GCEC Awards

About the awards

The GCEC awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the very best of university entrepreneurship! We are excited to read about the great achievements of university entrepreneurship programs and proud to recognize them. Each year, the GCEC recognizes the top entrepreneurship programs in nine categories, including the GCEC Legacy Award.  More than one winner may be selected in each category, except for the Nasdaq Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence.

In addition, schools may nominate an individual for the GCEC Legacy Award.  The GCEC Legacy Award recognizes an individual for a lifetime of “pioneering work in advancing entrepreneurship in universities and/or directing a university entrepreneurship center that created a legacy impact on the field of entrepreneurship”.



Submit 2021 Award Nomination     Awards Instructions (PDF)     Past Winners


Submitting a Nomination 

Award nominations are being accepted using the Reviewr platform from July 7 to August 13, 2021. To submit a nomination, go to https://app.reviewr.com/s1/site//gcecawards2021.


Nominations must be received by midnight Friday, August 13, 2021 to be considered.


Award winners will be announced at the annual awards ceremony at the 2021 GCEC Conference in Baltimore, Maryland hosted by Loyola University Maryland and University of Baltimore on October 16, 2021.  A leader from your Center must be registered for and attend the conference to be considered for an award.


Detailed instructions for submitting the awards can be found here.


For questions, please contact one of the following:

  • Holly DeArmond, GCEC Awards Chair and Managing Director,Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Maryland, Email: hdearmond@umd.edu
  • Nadine Bentis, Program Manager, Troesh Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, UNLV, Email: nadine.bentis@unlv.edu


New in 2021!  

There are now two tracks for 3 of the award categories: 1) for smaller schools with 5,000 or fewer students, and 2) for larger schools with more than 5,000 students.   Judges this year may award two awards in these 3 categories:

  • Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center
  • Outstanding Student Engagement and Leadership
  • Nasdaq Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence

The purpose of this change is to allow smaller schools with excellent programs to be recognized, even if they might not have access to the same resources as larger schools.


2021 Categories

  1. Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center
  2. Outstanding Contributions to Venture Creation
  3. Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines
  4. Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education
  5. Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation Outstanding
  6. Student Engagement & Leadership
  7. Exceptional Contributions in Entrepreneurship Research
  8. NASDAQ Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence
  9. Legacy Award


You can nominate in multiple award categories. A committee of judges, led by past winners and GCEC Members, selects the award recipients.


Congratulations to the 2020 GCEC Award Winners


View Award Finalists and Winners


Award winners were announced at the annual awards ceremony at the 2020 GCEC Conference hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Congratulations:






Past GCEC Award Winners

Category and Year Awarded Award Recipients
Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education
2020 (3 awardees) University of Colorado-Boulder (Entrepreneurship Center for Music)Georgia State University (Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute)

George Washington University (Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship)

2019 Rutgers University – Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (CUEED)
2018 Babson College (Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership)
2017 CUNY Graduate School of Journalism (Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism)
2016 University of Vermont (Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA)Duke University  (Center for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship)
2013 Ball State University (The Entrepreneurship Center)
2012 University of Florida
2011 Miami University (Institute for Entrepreneurship) University of Rochester (Center for Entrepreneurship)
2009 Rice University (Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship)MIT (MIT Entrepreneurship Center)
2008 University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
2007 University of Illinois-Chicago
2006 University of Colorado at Boulder
Outstanding Contributions to Venture Creation
2020 (2 awardees) Texas Christian University (Neeley Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation)Northeastern University (Northeastern University Center for Entrepreneurship Education)
2019  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Origin Ventures Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership
2018  (2 awardees) Stockholm School of EntrepreneurshipMichigan State University (MSU Entrepreneurship)
2017 University of Chicago (Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
2016 Arizona State University (Entrepreneurship + Innovation)Northwestern University (Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice)
2015 University of Maryland
2011 Carnegie Mellon University (Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship)University of Virginia (Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership)
2010 University of Missouri – Kansas City
2007 Rice University
2006 University of MarylandUniversity of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation
2020 Universidad Francisco Marroquín (Kirzner Entrepreneurship Center)
2019 ( 3 awardees) University of California, Berkeley – Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & TeachingCU Boulder  – Deming Center for Entrepreneurship

Texas Christian University – Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

2018 Baylor University (John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise)
2017 Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Finland (Oamk LABs)
2016 University of North Carolina – Greensboro
2015 University of Tampa
2014 University of Texas – Dallas
2012 Belmont University
2011 Villanova University (Insper Institute of Education and Research & ICE Center)
2010 University of Maryland – College Park
2008 Wake Forest University
2007 Ball State UniversityNorthern Kentucky University
2006 Boston University
Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines
2020 University of Delaware (Horn Entrepreneurship)The Pennsylvania State University (Center for Penn State Student Entrepreneurship)
2019 Florida State University Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship
2018 University of Massachusetts Lowell (DifferenceMaker Program)University of Utah (Lassonde Entrepreneurship Center)
2017 Villanova University (Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship Institute)University of Cincinnati (UC Center for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization – UC CEC)
2016 Cornell University (Entrepreneurship @ Cornell)San Diego State University (The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center)
2014 Northern Kentucky University
2013 University of Rochester (Center for Entrepreneurship)Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship
2012 Millikin University
2011 Wichita State University (Center for Entrepreneurship)
2010 University of North Carolina-GreensboroUniversity of Missouri – Kansas City
2009 Georgia Tech UniversityUniversity of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
2008 Wake Forest University
2007 University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
2006 Pennsylvania State UniversityTemple University
Emerging Entrepreneurship Center
2020 (4 awardees) Furman University (Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship)Eastern Washington University (EWU Center for Entrepreneurship)

Smith College (Jill Ker Conway Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center)

Boston University (Innovate@BU/BUild Lab IDG Capital Student Innovation Center)

2019 (2 awardees) Dartmouth College – Magnuson Center for EntrepreneurshipBrown University – Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship
2018 (3 awardees) Sydney School of EntrepreneurshipVirginia Tech (Apex Center for Entrepreneurs at Virginia Tech)

Vanderbilt University (The Wond’ry)

2017  (2 awardees) University of New Hampshire (Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center)Hofstra University (Entrepreneurship Center)
2016  (2 awardees) London South Bank (Clarence Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation)University of Texas at El Paso (Mike Loya Center for Innovation & Commerce)
2015 University of MississippiUniversity of Calgary
2014 University of Wisconsin – OshkoshBabson College
2012 (new: first year award given) Kansas State University
Outstanding Student Engagement and Leadership
2020 University of Houston (Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship)
2019 Michigan State University – MSU Entrepreneurship
2018 University of Notre Dame (The IDEA Center)Georgetown University (Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative)
2017 Texas A&M University (Center for New Ventures & Entrepreneurship)
2016 (new: first year award given) Abilene Christian University (Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy)
Outstanding Contributions to Advancing the Discipline of Entrepreneurship
2013 Rice University (Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship)
2012 Baruch CollegeUniversity of Arizona
2009 University of California BerkeleyTemple University

University of Texas at Dallas

2008 Boston University and Wichita State University
2006 St. Louis UniversitySyracuse University
Exceptional Contributions in Entrepreneurship Research
2020 (2 awardees) Texas A&M University (McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship)Virginia Tech University (Apex Center for Entrepreneurs)
2016 Indiana University – Bloomington
2012 Indiana University – Bloomington
2009 Indiana University – Bloomington
2008 Baruch College
2006 Indiana University – Bloomington
GCEC Center of Entrepreneurial Leadership – Year – Location GCEC Host Schools are recognized with this Special award
2020 – Las Vegas  UNLV (Troesh Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
2019 – Stockholm Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship
2018 – Chicago DePaul UniversityIllinois Institute of Technology (IIT)
2017 – Halifax, Canada Dalhousie UniversityUniversity of New Brunswick
2016 – Rochester University of RochesterRochester Institute of Technology
2015 – Gainesville University of Florida
2014 – London, UK University College London
2013 – Kansas City University of Missouri – Kansas City
2012 – Washington, DC Georgetown University
2011 – Los Angeles Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies – University of Southern California
2010 – Pennsylvania Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Pennsylvania State University & Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation – WU Vienna
2009 – Houston Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, Rice University
2008 – Tucson University of Arizona
2007 – Syracuse Syracuse University
2006 – Northern Kentucky Northern Kentucky UniversityUniversity of Cincinnati

University of Dayton

GCEC Legacy Award(Special Award) “For pioneering and directing a university entrepreneurship center that created a legacy impact on the field of entrepreneurship”
2020 (3 awardees) – Patricia Henriques- Dianne Welsh, Hayes Distinguished Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship; Founder and Director Emeritus of the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center; Founding Director of the Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Fulbright-Hall Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship for Central Europe (2015)

– Edward Roberts, David Sarnoff Professor of Management of Technology; Professor, Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management; Founder and Chair, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship; Faculty Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship

2019 (2 awardees) Sara Sarasvathy, Paul M. Hammaker Professor in Business Administration, University of Virginia Darden School of BusinessTed Zoller, T.W. Lewis Clinical Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
2018 Dr. Harold P. Welsch, DePaul University
2016 Dr. Donald F. Kuratko,  Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation,  Indiana University – Bloomington
2015 Thomas J. (Tom) O’Malia, University of Southern California
2012 (new: first year award given) Dr. Rudolph (Rudy) P. Lamone, University of MarylandDr. Gary D. Libecap, University of Arizona & University of California-Santa Barbara
GCEC Entrepreneurial Support Award (Special Award)
2009 Maggie Ailes-Ball State UniversityTravis J. Brown-Indiana University-Bloomington
Nasdaq Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence
2020 Miami University –  John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship
2019 University of Chicago – Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
2018 San Diego State University (Lavin Entrepreneurship Center)
2017 University of Tampa (John P Lowth Entrepreneurship Center)
2016 Syracuse University (Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship)
2014 University of Maryland
2012 Oklahoma State University
2011 Rice University (Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship)
2010 Baylor University
2009 University of Southern California
2008 University of Arizona
2007 MIT Entrepreneurship Center
2006 University of California – Berkeley
2005 Pennsylvania State University (Farrell Center for Corporate Entrepreneurship)University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler Center for Entrepreneurial Studies)
2004 Stanford University (Stanford Technology Ventures Program)Syracuse University (Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship)

University of Portland (Center for Entrepreneurship)

2003 Texas Christian University (Ryffel Center for Entrepreneurial Studies)University of Notre Dame (Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies)

University of Colorado-Boulder (Deming Center for Entrepreneurship)

2002 Babson College (Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship)Indiana University – Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship)

St. Louis University (Smurfit Center for Entrepreneurial Studies)

2001 Columbia University (Eugene M. Lang Center for Entrepreneurship)Cornell University (Entrepreneurship & Personal Enterprise Program)

University of Arizona (Karl Eller Center for Entrepreneurship)

University of Illinois – Chicago (Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies)Wake Forest University (Angell Center for Entrepreneurship)

2000 Kauffman Foundation (Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership)University of Southern California (Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies)

University of Maryland (Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

Ball State University (Midwest Entrepreneurial Education Center)

Carnegie-Mellon University (Jones Center for Entrepreneurship)

Brigham Young University (Center for Entrepreneurship)

San Diego State University (Center for Entrepreneurship)

University of Virginia (Batten Center for Entrepreneurship)


Note: Prior to 2006, the NASDAQ award was the only award presented at the GCEC Conference, and multiple schools were eligible to receive the award.


Resources for Applying 

Watch the GCEC Awards Nomination Information and Q&A Session hosted on July 16, 2020. The session covered the how’s and why’s of applying for 2020 GCEC Annual Awards in 9 categories.

Watch video here.

View the presentation here.


  • Holly DeArmond, Chair – GCEC Awards Committee
  • Managing Director, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Maryland, College Park