Washington University in St. Louis is among the most entrepreneurial institutions, once again ranking in the top 10 for undergraduate programs (#8) and now rising into the top 10 for graduate programs (#6).
“At WashU, entrepreneurship and innovation is at the heart of so many students’ academic pursuits. Our students intentionally connect with the St. Louis community and beyond in Interdisciplinary ways that enhance startup success”, said II Luscri, assistant vice provost for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and managing director of the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “At WashU, entrepreneurship is for everyone—students, faculty, staff, alumni and beyond.”
Hundreds of alumni have launched companies
In the last five years, 174 alumni of WashU undergraduate programs and 286 alumni of WashU graduate programs have launched companies. While at WashU, undergraduates can take advantage of 62 different courses that include entrepreneurship while graduate students can enroll in 54 different offerings. New initiatives like the WashU Venture Network and ongoing improvements to the Skandalaris Center’s “Venture Development” process resulted in a record number of startup ideas (74) entering the signature Skandalaris Venture Competition. New courses in the Olin Business School, including the League of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, taught by Doug Villhard, provided an additional platform to grow and scale companies this past year.
“Our recent rankings success top 10 now—in Poets & Quants, Bloomberg Newsweek, and now Princeton Review and Entrepreneurship Magazine—have the most to do with the entrepreneurial achievements of our students,” said Villhard, Olin’s academic director for entrepreneurship and professor of practice in entrepreneurship.
“Entrepreneurial MBA students are attracted to Olin, and once they get here they team up with other students to create even more amazing ideas and innovations,” Villhard said. “It’s a joy to guide them and to make available Olin’s vast network of successful alumni, investors and friends.”
Access to entrepreneurial opportunities is among the things that set WashU apart from other programs. Luscri explains: “WashU students can engage in entrepreneurship from day one. Whether that is through our ‘Endgame of Entrepreneurship: Leveraging Capitalism for Good’ class for undergraduates or the MBA Entrepreneurial Platform or attending and pitching startup concepts through our iconic IdeaBounce® platform.”
The rankings news comes at an exciting time on the WashU campus and in St. Louis: November 14 to 18 is Global Entrepreneurship Week and St. Louis Startup Week. WashU startups, students, faculty and alumni will be featured prominently at these programs as the entrepreneurial community continues to grow.
The Princeton Review selected the schools and tallied its rankings based on its summer 2022 survey of administrators at nearly 300 undergraduate and graduate schools offering entrepreneurship studies. The survey asked administrators more than 60 questions about their school’s commitment to entrepreneurship studies inside and outside the classroom. The Princeton Review analyzed more than 40 survey data points to determine the school lists and rankings. Information about the company’s methodology for the rankings is posted on the company website.