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How to start a startup at Duke

Student Groups


Duke's premier tech society - focuses on helping students secure technical internships and full-time positions.

Duke eNable

Duke eNable designs and constructs 3D printed limbs for members of the Durham community, free of charge.

Duke Undergraduate ML

Duke's premier undergraduate organization for all things machine learning and data science.

Duke Applied Machine Learning (DAML)

Collaborate with local companies and organizations to build, implement, and deploy end-to-end machine learning models to solve research and business problems.

Business Oriented Women

Network of female-identifying undergrads providing professional growth and several on-campus speaker events each semester.

The Cube

The Cube is Duke's Entrepreneurship-focused Selective Living Group (SLG) that lowers the barriers of entry to entrepreneurship and provides members with the skills and resources to pursue their own ventures.

Hackathons and Competitions


Duke's Largest Hackathon - normally hosted in late October or early November. The nation's premier hackathon for tech + social good. Students over 18 years old and new grads are invited to join.


Hackathon dedicated to a market theme each year - normally hosted in mid-November.

Duke Startup Challenge

Multi-round competition and incubator focusing on scaling Duke startups and rewarding $50,000 to a winner.

Duke Datathon

Duke's annual 2-day datathon in early November. Attack a dataset and come up with an analysis and visualization before the clock runs out. Over $2000 in prizes.

Duke Datafest

Another data competition hosted at Duke. Undergraduate and Master's students eligible.


A two-day designathon hosted by HackDuke filled with awesome speakers, workshops, and a design challenge to explore how design and innovation interact. Ideate aims to observe how design thinking can be applied across fields, and is open to design aficionados, curious newcomers, and everyone in between!.

University Resources

Duke Engineering Entrepreneurship (ENGEN)

Provides engineering undergraduates with mentorship, education (including the A. James Clark Scholars (https://pratt.duke.edu/undergrad/entrepreneurship#clark-scholars) ), access to funding (including the $20K Baquerizo Innovation Grant (https://pratt.duke.edu/undergrad/entrepreneurship#go-big) ), and connections to the Duke innovation community.

James Clark Scholars

Clark Scholarships at Duke support 10 undergraduate students each year. This four-year scholarship program builds upon Duke's outstanding engineering curriculum by adding unique training and experiences in leadership, service, and business and entrepreneurship. Open to incoming Duke Engineering undergraduates.

The Innovation Co-Lab

Describing itself as a creativity incubator, the Innovation Co-Lab is focused on exploring how new technologies can fundamentally reshape the research, academic, and service missions of the university.  You can apply for Innovation Grants online through the Co-Lab and work out of the Co-Lab studio in the Telcom building (makerspaces also found at Ruby Makerspace and Lilly Library).

Student Founders Program

A university-wide group for Duke students interested in launching their own ventures. Student Founders Program is the first to bring all Duke student innovators, entrepreneurs, and founders under one umbrella, providing education, mentoring, resources---including an option to participate in a summer accelerator---and community. Supports  undergrads and grad students alike, as long as you're interested in building your own venture someday. Includes weekly practice sessions, mentorship, and workshops.

The Foundry

A 7,600 square feet makerspace focused on engineering, energy, entrepreneurship, and sustainability.

Duke Office of Licensing and Ventures

Listings for Duke patents, mentorship contacts, and startup resources.

Duke I&E Certificate

An academic pathway noted on the Duke diploma - consisting of four courses and 450 hours of work in the innovation field.

Duke P4E

Program at Fuqua School of Business that helps students start new ventures, supported by experiential entrepreneurship education. Students enroll in New Ventures 1 to join.

The Bullpen

Office and work space in downtown Durham for all students to utilize for working on projects.

Coach K Leadership Center

Leadership program allowing undergraduates to work alongside Fuqua Business School students on leadership initiatives at Duke.

Duke in Silicon Valley

Immersive tour of Silicon Valley tech companies and startups, as well as dynamic coursework and workshops focused on entrepreneurship.

Duke in Chicago

Internship programs exploring the entrepreneurial arts market in Chicago.

DukeEngage Detroit

Social innovation internship where students solve business strategy problems for startups and nonprofits in Detroit.


Program providing mentorship and free housing to female-identifying engineers during tech internships.

Melissa and Doug Entrepreneurs

Year-long fellowship focused on product development and go-to-market strategy led by Duke Alumnus and Melissa and Doug Founder Melissa Bernstein.

Startup Ventures Clinic

(Law School) - The clinic provides legal advice and assistance to entrepreneurs and to seed and early stage ventures that have not yet raised significant amounts of outside capital in a wide variety of legal matters including company formation, intellectual property protection, commercialization strategies, and operational issues.

Notable Courses

I&E 352 Strategies for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

I&E 290 Innovator's Workshop

I&E 140 Create, Innovate, Act

I&E 748 New Ventures 1 (graduate course)

EGR 121L Engineering Innovation

ECON 375 The Economics of Entrepreneurship



University-focused venture fund investing up to $2M in emerging startups launching from the university scene around the US.

Baquerizo Innovation Grant (BIG)

Up to $20,000 is awarded to undergraduate-led teams who aim to go BIG and seek impactful solutions. Award amounts vary.

Duke Angel Network

Providing angel and seed investments in startups founded by Duke students.

Towerview Ventures

Firm funded by Duke alumni LPs looking to invest in Triangle companies.

Cofounders Capital

Provides Seed and Series A investments to companies across NC, SC, and Virginia.

NC IDEA Grants

Awards grants of $50,000 to NC startups with a proven concept.

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED)

Nationally connected network helping Triangle entrepreneurs grow successful companies by provide education, mentoring and capital to entrepreneurs.

Bull City Ventures

Durham-based startup investing in technology companies across the southeast.

The Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC)

Provides management counseling and educational services to emerging businesses in North Carolina for no charge.

Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network (BEN)

Mentors entrepreneurs in the Triangle Area with the Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) program - EIR selects successful entrepreneurs across the pharmaceutical, medical device, and digital technology industries to assist one another.

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