Global honor for Hofstra’s Center for Entrepreneurship

On your Mark: Hofstra Economic Development VP Mark Lesko, executive dean of the university's Center for Entrepreneurship, is giving Hofstra a reputation.

Hofstra University’s Center for Entrepreneurship has snagged a prestigious international honor.

The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, an international collaboration of more than 225 university-centered entrepreneurship programs, has named the Hempstead-based university’s two-year-old center one of its two 2017 Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Centers.

The award is bestowed annually to the best university-based entrepreneurship hub in operation fewer than five years. The GCEC judges split the award this year between Hofstra and the University of New Hampshire’s Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center – but that in no way diminishes the honor, according to Mark Lesko, Hofstra’s vice president of economic development and executive dean of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

“It speaks to how far we have come in such a short time,” Lesko said Wednesday, noting the “enthusiasm and talent on our campus and in our community.”

“Hofstra is building a reputation as a place that nurtures ideation and fuels the regional innovation economy,” the executive dean added. “It’s especially gratifying that this recognition is coming from our peers – other university-based entrepreneurship centers.”

Launched in 2015, Hofstra’s multi-disciplinary, 3,000-square-foot Center for Entrepreneurship has already worked with hundreds of students, faculty and community members, fostering innovation and a number of student-run companies – including a student-managed record label – through the Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge, entrepreneurial workshops and the university’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program.

The GCEC award is the second honor bestowed upon the Center for Entrepreneurship in as many months. In September, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration named the hub a winner of the prestigious i6 Challenge Award.

The award program doled out $17 million in federal funds to 42 different organizations around the nation, tasking them with creating and/or expanding “cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs” and seed funds in conjunction with the EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies program.

The Hofstra Center for Entrepreneurship will use its slice of the pie to launch the Healthcare Entrepreneurship Community Challenge, in partnership with the university’s School of Health Professions and Human Services, the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and Northwell Ventures, commercialization arm of the Northwell Health system.

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