Submit a Startup Idea


Do you have an idea for a startup or know someone that does? Or do you have an innovative technology that might be the foundation for a startup? We'd like to invite you to consider entering your startup idea or technology for consideration in our Program for Entrepreneurs.
What is the Program for Entrepreneurs (P4E)?

The Program for Entrepreneurs, started in 2008, is a program that let's Duke students receive course credit for their work on starting a company.  Students can receive credit for up to two years, and work through a sequence of courses that takes them through the business planning process. The "lead students" tend to be graduate or professional school students. Around the lead we try to form a cross-disciplinary team comprised of MBA students, graduate students, and undergraduate students, with post-docs and faculty acting as advisors. Last year we had approximately 50 students working on various startup projects.

How to Participate:

If you participate, a description of your technology/innovation would be made available to students and, starting in July, they will consider your idea along with the others that are submitted. Last year we had approximately 70 ideas submitted, and we expect a similar number this year.

In late July, the interested students will review the available new venture ideas submitted and let us know which ideas they are interested in, and for those that receive the most interest, we'll attempt to connect them with you the idea submitter.  Some of those connections will result in a partnership forming between you and the students.

From August to October, they will continue to refine the business case for the startup idea, and in mid-October, they will present a pitch for our Advisory group.  We will select the top startup teams, who will then enroll in the course.

From October to December, they will have the opportunity to continue to work on the idea for course credit, assuming they pass through the various hurdles and milestones we set. And after December of next year, the companies launch.


We are looking for specific situations that will lend themselves well to this program.

    1) We are looking for situations where there is a strong need for the development of a business case        and business model, but the technology/idea has achieved some amount of proof of concept. Often this     looks like technical co-founders who are experts in the industry, but may not be experts on the                business side of things.
    2) In addition, we are looking for situations where the founders are open to the possibility of having        some of the Duke students join the team, assuming everything goes well.  In the ideal situation, after        two years of working on the project, the Duke students will be able to join the company and receive        equity participation that is a win-win for all parties.

Next steps:

Fill this out by July 10th!


Howie Rhee
Program for Entrepreneurs (P4E)

Howie Rhee, MBA
Managing Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Office A236
919-617-1123 (mobile)

Learn more about Entrepreneurship at
and read our Duke Entrepreneurship
Twitter: @EshipAtDuke