New Jersey Institute of Technology is No. 1 in New Jersey for Undergraduate Entrepreneurship

In The Princeton Review ranking, NJIT comes in at No. 34 in the nation.

Newark, N.J., Nov. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New Jersey Institute of Technology's Martin Tuchman School of Management is the top school in New Jersey for undergraduate entrepreneurship and No. 34 in the nation, according to a new ranking by The Princeton Review, following a stream of good news for the business school and the university and with the promise of more developments to come.

The school, founded in 1988, also ranked seventh in the Northeast region. Princeton Review said the rankings are based on academic offerings, career outcomes and experiential learning opportunities.

“We heartily recommend the fine schools that made our entrepreneurship studies ranking lists this year,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review's editor in chief. “Their faculties are outstanding. Their programs have robust experiential components, and their students receive awesome mentoring and networking support that will serve them for years to come.” 

"I'm really happy to see this news because it's feedback on improvements we have been making to the entrepreneurship program at MTSM, and for which you have to wait years to see the full effect," said Cesar Bandera, associate professor of entrepreneurship. The school was ranked No. 41 two years ago.

Through efforts including major and minor degrees, specialized courses in technology commercialization and competitions and funding for student and alumni startups, "The school of management has been working hard to make the entrepreneurship program accessible and relevant to students at all of the [NJIT] colleges," Bandera explained.

Another recent development is that the school's ENTR-210, Introduction to Entrepreneurship course, which used to be a senior capstone, is now a 200-level general elective. The change has been so successful that the school had to add more sections last year to fill student demand. Bandera pointed to his own career training in electrical and computer engineering, with a specialty in computer vision, as evidence that business leaders can come from anywhere. His latest startup, Cell Podium, recently raised $750,000.

The Princeton Review focuses on curricular measures, which at NJIT also includes compelling courses that teach students about how to raise capital and how to solve problems for existing startups. MTSM is rolling out new courses in fundraising and in entrepreneurship for specific industries such as the biomedical field.

But the students here also get unique hands-on opportunities. These include the Innovations Corps whereby NJIT students validate business models, the Tech Venture Support Program whereby students help local startups, and programs with the VentureLink arm of NJIT's New Jersey Innovation Institute, which may not reflect in rankings. Other extracurricular opportunities such as the school's student-led investment fund and the university-wide Makerspace can entice those who wish to create technology-minded startup companies.

The university's successful startups include OculoMotor Technologies, which raised more than $1 million in National Science Foundation grants, and Wickr, from a computer science faculty member who recently sold his company to Amazon.

Looking forward, "We can now focus on the outgoing side, the graduation side of this program, and that is where we have to ensure that students' ideas live past graduation. A common problem among entrepreneurship programs across the country is graduation is a bit of a cliff," when students get full-time jobs and leave their entrepreneurial aspirations behind, Bandera observed. Conversely, it's important to teach students the risks of starting a business and the value of industry experience and finishing their degrees — very few companies are the next Apple or Facebook.

“Students know well the problems that society is facing," Bandera said. "We encourage our students to make a significant positive impact on society through sustainable technological innovation, and teach them the tools by which they can achieve this as entrepreneurs with their own ventures, or as intrapreneurs in established corporations.”

About New Jersey Institute of Technology

One of only 35 polytechnic universities in the United States, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that spurs economic growth and prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT is one of only 131 universities rated an “R1” research university by the Carnegie Classification®, which indicates the highest level of research activity. NJIT conducts more than $155 million in research activity each year and has a $2.8 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey. Ranked No. 1 nationally by Forbes for the upward economic mobility of its lowest-income students, NJIT also is ranked in the top 2% of colleges and universities nationally for the mid-career earnings of graduates, according to NJIT is ranked No. 39 nationally by The Princeton Review as a Best Value College and is rated among the top 50 public colleges and universities nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.



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