The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Academics | Earlham College
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Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

About the Center

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is a key element in the integrative education at Earlham College (EPIC).  The Center builds upon Earlham’s deep and longstanding commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship, innovative teaching, learning and transformative social action through a focus on entrepreneurship (with a driving focus on social entrepreneurship) and innovation. Through EPIC, the Center facilitates students optimizing their 21st century Earlham education through the lens of social entrepreneurship and innovation.  The work of the Center supports Earlham’s mission to “educate morally sensitive leaders for future generations.”

CEI on Social Media:

Gene Hambrick
Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Executive in Residence

Lee Ann Powell
Assistant Director of the Centers for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Global Health

Erik Baker
CoLab Project Manager

Our Purpose

Cei -presentation

For students, faculty and community partners, the Center is a high impact and high visibility program that helps students move their passions, ideas and ideals from theory to practice. Collaborative learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom provide a cohesive and coherent education experience to help students prepare for a rewarding and meaningful career.

Interdisciplinary Connections

While closely aligned with the Earlham Global Management program, the Center is a bold and visionary initiative that involves students and faculty from all of the College’s disciplines and majors. The Center facilitates connecting curricular and co-curricular activities through courses, workshops, clubs and internships.

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Integrative Collaborations

The Center provides a platform for internal and external integrative collaborations.

The center offers:

  • High impact collaborative research opportunities between students to students and students to faculty.
  • Co-curricular activities like the Net Impact Chapter at Earlham to workshops such as “Launching a Social Enterprise,” “Scaling and Measuring Social Impact,” to the “Earlham-Fullbridge 6-Day Business Bootcamp.” Learn More →
  • The Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism — The Business Plan Competition for Social Entrepreneurship. Learn More →
  • Exceptional global learning opportunities, including off-campus learning opportunities through the Center for Global Education and internships through the Center for Career and Community Engagement.
  • Access to career coaches and alumni mentors, through the Center for Career and Community Engagement.
  • Earlhamites win $1M Hult Prize to meet Clinton's Urban Spaces Challenge. Learn More →
  • Methane Hub's waste-to-energy solution for Haiti takes 1st at Earlham competition. Learn More →
  • NadaBot is a chatbot application created by Earlham College students suited to improve the way students and faculty utilize their resources and exchange goods/services. Learn More →

The center facilitates opportunities for student-faculty collaboration on research projects and real-world social entrepreneurship initiatives.

  • To collaborate with students on research projects or engagement activities.
  • To engage with colleagues from across the College and with visiting experts in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation.

The Center facilitates opportunities for alumni to:

  • Serve as a mentor for current students.
  • Provide an internship to an Earlham student.
  • Network with Earlham students, faculty and staff.

The Center provides opportunities for individuals, corporate sponsors and foundations to provide financial support to ensure that Earlham, in general, and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation remain distinctly Earlham and to support the mission and value proposition of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Current donors include:

  • Lilly Endowment
  • Levinson Foundation
  • Freeman Foundation
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Economic Growth Group

The Center is a focal point for profit and nonprofit organizations to partner with the Center to:

  • Collaborate with Earlham students and faculty who excel in areas of study and research that can benefit the organization. Learn more about StartedUp Foundation →
  • Recruit Earlham students to join your organization through internships, externships and permanent employment.
  • Enhance the organization’s image by collaborating with one of the leading liberal arts colleges in the United States, with global recognition.
  • Reduce organizational costs in the areas of research and recruiting, and improving the organization’s return on investment.

We are currently working with:




News and Events

Earlham EPIC Grand Challenge — Our Social and Economic Impact Challenge

The Earlham EPIC Grand Challenge in partnership with Forward Wayne County is a new initiative with a focus on helping solve issues within Wayne County, Indiana. This year we challenge you to play an active role in strengthening our community here in Wayne County by utilizing the power of integrative collaboration to improve the quality of life for 25,000 citizens in Wayne County, Indiana by 2025. Learn More →

Hult Prize Competition 2020 - On-campus Competition Winners Announced!

The campus competition round have concluded for the Hult Prize 2020, the worlds largest student competition for social good! The challenge for each team involved is to "build bold businesses that (1) have a positive net impact on the environment with every sale completed, dollar earned, and decision made and (2) reach no fewer than a million consumers within a decade." Each team that competes has the chance of winning $1 million in start-up capital to launch their world-changing social venture.On Thursday, December 5th team Harvest (Justin DeGraff ’23, Ruslan Dominic ´23, Austin Burt ´22, and Charles Ces ´20) won the on-campus round and will go on to represent Earlham at the regional level of the Hult Prize 2020 competition. PowerPoint →

Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism — Winner Announced!

On Saturday, May 4th, 2019 Quralew Co-Op received 1st place in the Final Round to the Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism. Quralew Co-Op took home $20,000 to start their social entrepreneurship which works towards reducing pollution and providing sustainable employment through waste management to improve the overall quality of life within the Southern Nation of Ethiopia. The students who will be managing this business are Bineyam Tumbo (Global Management, EC '21), Irving Barrera-Lopez (Biochemistry, EC '20), Bibi Mohamed (Politics & Geology, EC '22), and Ian Shriner (Biology, EC '21). In the Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism, teams of up to five students hone their business skills from their business ideas and elevator pitches to develop business plans to launch their social entrepreneurship endeavors. Read More →

Final Placements (2019)

  • 1st Place: Quralew Co-Op
  • 2nd Place: CooKool
  • 3rd Place: EcoVibe

For More Information

For further information regarding the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, please contact Gene Hambrick, Director Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Executive in Residence, or 765-983-1356.

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.