Capital Investment CompetitionUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel HillOctober 2014 November 2014Undergraduate
Retail Innovation ChallengeWake Forest UniversityOctober 19, 2014November 14-15, 2014Both Undergraduate and GraduateThe first place winner of this competition advances to the Venture Labs Investment Competition.
Queens' Entrepreneurs' CompetitionQueen's School of BusinessOctober 19, 2014 January 22 - 24, 2015Undergraduate
Venture Capital Investment CompetitionNYU Stern (Regional Competition)

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 
October 31, 2014April 9-11, 2015GraduateInvitation Only
Global Social Venture CompetitionUniversity of California - Berkeley

Georgia Tech for Regional Semi-Final
December 5, 2014April 8-10, 2015GraduateFor business plans that incorporate a social or environmental value.
Cardinal ChallengeUniversity of LouisvilleJanuary, 2015 February 13-14, 2015Graduate
Cupid's CupUniversity of MarylandJanuary 5, 2015 April 22, 2015Both Undergraduate and Graduate
Sustainable Business Plan CompetitionMentor Capital NetworkJanuary 5, 2015July 24-26, 2014Both Undergraduate and GraduateFor business plans that incorporate a social or environmental value.
Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize CompetitionMITJanuary 30, 20152015Both Undergraduate and GraduateAccepting applications realted to Healthcare ('Cure It') and Consumer Devices or Tools ('Use It') categories this year.
Giants Entrepreneurship ChallengeUniversity of North DakotaFebruary, 2015 April 16-18, 2015Both Undergraduate and Graduate
New Venture ChampionshipUniversity of OregonFebruary 2, 2015 April 2-4, 2015Graduate
MIT Clean Energy Prize MITFebruary 13, 2015 April 27-28, 2015Both Undergraduate and GraduateThree categories: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, or Infrastructure & Resources
Venture Labs Investment CompetitionUniversity of Texas, Austin February 20, 2015 May, 2015Graduate
International Impact Investing ChallengeWashington D.C.Feb 25, 2015 April 17, 2015Graduate

View University of Rochester business plan competitions.

View other intercollegiate competitions on the business plan competition database.

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Monthly Office Hours

The University of Rochester Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program will feature an entrepreneur each month who will visit campus to meet with students, faculty, and staff who are interested in launching an enterprise. Our current EIRs are Michael Wohl, managing partner of ClimateHedge Investments and Greenspace Capital and a serial entrepreneur; and Gregg Steinberg, managing director of Charlemagne Global Advisory and serial entrepreneur. Learn more about our EIRs.

Appointments are required. To schedule an appointment, call 585-276-3500 or email

View upcoming office hours.

Advising and Consulting Services

Advising and consulting services at the University of Rochester Center for Entrepreneurship include personal counsel from entrepreneurship faculty and support from talented Simon Business School students. Professional mentoring, on a flexible schedule, will help entrepreneurs and businesspeople improve on their business models; identify problems and formulate solutions; and create connections and networking opportunities. Open to University faculty and staff, students, and the greater Rochester community, this service offers multiple benefits to aspiring entrepreneurs, businesspeople, not-for-profit organizations, and established companies.

To learn more about advising and consulting services or to schedule an appointment, email or call 585.276.3500.

UR Consulting Group

The UR Consulting Group is an undergraduate student-run, pro bono consulting service for the Rochester business community. We focus on support services for entrepreneurs, local and regional companies, and non-profit organizations, including business plan development, advertising, market research, and communication services that integrate the newest digital media and student innovation. To schedule an appointment, email

Simon VISION Partnership Program

The Vision Partnership Program at the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School is designed to foster relationships between graduate students and the business community. Clients include companies of all sizes, nonprofit organizations, public institutions, the University, and Simon’s renowned network of alumni. The goal of the Vision Project database on SimonWorks is to match supply and demand by allowing both students and clients to access each other’s needs. Clients can post their project needs on the database and the students can select projects from the database that meet their own career needs or interests. The Vision team will consult with clients to help them develop projects that will appeal to the student population. Club presidents and the CMC are in the best position to identify the demands of the student body. With this knowledge, clients can supply the database with the most desired projects. Before projects are posted on SimonWorks, the vision team will need to approve the project. Learn more by emailing the Vision team.

Women Entrepreneurs Blog @ Simon

The Women Entrepreneurs Blog @ Simon provides a fact-filled online forum for women interested in starting their own businesses or furthering an existing entrepreneurial venture. The blog contains helpful information on starting a business, creating a business plan, finding financing, legal direction and much more. It also features insights from leading Western New York female entrepreneurs and business leaders, including:

  • Suzanne Clarridge, president, CEO and founder of My Brands Inc.
  • Yvonne DiVita, founder and president of Windsor Media Enterprises L.L.C.
  • Lauren Dixon, CEO of Dixon Schwabl Advertising
  • Jane Glazer, founder and president of QCI Direct
  • Marita Greenidge, founder and president of Crimson-Jade Consulting Inc.
  • Alyssa Gruber ’10S (MS), marketing and social media consultant
  • Cindy Hirschberg, intellectual property attorney at Brown & Michaels, P.C.
  • Elisabeth Hager, founder and CEO of Balan Biomedical
  • Jackie Marchand, president of WomanTours, Inc.
  • Sherri McArdle, co-CEO of McArdle Ramerman & Co.
  • Victoria Reynolds, deputy district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s District Office in Buffalo, NY
  • Judy Seil, director of the Department of Planning and Economic Development of Monroe County, NY
  • Claire Siegrist, a Rochester area middle school student participating in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy
  • Stella Slaight, vice president of business and professional banking at M&T Bank
  • Kitty Van Bortel, owner of Van Bortel Auto Group

UR Ventures

In the academic sector, the process of commercialization — or of bringing technologies to the marketplace — is known as “technology transfer.” Our mission is to develop University of Rochester innovations into valuable products and services to make the world ever better.

Entrepreneur-Ready Technologies

Entrepreneur-Ready Technologies has been introduced to help highlight some of the University of Rochester’s most promising inventions. We believe the technologies and innovations described below have significant commercial potential. Some of these items could fit nicely into a company’s existing intellectual property portfolio to enhance a product line or help launch a new one. Others represent platform technologies that could constitute the foundation of a new startup company. In either case, we invite you to peruse the following which will be updated periodically with new featured patents. If anything is of interest, please contact UR Ventures.


Technology Development Fund

The Technology Development Fund promotes transfer and translation of research into commercial applications through monetary awards to advance promising UR technologies towards commercial applications. In so doing, it enhances the University’s economic impact and its mission of active dissemination of knowledge to society. Awards can range from $40,000 to $100,000 to support projects of approximately one year in duration. The Fund supports technical and administrative staff salaries, equipment, and supplies. It does not fund faculty salaries or overhead. Qualified applicants include any faculty member, post doctoral fellow, graduate student, or other employee of the University, who has submitted an Invention Disclosure to UR Ventures prior to or simultaneous with application indicating intent to pursue commercial opportunities. The application solicits information from applicants pertinent to the fund evaluation criterion. The Screening Committee, composed of potential coaches and mentors with appropriate expertise, often from outside the University, are assigned the task of reviewing and selecting the project(s) with the best chances of advancing the technology’s commercial value.

Simon School Venture Capital Fund

The Simon School Venture Capital Fund (SSVCF) is an early stage student-run venture capital fund run by 2nd year MBA students at the Simon School, University of Rochester. The SSVCF is an evergreen fund and was initially funded by alumni donations. The fund is guided by an advisory board, which consists of successful entrepreneurs, VC investors, and accomplished professionals in other fields. As a subsidiary of the University of Rochester, the SSVCF is able to leverage the University’s vast resources and alumni network to assist in the development of its portfolio companies. SSVCF’s portfolio companies benefit from an extensive network of student professionals and world-class entrepreneurial advisors to assist in developing their exciting new ventures. The relationship between portfolio companies and the SSVCF is truly symbiotic.

Anyone in the University community or the general public may apply for funding. Learn more by emailing