The Donald H. Jones Center offers many experiential learning opportunities, such as the James R. Swartz Fellows Program and Leadership Series, Entrepreneurship Boot Camp, McGinnis Venture Competition, workshops and chances to get involved in the community.

While the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurial Studies' undergraduate and graduate courses provide a strong foundation for students who study entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon, serious students must supplement their academic work with the plentiful experiential learning opportunities available within Carnegie Mellon and the Pittsburgh region. Our programs give participants valuable, practical and unique perspectives on careers in entrepreneurship and venture capital.

  • Carnegie Mellon Venture Challenge

    The Carnegie Mellon Venture Challenge is an annual internal business plan competition for undergraduate students hosted by the Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Association.

  • Entrepreneurship Boot Camp and CONNECTS Events

    Our annual Entrepreneurship Boot Camp and CONNECTS events are designed to further the experiential education of students interested in starting a company, working at a startup or innovating within a large corporation.

  • James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows Program

    The James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows program fast-tracks the careers of Carnegie Mellon graduate students who are passionate about entrepreneurship in the technology arena. This highly selective program develops each Fellow’s entrepreneurial potential and leadership skills through coursework in entrepreneurship, mentoring, hands-on experiences and networking. The core of the program is a mentored summer internship with a top tier VC-backed startup within the high-tech, high-growth environment of California’s Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

    This program is made possible by James R. Swartz, MSIA ’66, founder and managing partner of Accel Partners, a Palo Alto-based venture capital firm with more than $8.8B under management.
  • James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Leadership Series

    The James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Leadership Series provides a forum for the Tepper School and Carnegie Mellon to bring entrepreneurial thought leaders to campus to discuss issues central to entrepreneurial leadership.
  • McGinnis Venture Competition

    The McGinnis Venture Competition, a three-round competition, gives students the opportunity to develop and pitch their ideas to professional entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The competition is open to all Carnegie Mellon undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. students

  • Venture Capital Investment Competition

    The Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) is the premiere graduate competition for venture capital since 1998. It is an international program comprised of 40 events in which business school students pretend to be VCs and invest mock dollars in real start-ups. VCIC attracts the best of the best in the venture investment world. VCIC is primarily designed to educate graduate students about venture capital, but a happy byproduct of the event is a uniquely valuable opportunity, like a VC bootcamp for entrepreneurs. This event will provide you with an opportunity to understand the intricacies of pitching your future company from the perspective of a VC and improve your entrepreneurial ability. Other benefits are you get a chance to network with fellow entrepreneurs and real investors at this event, win cash prizes and a chance to represent Carnegie Mellon at regionals in Philadelphia.

    The 2015 VCIC Internal Competition

    If you are planning to participate in the 2015 competition, it is time to get your team together and get ready. Team size limit is five graduate students only. We recommend forming diverse teams. It is strongly encouraged to form a team before signing up. Individual signups are discouraged but if you would like to participate and are having issues finding a team, please contact Alison Alvarez. Spots are limited and participants/teams will be selected on a first come first served basis.

    VCIC bootcamp is organized by the EVC Club as a whole day event to help you prepare to compete in the VCIC internal competition and shine at the external one if selected. It is required that at least three out of five members attend the bootcamp. Preparation at the bootcamp will cover VC overview, due diligence questions and answers, term sheet, valuation and negotiations.

    Contact Alison Alvarez with questions and for more information regarding deadlines.