WPI’s approach to innovation and entrepreneurship covers everything from idea to execution.

Our collaborative approach to project-based learning and using applied knowledge is embedded in everything we do across our campus—from coursework to informal pitch practice sessions. Our students learn how to think with an entrepreneurial spirit, even if they never plan to start a business.

At WPI, an emphasis on applied research means faculty and students engage in work that can translate into products, services, or other intellectual property. Our spaces offer areas where our students, faculty, alumni, and community and industry leaders can interact, learning from each other as they network. Students access our expertise to determine an idea’s viability, discover funding potential, and enter competitions and scholarships. We even arm them with the essential professional development skills like grant writing and business communication.

From start-up to exit strategy, an extensive network of experts and resources can help turn a spark of imagination into a marketable innovation. We take your ideas seriously.

KEEN: Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset

At WPI, innovation and entrepreneurship begins with a state of mind. With recognition and funding from Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), a national leader in entrepreneurial mindset learning, WPI weaves the approach throughout the curriculum and across campus activities. Through the work with KEEN, WPI prepares graduates with the mindset and skillset to solve problems and create value.

The Entrepreneurially Minded Culture at WPI

Foisie Business School

Innovation and entrepreneurship are built into the WPI curriculum and culture and crosses all disciplines. This ecosystem gives students and faculty members chances for discovery across campus, whether in the dedicated curriculum of our entrepreneurship or social entrepreneurship minors through the Foisie Business School or throughout business, engineering, science, or humanities coursework. You’ll have access to faculty who are leading experts in their fields and opportunities to work on transformative projects and in authentic industry settings.

The First Step for Innovators and Entrepreneurs

WPI's faculty and student innovators and inventors partner with the Office of Intellectual Property & Innovation to find out if their spark of imagination has the legs to be a marketable innovation. The team helps you look into patents and licensing and has a vast network of WPI alumni, faculty, staff members, and friends who are successful innovators, serial entrepreneurs, investors, and consultants. Known as the IP Evaluation team, they share their extensive experience in new venture development, commercialization, engineering, strategic planning, financing, marketing, sales, and product/service development as mentors to aspiring innovators.

Guidance from Experienced Leaders

Your great idea or innovation still needs legs to move forward. WPI's Tech Advisors Network (TAN) helps determine if an innovative idea can survive in the market. A volunteer group of more than 80 experienced innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors act as a virtual incubator to offer advice on business plans, marketing strategies, and potential funding. If an idea from faculty members, students, staff, or alumni is accepted for TAN advising, the resources of the group are invaluable to the entrepreneurial journey.

Supporting the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

Innovation and entrepreneurship are nothing new at WPI. In 1999, the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CEI) launched and since then, has provided experienced support, extensive resources, and structured guidance to legions of WPI community members to give them the foundation needed to explore and create new products and organizations. The office sponsors many competitions throughout the year that inspire students and offer valuable sources of funding. The CEI team cultivates strong connections with local and regional industry and academic partners, so their network and impact extends far beyond WPI.

Success Stories

Find out about the successful companies that started in WPI residence halls, classrooms, and labs and read about the people who made it happen. Read more.

30%

above national average for research universities' invention disclosures and licenses

(2016)
$4M

Funds raised for new ventures 

WPI Tech Advisors Network (2015)
65

new ventures supported 

WPI Tech Advisors Network (2015)