The 5 Best Colleges for Future Entrepreneurs


You already know that you want to start your own company after you get your bachelor's degree. Now you're looking for a college that will teach you the entrepreneurial skills you'll need to succeed. Here are five top schools for future entrepreneurs.

From Education to Entrepreneurship

Most of the leading schools for entrepreneurship have the following features in common:

  • Real-life entrepreneurs on the faculty
  • School-sponsored mentorship programs
  • Dozens of entrepreneurship-related courses
  • Business incubator/accelerator programs

Let's see what special offerings each of these top five schools has for up-and-coming business tycoons.

#1: Babson College (Wellesley, MA)

With a small student body and nearly 100 years of experience as a business school, Babson College is a practical and prestigious choice for future entrepreneurs. The curriculum is well-established yet forward-looking, with offerings such as a crowdfunding course, Web technologies elective, and required social entrepreneurship class.

Babson College has an excellent program for entrepreneurs.

The Butler Launch Pad, part of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson, furnishes students with many resources for entrepreneurial training and success, such as:

  • Business incubators called ''Hatcheries''
  • A 10-week Summer Venture program (and its Silicon Valley sister program, the Summer Catalyst in San Francisco, CA)
  • A pitch-practicing forum named ''Rocket Pitch''
  • The B.E.T.A. (Babson Entrepreneurial Thought and Action) Challenge, which awards thousands of dollars' worth of cash and prizes

#2: Sloan School of Management at MIT (Cambridge, MA)

A half-hour's drive from Babson College is another top-ranked entrepreneurial institution: the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The entrepreneurship program, known as ''MIT Sloan, Course 15,'' offers three tracks; all of these are majors that can stand alone or be combined with another subject for a double major.

The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship provides equity-free support and access to startup capital, along with experiences like internships, business accelerators, and law clinics. The Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation provides students with the tools they need to transform technological innovations into successful business ventures. Ignition Grants and Innovation Grants are available to students and faculty who need funding to further develop their research.

MIT has much to offer future entrepreneurs.

#3: Farmer School of Business at Miami University (Oxford, OH)

Miami University's highly regarded entrepreneurship program sponsors a business plan competition with substantial cash prizes. An international program called FSB Abroad expands the campus to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, with summer internships in both Hong Kong and Shanghai, China.

Miami has a separate curriculum for startup entrepreneurs. Corporate entrepreneurship, also known as intrapreneurship or corporate venturing, has its own program at Miami University.

Aspiring changemakers in particular may be interested in Miami's top-ranked social entrepreneurship curriculum. Students may participate in the MicroConsignment Initiative, which pairs them with entrepreneurs in developing countries to provide innovations to these areas.

#4: Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

Wharton gives future entrepreneurs a well-rounded business education with a liberal arts foundation. But its resources extend beyond the classroom. Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship, one of several entrepreneurial programs offered by Wharton, takes students step-by-step through the process of developing, launching, and scaling a real-world startup company. The Scale School, based in San Francisco, teaches aspiring entrepreneurs how to transform their startups into big businesses.

Wharton's renowned Startup Challenge gives students the opportunity to showcase their startups and compete for thousands of dollars' worth of cash and prizes. An abundance of funding possibilities such as prizes, awards, and competitions, are open to Wharton student-entrepreneurs.

Wharton is a well-known destination for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Over 350 companies come to Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania each year to recruit students; most of these are business and technology-related opportunities. The college also boasts a comprehensive career services center to help graduates make the transition from the college to their entrepreneurial career path.

#5: University of Houston's Bauer College of Business (Houston, TX)

The Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston's Bauer College of Business has been nationally ranked as one of the top three programs for entrepreneurship. Graduates earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree, while acquiring valuable hands-on experience. Here are a few of the unique and innovative programs at Wolff.

RED Labs

RED Labs is the University of Houston's startup accelerator, with a focus on building technology companies. The Accelerator program takes students from the idea-generation phase all the way through founding and scaling a company.

Cougar Pitch

Structured like a competition, Cougar Pitch is Wolff's answer to Shark Tank. The finalists are judged by a panel of venture capitalists that choose the winner of a cash prize.

3 Day Startup (3DS)

The college's 3 Day Startup is an accelerated incubator for impromptu technology companies. However, 3DS is not a competition; rather, it's more like a bootcamp designed to forge business connections and build momentum.

Don't wait to start your entrepreneurial education. Enroll yourself in online business courses from With dozens of courses you can take for college credit, you can get a jumpstart on your degree while saving money for your startup.

By Michelle Baumgartner
August 2018
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