Lehigh’s commitment to student entrepreneurship and economic development has been underscored by several recent high-profile events and announcements. The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine ranked Lehigh among the nation’s top 25 undergraduate colleges for entrepreneurship. According to the survey findings, Lehigh earned the 24th spot overall, and placed among the top 10 in terms of funding provided to students in business-plan competitions and the top 5 in terms of access to mentorship programs.
In October, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett visited the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, a regional business incubator located on Lehigh’s Mountaintop Campus. Lehigh undergraduates, alumni and BFTP entrepreneurs presented their work during his visit, where he toured BFTP's new TechVentures® facility. “In talking to the students, you can see how fast these young people are changing what we do,” said Corbett.
Lehigh has also opened its new Creativity and Innovation Lab, a space intended to allows students to develop ideas, from concept through prototyping to product development. Tools of the trade include everything from modeling clay and Legos to a 3-D printer, computer-guided router, mill and lathe. The lab serves as creative space for Lehigh's new technical entrepreneurship master's program, whose first class will graduate in May 2013. The program requires students to take a concept to market and actually launch a business. The new Creativity & Innovation Lab, designed by Marc de Vinck, was unveiled at an event in late October.