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Leaders Unite to Leverage Strengths of Universities to Drive Entrepreneurship

UMass Lowell to Host Three-Day International Conference


Contacts for media: Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or or Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or
* M E D I A   A D V I S O R Y *

Tuesday, June 10 to Thursday, June 12

WHAT:  Higher-education experts and leaders of venture incubators and foundations that support entrepreneurship will come together June 10 through June 12 at UMass Lowell to explore how colleges and universities can expand their roles as economic catalysts.

More than 200 faculty, administrators, business professionals and students are expected to attend the third annual Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Twenty-four sessions presented by representatives of more than 30 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada will explore a variety of topics, from creating an entrepreneurship curriculum and building support for campus innovation programs to intellectual property and university-based business incubators and accelerators.

UMass Lowell is a leader in entrepreneurship education through initiatives that include the DifferenceMaker Program – which teaches students to think and act like entrepreneurs to solve business, technology and societal problems – and degree programs within the university’s Manning School of Business.

On Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., conference attendees will tour three cutting-edge hubs for research, development and enterprise at UMass Lowell: the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) incubator for startups, the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center and the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center.  

Conference speakers are scheduled to include Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki; UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan; Executive Vice Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney; Vladimir Bulovic, associate dean for innovation and co-director of MIT’s Innovation Initiative; and University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman. In 2010, Coleman was appointed as a co-chairman of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship along with Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, chairman of the Sparta Group LLC and co-founder of the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, which was established through the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UMass Lowell. The Sandbox – one of four such initiatives around the world – works to strengthen the economies of local communities, including Lowell and Lawrence, through entrepreneurship.

The Deshpande Foundation and UMass Lowell are the symposium’s founding sponsors. For more information about the event, visit .

WHERE:  UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell. Contact UMass Lowell media relations for directions and parking information.