Deshpande Symposium - Live in Cleveland this June

2022 Conference
The 11th Annual Deshpande Symposium will be held live and in Cleveland June 15 - 17, 2022.  The Foundation is excited to collaborate with Deshpande Foundation, University of Massachusetts Lowell and the higher education network in Northeast Ohio to host the first live Symposium since the pandemic forced the conference into a virtual format.  Highlights will include an awards ceremony and celebration at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

Co-founded by the Deshpande Foundation and the UMass Lowell in 2012, the Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education brings together academics, policy planners and practitioners to discuss best practices in integrating entrepreneurship throughout their college and university communities. This annual conference draws together national speakers and those at the forefront of innovative strategies in higher education.  The Symposium offers over twenty-eight panel discussions and draws hundreds of faculty, administrators, students and business people to discuss an array of topics, including entrepreneurial culture and ecosystems, innovative entrepreneurship curricula, research commercialization, startups and emerging trends.

Further details on registration and agenda will be available soon at

Collaboration with VentureWell
To ensure continued success and growth of the Symposium, VentureWell has recently agreed to house and support the operational management of the Symposium after the 2022 conference.  VentureWell is a national non-profit organization on a mission to cultivate a pipeline of inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs driven to solve the world's biggest challenges and to create lasting impact. 

Additional information on this partnership can be found HERE.

Panel Proposals
Panel proposals are invited that address any of the three core areas of the Symposium:

  • Entrepreneurship in the Curriculum
  • University Research Commercialization and Startups
  • Developing Entrepreneurial Universities, Culture & Ecosystems

Given the important role that diversity, equity and inclusion play in building successful entrepreneurial ecosystems, proposals that address this topic in the context of the above three core areas will receive special consideration. Please submit your proposal abstract by February 28, 2022.

Symposium Awards
The Deshpande Symposium Awards recognize outstanding accomplishment in areas that promote innovation and entrepreneurship on college and university campuses. The awards also celebrate individuals for their outstanding contributions to the field; those who, with their home institutions, demonstrate excellence and serve as role models for others. In addition, the Awards Committee may also recognize programs or institutions that show potential and innovation in their approaches, where appropriate, with the Rising Star Award.

Nominate your institution, program or campus leader for a 2022 Deshpande Symposium Award.  Applications are due by April 15, 2022.  Don't miss the chance to give a colleague an opportunity to receive their award on the prestigious stage of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.