Entrepreneur /ˌäntrəprəˈnər/ noun
A person who creates a business centered on solving a specific problem. Must be able to take on risks — financial or otherwise — and capitalize on available resources.
"At the Reh Center, we're not trying to create another Facebook or another Tesla; we're trying to make more Zuckerbergs and Musks."

Erin Draper, Director, Reh Center for Entrepreneurship

Stop and smell the coffee

The Center offers two campus-based student-run businesses for students interested in gaining entrepreneurial skills, which are open to anyone “who wants to be more entrepreneurial,” says Draper.

MoJoe Coffee, A student run business


For the past five years, MoJoe has served signature drinks, coffee and espresso from the first floor atrium of Snell Hall. Student managers hire staff, make decisions on payroll, sourcing, and vendors with the hope that, eventually, they can use the profits for other students who want to pursue entrepreneurial studies.


Entrepreneur Coffee


Entrepreneur Coffee is a micro-roasted coffee brand based in the Center that uses locally-roasted coffee from St. Lawrence Valley Roasters custom-created by students and owner Tim Gardener. It began as a way to support local entrepreneurs in this region and 100% of the profits are invested into small business development. Entrepreneur Coffee is brewed and sold on-campus at Concrete Café, Cheel Mainstreet Café, and MoJoe or online at www.clarkson.edu/coffee.

First-Year Experience

The Clarkson First-Year Experience is a yearlong crash course in entrepreneurship for students at the Clarkson University School of Business. If you already have a business idea, great; if not, that’s fine, too. During this course, you’ll team up with classmates, develop a business plan for a new product or service, pitch real investors for real money and launch a business. You’ll have help along the way and learn everything you need to get started in two first-year seminars: Entrepreneurship & Business Innovation I and II.

Want an example of a student startup? Check out this recent student success story: Dumpster Dorm.

Innovation Hub

Kristen Cardella with a box of food from Golden Grown

The Innovation Hub is a place for students, faculty and staff to come in and play around with their ideas. Located in the middle of Clarkson University, the hub provides a central place to congregate with like-minded individuals and subject matter experts to help elevate their idea to the next level. In addition to the on-campus hub, another facility in downtown Potsdam provides space to physically build prototypes, hold team meetings, pitch investors and propel the idea to market.

“When you’re out in industry, you’re working with people from all different backgrounds,” says Draper, adding that one of the main benefits of the Innovation Hub is bringing students from a variety of majors and backgrounds together under one roof. There will be a free sharing of ideas, resources and subject matter experts who can provide patent search assistance, determine real world feasibility or assist with business, product development and marketing. There is also an opportunity to apply for the Innovation Hub Fellows Program, which allows students to work half time for the Innovation Hub while they pursue graduate studies. Those who are accepted into the fellows program receive a significant scholarship and a stipend.

“What makes the hub unique from other innovation spaces is that 100% of Clarkson students will have some involvement in innovation studies while they're here,” says Draper. “That is the real value of this new hub.”

Young Innovators and Entrepreneurs Program

For the past five years, the Young Innovators and Entrepreneurs Program has catapulted student ideas into business success stories. Through a unique partnership, students within this program attend Clarkson tuition-free through a combination of merit-based financial aid and the University’s acquisition of a 10% ownership interest in their business ventures. A maximum of five students per year can participate in this one-of-a-kind program that allows you to pursue your idea while earning a degree at a top-ranked university.

Josh Parker on the set of Shark Tank
Josh Parker on Shark Tank in 2016.

“One of our student participants, Joshua Parker, took his childhood passion for maple syrup and used his time at Clarkson to take the fledgling company into the national market,” says Erin Draper. “We helped Parker transition his business from a bulk maple syrup company to a real food company that now counts major wholesalers like Costco as clients.”

“This program is designed for the person that has an idea that could dent the universe,” says Matt Draper, Executive Director of The Shipley Center. “However, while their initial idea is important, it’s only a starting point. We look for the potential in the individual because when we select our participants, we truly invest in the person as much as in their idea.”

Do you have what it takes?

Click here to learn how to apply

Propel Yourself Forward

2017 Business Plan Competition Winners

“Our goal is the creation of the entrepreneur, to push the idea of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial spirit,” says Draper. Through roughly 30 different events held throughout the year, students interested in exploring these ideas can network with other student entrepreneurs, listen to alumni speakers and see that innovation isn’t limited to what degree you choose.

What have you got to lose?

  • Global Entrepreneurship Week. This is an annual event held the third week in November, which includes student entrepreneur poster displays and networking, alumni speakers and the entrepreneur hall of fame alumni award.
  • North Country Regional Business Plan Competition. Every year, Clarkson University hosts this local college business competition, where alumni and regional community members act as judges. Students who win this competition advance to the state competition in Albany. What makes this competition particularly unique is the addition of a high school and a veteran track where participants in these competitions win money/scholarships and space in the Peyton Hall Incubator to get their ideas off the ground.
  • Interested in learning the process behind entrepreneurship and helping other students? Apply to be an intern for the Center. Interns learn how to develop marketing and social media content for businesses and the Center, assist in planning and executing on-campus events; some even work as managers for MoJoe or Entrepreneur Coffee.  Click to learn more about our current interns and what they’re studying.

Want to find out more? Check out the list of upcoming events. 

2021 Challenge

Have a neat idea? Interested in launching a business while meeting your new Class of 2021 classmates? Check out the new student Entrepreneur Challenge.

Find out more about the program

Sigma Nu Tau

The Reh Center for Entrepreneurship’s chapter of Sigma Nu Tau (SNT) national entrepreneurship honor society was chartered and twelve members were inducted on November 28, 2016 at Clarkson University.

Founded at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2009 by National President Nancy Church, the mission of SNT is to recognize students, faculty, and entrepreneurs “who have either excelled in the study of entrepreneurship or who are exemplary models of principled entrepreneurship.”

Current Members
  • Kanoe Eicholz ‘17
  • Sam Garwood ‘17
  • Samantha Ellison ‘17
  • Wanze Sun ‘17
  • Anthony Angelini 
  • Aady Balasubramanian
  • Courtney Black
  • Nick Lawliss
  • Andrew Moore
  • Grayden Shand
  • Heidi Smith
  • McKenna Towers
  • Collin Wilder
  • Wenting Xu
Faculty Members
  • Augustine Lado - Faculty Secretary
  • Marc Compeau
  • Erin Draper - Faculty Advisor
  • Alexander Getty ‘14
  • Amanda Opitz ‘15
  • Amanda Ryan ‘14
  • Brittani Terry ‘14
  • Cedrik Proteau-Dubois ‘12
  • Cody Rosen ‘13
  • Daniel Drake ‘16
  • Daniel McConkey ‘13
  • David Lacroix ‘15
  • Dylan Hodownes ‘15
  • Emily Saramak ‘13
  • Evan Jennings ‘16
  • Jacqueline Hart ‘16
  • Karlye Eastmen ‘13
  • Kristin Virts ‘13
  • Kelly McCarthy '12
  • Elizabeth Cassady '17
  • Perry D'Arrisso '17
  • Symfonee McCoy '17
  • Kyle Johnson ‘14
  • Lisa Deacutis ‘15
  • Mallory Fisher ‘16
  • Matthew Burke ‘13
  • Matthew Turcotte ‘14
  • Michael Larkin ‘15
  • Michael Tornatore ‘14
  • Nicholas Colombo ‘15
  • Brittany Styner ‘14
  • Russel Austin ‘12
  • Ryan Sherwood ‘12
  • Samantha Miller ‘14
  • Todd Christian ‘15
  • Tyler Rodrigues ‘14
  • Perry D'Arrisso '17
  • Symfonee McCoy '17

In Their Own Words