Carnegie Mellon University

Support for Entrepreneurial Activities


Enhance support for entrepreneurial activities on our campus.

CMU will increase its support for entrepreneurial activities on campus by expanding the resources available to faculty and students pursuing entrepreneurial pursuits, including nonprofits and public-sector innovation. Funding for new concepts can be difficult to secure from traditional sources. To enlarge the funding options available to CMU entrepreneurs, the university will explore the development of professionally managed venture funds, fueled by contributions from alumni and friends of Carnegie Mellon. CMU will establish an endowment to yield an annual draw to increase and diversify gap funds for ventures moving through early stages of development.

The university will also establish an industry-friendly, flexible and responsive Business Engagement Center to provide an easy way for organizations seeking to work in partnership with CMU to connect with the university. In addition, we want to further cultivate our relationship with the local community of startups, as it offers an opportunity to pilot our innovations and entrepreneurial activities related to improving our region’s quality of life and economy. Finally, we will purposefully engage the network of talented, entrepreneurial CMU alumni as mentors and resources for these activities.

To equip students seeking to develop their entrepreneurial skills, we will develop curricula that educate our students in problem identification, problem-solving, communication and leadership skills. For those seeking to delve more deeply, we will develop a cross-campus undergraduate minor in innovation and entrepreneurship. These programs will teach topics inherent in entrepreneurship that can benefit students in a broad range of endeavors. 


  • With the support from a $31 million gift by James Swartz, the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship serves as a hub for the university's collaborative entrepreneurship educational programs and activities, supporting and bringing together students, faculty, researchers, alumni and local entrepreneurs.
  • From 2011-2016, CMU directly or indirectly helped to foster 148 startup companies; about 30 per year. CMU’s Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation has identified more than $1 billion in follow-on funding raised by 42 separate firms related to CMU in that same five year period, more than 70 percent of which stayed in the Pittsburgh region.