Last month, Northeastern announced the Northeastern University Center for Entrepreneurship Education. The program intends to teach entrepreneurship and business skills, while bringing students and alumni together to develop new ventures. IDEA will play a crucial role in the Center. We spoke with Dan Gregory, IDEA faculty advisor and a key coordinator in the development process.

Recently, Northeastern announced the creation of the Northeastern Center for Entrepreneurship Education (NUCEE). What happened behind the scenes to make this center a reality?   What factors helped to influence its creation (both on and off-campus)?
We realized that if we combined the school’s nationally ranked entrepreneurship classroom programs (9th in the nation), with IDEA, into a single integrated center, we could create a platform that strengthened and extended what we offered aspiring entrepreneurs; the whole would be greater than the sum of its parts.

How will the Center be structured?
The Center will have two boards: an Advisory Board that will oversee its direction, and a Faculty Board that will be critical to making the University aware of the system of entrepreneurship education we offer.

What types of resources (on and off-campus) will be available to students, faculty, and alums through the Center?
The Center will help us determine our resource needs and give us additional capacity for securing them.  There will be new interdisciplinary courses for all students and alums.  IDEA will continue its rapid growth, adding resources and services that help ventures grow.

What will IDEA’s role be in relation to the Center?
IDEA is the venture creation platform for the University.  The classroom programs offered to the University community will feed new start-up ventures into IDEA.  The Center will safeguard and enhance IDEA’s unique positioning as a student-run venture accelerator in the business of serving entrepreneurs who are seriously committed to learning how to build ventures.

What will be some of the first few initiatives undertaken by the Center?
We are developing an alumni/ae Bootcamps, which are a series of weekend classes and workshops that will help alums develop the skills to build companies.  We will establish an Entrepreneur-in-Residence who will teach in these Bootcamps and assist IDEA in the development of its mentoring programs and its Investment Network.

What does the creation of the Center speak to or signify about Northeastern as a whole?
The Center embodies the absolute best of Northeastern: The tight integration of classroom and experiential learning into one system.  Entrepreneurs can pick their own path, learning in the classroom and applying that knowledge to the development of their own venture.