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Awards / Honors

CSU joins ranks of most entrepreneurial universities

August 1, 2014

Colorado State University is part of the state and the nation's thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, according to the latest ranking of U.S. research universities by Forbes.

Colorado State is one of three state universities – along with University of Colorado-Boulder and privately funded University of Denver – that appear on the list of America’s Most Entrepreneurial Universities, in the Aug. 18 issue of the business magazine.

Colorado State was ranked for the first time at No. 49. CU Boulder came in at No. 19 and DU at No. 27.

The Colorado schools are in impressive company. The top 10 slots were occupied by California-based schools with ties to Silicon Valley such as Stanford, Berkeley and Cal Tech, as well as several Ivy League schools and MIT.

For a second year in a row, Forbes ranked the nation’s most entrepreneurial research universities based on their entrepreneurial ratios – the number of alumni and students who have identified themselves as founders and business owners on LinkedIn against the school’s total student body (undergraduate and graduate combined).

“We have been working very diligently to elevate the amount of entrepreneurial activity at CSU,” said Charisse Bowen, director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship in the CSU College of Business. “It feels great to be recognized for all our hard work with this ranking.”

Hatchery and Blue Ocean Challenge

Among the notable programs offered through the Institute for Entrepreneurship is CSU’s partnership with the Rocky Mountain Innosphere, northern Colorado’s business and technology incubator, that provides student companies a year to develop their businesses while working beside other entrepreneurs. The second cohort of five student companies entered the CSU Hatchery in June.

Although faculty research is not included in this Forbes ranking, the technology commercialization arm of the university, CSU Ventures, also has close ties with RMI. Since 2007, CSU Ventures has helped CSU researchers spin out 34 startups, a record eight companies in 2013 alone, many of which are housed at RMI.

Bowen is also co-director of the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, a business pitch competition with over $300,000 in cash prizes, computer equipment and mentorships, open to all colleges in Colorado and early-stage startups across the nation.

Decibullz Molded Earphones of Loveland took home the $250,000 top prize in the inaugural challenge in May; Fargreen, a social enterprise created by students in the CSU Global Social and Sustainable MBA program, won $20,000 in the collegiate division.

For more information, go to the College of Business website