Collecting Data and Connecting University Entrepreneurship Centers

2019 University Entrepreneurship Survey: Executive Summary

Once again, the willingness to share best practices among the global community of entrepreneurship educators is something to be celebrated. In 2017, the University of Rochester Ain Center for Entrepreneurship created and sent out a survey with the hope of learning more about how other university entrepreneurship centers operate, particularly in relation to advisory councils. The feedback was extremely helpful in understanding how to build such an entity at UR, as well as the general operation of entrepreneurship centers. Thus, the biannual University Entrepreneurship Survey was established. 2019 marked the second distribution of the questionnaire, complete with adjustments based on participant interest and to stay current with the ever-evolving field of innovation.

To obtain a significant amount of diverse data, institutions within and beyond the United States were polled via Qualtrics during the summer of 2019. 371 individuals participated in the survey, representing 262 universities; a number of the individuals who responded were from the same university. This level of participation shows an increase from the 2017 numbers (the full 2017 Report can be accessed on the Ain Center for Entrepreneurship’s website: https://www.rochester.edu/aincenter/survey/).

The 2019 survey collected data on organizational structure, programming, physical space, and program evaluation of entrepreneurship centers; the survey also posed questions about entrepreneurship degree programs and courses for credit. A distinction between entrepreneurship center and program was adopted to clarify co-curricular and curricular offerings, which helped rectify misunderstandings that clouded the 2017 responses.

As with the 2017 survey and all others to follow, the University of Rochester hopes that this data can serve as a reference point to those beginning, growing, and sustaining entrepreneurship centers.