Simon Business School


Entrepreneurship Programs

Mark Ain Business Model Workshop Series and Competition

The Mark Ain Business Model Workshop Series and Competition provides aspiring student entrepreneurs at the University of Rochester an opportunity to attend a series of three workshops that cover the following topics: articulation of their concept, sizing up market dynamics, development of business and operational models, and exposure to startup implementation issues.

After applying to the competition, selected teams pitch to a panel of distinguished alumni entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship professionals in a competition with a first-place cash prize of $10,000. The competition is made possible by support from Simon alumnus and entrepreneur Mark S. Ain '67, founder of Kronos Incorporated.


Simon Entrepreneurs Association

Simon Entrepreneurs Association (SEA) is a student-run, faculty, industry, and community advised organization, centered at the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester. SEA aims to create an environment that fosters entrepreneurial thinking in all disciplines by creating a portfolio of academic, professional, and social activities that integrate entrepreneurial interests and resources from throughout the Rochester community. Further, SEA sees entrepreneurship as a way of managing one’s life and resources to pursue new ventures. It can be applied not only to emerging technologies, but also to family and small businesses, innovative initiatives in large corporations, social impact, and personal projects.


Summer Internship Program

The Summer Entrepreneurship Internship Program, supported by Simon alumni Mark S. Ain and Steven Levinn, is a 10-week position at local startups or economic development organizations for Simon School and TEAM graduate students. Interested students should contact Kathy Driscoll, Associate Director of Career Management and Community Relations for the Ain Center.


Simon School Venture Capital Fund (SSVCF)

The Simon School Venture Capital Fund is an early stage student-run VC fund run by second year MBA students at the Simon School. SSVF is an evergreen fund and was initially funded by alumni donations. The fund is guided by an advisory board, which consists of successful entrepreneurs, VC investors, and accomplished professionals in other fields. The Simon School Venture Capital Fund intends to create experiential learning opportunities for students with respect to entrepreneurship and venture capital investment, and to increase ties to the broader Rochester community. The Fund provides a unique educational experience for Simon students through hands-on due diligence, interaction with entrepreneurs, presentations to advisory board members, direct participation in investment decisions, and ongoing monitoring and analysis of investments.


University of Rochester Student Incubator

The University of Rochester offers dedicated incubator space for student-created businesses, located in the renovated Sibley Building in downtown Rochester. The Student Incubator at NextCorps advances student-run businesses and emphasizes a broad definition of entrepreneurship. Whether technology-based, not-for-profit, products, or services, all types of enterprises are welcome to apply. This experience provides a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment and interaction with mentors and local entrepreneurs. There is no application fee and, if accepted into the program, the student company does not pay any fees nor gives up any equity.


Ain Center for Entrepreneurship Lecture Series

Each semester, the Ain Center for Entrepreneurship hosts the Lecture Series. Each event features an entrepreneur, UR alumni, innovative educator, or other distinguished guest speaker to talk to the Rochester community about their work or a cause that they are passionate about. The lecturer presents a talk free to students, faculty, staff, and the general public. The lecture is followed by time for Q&A, as well as a reception where the speaker can interact with the event attendees.

Launched in 2007, past lecturers in this series have included:

  • Bob Litan – Vice President of Research and Policy, Kauffman Foundation
  • Tina Seelig ’79 – Executive Director of Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Stanford University
  • Tim Talley ’88S (MBA) – Founder, U-Lace
  • Craig Dubitsky ’87 – Founder and CEO, Hello Products
  • Jeannine Shao-Collins ’86 – Co-Founder and CEO, Girl Starter
  • Doug Chambers ’98 – VP: Head of Powered by We, WeWork
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