Melissa and Doug Entrepreneurs

Preparing the Next Generation of Great Entrepreneurs

Have you started a company? Do you have customers and traction? Be a part of an amazing program that will help you grow your venture—and grow as a leader.

Melissa & Doug Entrepreneurs is year-long intensive program designed for current Duke students who are committed to launching and growing their ventures. It is a not-for-credit program; if selected, you will be expected to balance your coursework and other activities with participation in the program.

Melissa & Doug Entrepreneurs Receive:

  • Bi-monthly meetings with a community supporting you and your venture—you’ll join other highly motivated Duke student entrepreneurs as well as Duke I&E staff members who guide your progress
  • Monthly meetings with mentors to review progress, set goals, and get advice
  • Two executive coaching sessions per semester
  • Access to up to $5,000 in funding to assist with expenses for your venture (eligibility depends on progress towards defined goals)
  • Connections to fellow Duke student and alumni entrepreneurs, industry experts, startup advisors, Melissa & Doug Entrepreneurs program alumni, and others
  • Additional events and opportunities, such as attendance at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s Venture Connect summit and the Venture Atlanta Conference

Eligibility & Application

  • Applicants must be actively working on a venture; revenue is not a requirement.
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to a 9-month program beginning with a welcome workshop on August 24, 2023; final presentations are made in mid-April.
  • Applications are reviewed by program staff and mentors; up to 15 students will be interviewed for 10 program spots. Interviews are conducted in mid-May.
  • Students who have participated in Duke I&E programs will receive preference from the selection committee.
  • To apply, complete the online application form. You will also submit a 1-minute video pitch for your venture and a draft of 6-8 goals you plan to accomplish over the duration of the program.
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