Opportunities abound for Warhawk entrepreneurs. They're starting their own companies, winning grants and national awards and — buoyed by experienced and talented faculty mentors — making names for themselves in the competitive business world.
For all of these reasons and more, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is one of the best places in the country for business students to learn their craft.
That's according to the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, which named UW-Whitewater a finalist in its annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Awards.
The competition honors exemplary programs that reflect innovation, quality, comprehensiveness, sustainability, transferability, depth of support and impact.
UW-Whitewater finished second in the undergraduate category, which featured many of the top entrepreneurship programs in the country. Only The University of Tampa placed higher.
The awards were given out Jan. 11, 2016, at USASBE's national conference in San Diego, California. Jeff Vanevenhoven, associate professor of management, made the presentation on behalf of campus.
"UW-Whitewater provides an affordable, first-class education that helps our graduates become better owners, managers, employees and citizens," he said. "By developing or refining students' skill sets through experiential learning like our entrepreneur apprenticeship program, or working with them as soon as they get to our campus through Learning Communities like Venture Hawks, we start the co-learning process early and allow opportunities for evolving applied experiences as they pursue a degree in any discipline."
Vanevenhoven also touted community partnerships like the Innovation Center at Whitewater University Technology Park and business outreach centers, which immerse students in an entrepreneurial community.
"UW-Whitewater goes beyond having an accelerator, an incubation center and contests. We go beyond having an evolving curriculum rooted in best practices. While these are necessary, here our students can join a vibrant ecosystem and have faith that they will be heard, have an avenue to pursue their own idea, or be an active part of supporting entrepreneurial ventures."