Quinnipiac University
An entrepreneurship student showcases her clothing line at Quinnipiac

Centers and Institutes

The People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

We are driven by the knowledge that entrepreneurship is not limited to business studies, and that ideas for growth and opportunity come from all academic areas of the university and all sectors of society. The result is students who are better equipped to lead us into the best future world possible.

What We Do

The resources to turn your dreams into reality

The People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship is a versatile and collaborative incubator for students, staff and faculty across all of Quinnipiac’s academic disciplines to pursue their entrepreneurial ventures. We provide advisory services and workshops in legal, finance, research, marketing, design, business plan development and start-up mentoring for all types of innovative business, social, sustainable and artistic ventures. We accomplish this by catalyzing students and faculty from all disciplines and backgrounds to help promising entrepreneurs learn ways to turn their ideas into practical use.

We support faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, alumni mentors and other internal and external partners of the university. Our relationships with successful entrepreneurs and business owners outside the QU community enable us to connect our students with the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region and country and enhance the economic development provided by small to mid-sized businesses that are fundamental to a successful economy.

Annual Pitch Competition

Andrew Pizzi '19, left, and alumni Mike Cusano, right, accept a $3,000 check from Fred McKinney, director of the People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Quinnipiac. 

The People's United Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship invites all students to make a pitch for cash prizes to help launch their entrepreneurship idea. The center awards cash prizes to Quinnipiac students with the best pitches based on concept, market analysis, competition and revenue model.

 

Save the Date

2022 Pitch Competition: April 7

 

2021 Pitch Competition
Winners:
  • First place: MSK Curbsider founders, Samuel Oduwole, Miguel Arasa, Pranav Warman, and Greg Pereira, presented their web application designed to help emergency room physicians treat patients with muscular skeletal complaints.

  • Second place: Mckenna Haz and her company SEAAV Athletics was the second-place winner. SEAAV was founded in 2019 as a student start-up, with a vision to make a sustainable athletic line made from recycled material. SEEAV is committed to raising awareness and funding to keep our oceans clean.

  • Third place: Isaac Burtis with Springtide. Springtide grows ocean kelp in Maine. Adam's family owns an oyster company, Ferda Farms, also in Maine.

Judges:
  • Garrett Sheehan, president and CEO of Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce

  • Anthony Price, president and CEO of Loot Scout

  • Sharon Mwale, program manager of Health Venture

Read more about the 2021 Pitch Competition

Our Community in Action

Students holding $3,000 check prize and taking group photo

Student entrepreneurs ‘launch’ new business ideas at competition

It came down to a battle of six teams who were competing for thousands of dollars worth of start-up funds for their business propositions on Tuesday in the Rocky Top Student Center. The Quinnipiac Launchpad Competition was the culmination of 14 weeks of vigorous work by students in the School of Business and School of Communications.

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Four students participated in a women entrepreneur panel discussion

Panel delves into successes, lessons from women entrepreneurs

The word ‘boss’ took on new meaning during a recent panel featuring four Quinnipiac women student entrepreneurs as they explored what it really takes to launch and run a successful business.

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Marina Hanlon, Meghan Crocetto, and Dominick DeNuncio

Three Quinnipiac students finish among top 20 in prestigious national pitch competition

Eight Quinnipiac students are among the 100 participants selected to compete in the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s 2021 “Becoming Agents of Change” pitch competition — and three were selected among the top 20!

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A student presents his company during the virtual pitch competition

Quinnipiac students earn prizes at state, university pitch competitions

Two Quinnipiac entrepreneurship students took home cash prizes at the Connecticut State Business Plan and Elevator Pitch Contest on April 23.

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Girl sitting and listening at 2021 spring speaker event

People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship announces spring speaker series

The People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship announced its annual Speaker Series, which kicks off on March 10. The series features corporate innovators, entrepreneurs, Quinnipiac alumni, public and private sector support organizations and experts who focus on financing entrepreneurial startups.

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Past Events

The People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship holds events throughout the year designed to create a vibrant, entrepreneurial, on-campus community, provide inspiration for Quinnipiac entrepreneurs (faculty, staff and students) and share information that will assist budding innovators in attaining their goals.

Women Entrepreneurship Week

In celebration of the Women Entrepreneurship Week 2021, the People's United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the People's United Center for Women & Business co-hosted a panel discussion featuring Quinnipiac women student entrepreneurs who discussed various phases of their entrepreneurial journey and what it takes to be your own boss.

The panel included Isabella Dias, founder of Beijo by Bella; Dena Dupree, a founder of NailTique; McKenna Haz, founder of SEAAV Athletics; and Kallie Purdue, a founder of Refashion. It was moderated by Patrice Luoma, director of the People's United Centers at Quinnipiac.

Read more about the event

 

Spring Speaker Series

The lineup for the virtual 2021 Spring Speaker Series featured corporate innovators, entrepreneurs, Quinnipiac alumni, public and private sector support organizations and experts who focus on financing entrepreneurial startups.

 

Health Care & Entrepreneurship

April 15, 2020

Mary Howard, Executive Director, ABCT
Donna Lecky, Co-Founder and Managing Director, iHaven and HealthVenture

Donna Lecky and Mary Howard are leaders of two organizations that support the development of entrepreneurs and innovators focused on health care. Lecky, the co-founder of Health Ventures, helps early stage health care companies with strategic financial and executive advice. Howard, executive director of the Accelerator for Biosciences in Connecticut (ABCT), leads a quasi-governmental agency designed to support CT-based innovators in the health sciences.

Watch the recorded event

 

Entrepreneurial Support and Chambers of Commerce

April 8, 2020

Garrett Sheehan, President and CEO, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce

The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce is one of the oldest continuously operating chambers of commerce in America. The chamber has supported business development in the greater New Haven region since 1794. Sheehan, president and CEO of the Chamber, spoke about how the organization is prioritizing the development of entrepreneurship in the region.

Watch the recorded event


Pharmaceutical and IT

April 1, 2020

George Llado, Chief Information Officer, Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Alexion Pharmaceuticals is an example of a university-spawned enterprise that is a leading innovator in health care. Llado, the chief information officer at Alexion, spoke about the role of innovation in the continuing success of Alexion and other early stage university-connected enterprises.

Watch the recorded event

 

Urban Entrepreneurship

March 24, 2020

Rodney Sampson, Executive Chairman and CEO, Opportunity Hub

Opportunity Hub was one of the first African American-based business accelerator. Based in Atlanta, GA, Sampson is one of the leaders at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and social change. Sampson is a national leader in working with urban-based innovators and entrepreneurs.

Watch the recorded event


Philanthropy & Social Entrepreneurship

March 10, 2020

Will Ginsberg, President and CEO The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

Community Foundations have grown increasingly interested in promoting entrepreneurship, particularly in stressed communities, as a method of addressing societal problems that have been at the core of their missions. Ginsberg addressed the foundation’s role in promoting entrepreneurial infrastructure in Greater New Haven.

Watch the recorded event

 

Entrepreneurship and the Federal Government

March 3, 2020

Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator, State of Connecticut

Richard Blumenthal is serving his second term as a United States Senator from the State of Connecticut. Senator Blumenthal served an unprecedented five terms as Connecticut’s Attorney General, fighting for people against large and powerful special interests. His aggressive law enforcement for consumer protection, environmental stewardship, labor rights, and personal privacy has helped reshape the role of state attorneys general nationwide, and resulted in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars for Connecticut taxpayers and consumers each year.

Watch the recorded event

A computer with the virtual conversation with Senator Blumenthal during the Quinnipiac entrepreneurship speaker series
A computer with the virtual conversation with Senator Blumenthal during the Quinnipiac entrepreneurship speaker series

A Lot to Showcase

Student entrepreneurs showcased their businesses in the People's United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship during Bobcat Weekend.

People's United Centers 2020–2021 Year in Review 

People’s United Centers 2020–2021 Year in Review

Our School of Business People’s United centers completed another productive year with initiatives that had a measurable impact on the various people and communities they serve, despite the uncertainty and heaviness of the pandemic. Consistent with their missions, each provided exciting, engaging and provocative activities and opportunities for students, faculty, alumni and friends of Quinnipiac University.

View the Report (PDF)

 

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Centers and Institutes at Quinnipiac

We believe education doesn’t begin and end inside the classroom. We live in an increasingly diverse and complex world that demands the knowledge, collaboration and empathy required to deliver meaningful impact. 

Whether it’s turning ideas into viable business applications, or digging through human history by analyzing ancient artifacts, each of our centers and institutes pairs our students and faculty to transform academic theory into real-world solutions.

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Our broad liberal arts core complements deep expertise across more than 100 degree programs to provide an education that equips you for an extraordinary career. Whether you are in high school and ready to pursue your undergraduate degree, currently in the workforce and looking to advance your career through one of our graduate programs or have ambitions of becoming a lawyer or doctor, we have the schools, programs and faculty that will help unlock your potential.