As the startup economy continues to grow, the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware is growing right along with it.
First, the program itself is expanding: Horn is introducing a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Design in addition to a four-year selective enrichment program for any undergraduate major, which will start next fall.
The undergrad program will broaden the scope of students involved in entrepreneurship. Dan Freeman, Horn’s director, said he hopes to have students from all seven colleges at the university participate. That shouldn’t be hard to accomplish, given the response so far. “It’s been pretty overwhelming,” he said, adding that 260 incoming freshman have applied for consideration to be Delaware Innovation Fellows, and 40 will be chosen to participate.
Second, new hires have come on board in new positions as Horn expands.
The program snapped up Meg Marcozzi, who used to work at Hagley Museum, as its new manager of marketing and events.
Vince DiFelice has also joined as the new manager of venture support, a role created to help students with their startup efforts. He’s heading up the new weekly programming of Workshop Wednesdays and Free Lunch Fridays in addition to teaching on entrepreneurship. He knows what he’s talking about: Before joining Horn, he made a career of starting and growing venture capital companies, particularly in working with students, faculty and investors at the University of Pennsylvania.
Freeman said Tony Middlebrooks, who has been teaching on creativity, design and leadership, is the new director of the graduate program and is leading the new master’s program.
And Tricia Monnig, who had been the program’s business administrator, is now the new manager of academic enrichment, which means she’ll be giving academic advice and recruit students to the program. (Freeman will hire a new business administrator, she said.)
“I get to focus on the students, which is what I love,” Monnig said. She’s also piloting an internship program for Horn students this summer.
Finally, Mona Parikh, who has taught there as an adjunct professor since 2013, has a bigger role at Horn as well. She recently left her post at The Archer Group and, in addition to teaching two classes on entrepreneurship, has been named the community engagement liaison for Horn.
That means she’ll serve as the bridge between Horn and the tech/startup community in Delaware, and to figure out how Horn can help fill gaps and get more involved in the community. In that capacity, she is spending part of her time at Wilmington’s coworking spaces (the coIN Loft, 1313 Innovation and soon, The Mill) to stay connected.
Parikh said she’s also planning on starting her own consulting practice for local startups sometime later this year.
Freeman said he’s pleased about all of the growth Horn is experiencing and is excited about the important role the program can play in Delaware’s future.
“I think there’s a growing recognition in the broader Delaware community and all across campus that it’s important to prepare students by offering educational programs that teach them or help develop the entrepreneurial mindset,” he said. “If you look at how quickly the world is changing and how the pace of technology and innovation continues to accelerate, students need opportunities to be prepared to adapt and thrive in that world.”