Yesterday, 1776 announced a partnership with the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. The partnership is the second and latest effort by the DC-based startup incubator to collaborate with and support entrepreneurial programs at higher ed institutions.
The partnership with Darden offers students and alumni access to the 1776 campus at a discounted rate, as well as the opportunity for 1776 and Darden to collaborate on various programming and events, such workshops and mentoring sessions.
“The University of Virginia Darden School of Business’ graduate entrepreneurship program is one of the five best programs in the nation,” said 1776 cofounder Donna Harris in an email exchange with Tech Cocktail. “The school is full of promising students and alumni who are interested in entrepreneurship. Our partnership gives them easy entrée to the 1776 community, and gives our members a way to access this rich potential pool of talent.”
With a focus on entrepreneurial studies — and considering the close proximity of UVA to the DC-Metro area — it’s clear to see the benefits that both sides will attain from this joint effort. Darden students and alumni get access to premier resources and mentoring from 1776, while 1776 benefits from having those same students and alumni pursue the startup track (whether that’s through starting their own companies or finding a career at a startup).
“[This partnership with] 1776 helps us with our commitment to promoting the notion of an ‘entrepreneurial spirit,'” said Philippe L. Summer, the director of both the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (at the Batten Institute) and i.Lab at UVA, in yesterday’s press release.
The new relationship between the two entities, however, should not be surprising. Aside from Darden being one of the world’s top graduate business schools with an equally-esteemed entrepreneurship program, UVA and its surrounding Charlottesville community have recently become hot-spots for tech startup growth. Particularly with encouragement from UVA President Teresa Sullivan, tech entrepreneurship has made strides in the last three years, and has influenced the growing presence of hackathons and other startup initiatives in the area.
This is 1776’s second partnership with an institute of higher learning. Back in November, the incubator began a similar partnership with American University’s School of Communication (SOC), Kogod School of Business, and School of International Service (SIS).