The Robert and Carolyn Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Dr. Gerald Hills (left) is founding academic and executive director and Ken Klotz is managing director of the Turner School.
With a plentitude of opportunities for aspiring young entrepreneurs, The Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation was the first such school established as a standalone academic unit in the nation. “The Turner School offers students a comprehensive toolbox on the path to success as entrepreneurs — from opportunity recognition, to market feasibility, to business model development, to networking, to launch,” said Robert Turner ’77 MBA ’78, chairman of the Bradley University Board of Trustees.
Top-Ranked Program in the Nation
Bradley’s entrepreneurship program is ranked among the top 20 undergraduate programs in the nation by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine, advancing four spots to the 19th position in 2013.
Entrepreneurship Minor and E-Scholar Program
The new minor and E-Scholar curricula were officially launched last fall and already have students enrolled from disciplines across the University with a majority being non-business majors. The minor is composed of five entrepreneurship courses while the E-Scholar program has three.
Bradley students and community members participated in Peoria Startup Weekend in November. More than 70 participants worked in teams to develop and pitch local tech startup ideas. Bradley students were members of all three winning teams. The first-place winner was a crowd- and social media-sourced application that will connect fans and bands with nearby venues.
Brave Pitch Competition
Bradley electrical engineering majors Anton Volkov ’13 and William Tarply ’13 won the 2013 fall semester Brave Pitch Competition in October. Their project, an HDMI box split with two video signals on a 3D monitor, advanced them to compete in Chicago against students from other schools.
Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Series
Redbox co-founder Mike DeLazzer was the fall 2013 Turner School Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker, providing spirited engagement to an audience filled with young entrepreneurial hopefuls. Sharing his personal journey to the top, he suggested that students embrace hope and deny fear: “Hope creates amazing things in the world. It’s a passion that won’t give up no matter the obstacle. Fear is the lazy person who’s not doing anything with his life, stares at a goal, and does nothing about it. What matters is your ability to keep going no matter the obstacle.”
Other Turner School opportunities available to all Bradley students include the new Entrepreneur Intern Program, the Entrepreneur in Residence Program, the spring semester Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker event and Mentors on Call. The Turner School also served as the Executive Office for the National CEO Conference, Nov. 1–2, in Chicago with nearly 1,300 students and 100 faculty.
Bradley once again received high marks from national publications. The University was ranked fifth among colleges and universities of its type in the Midwest by U.S.News & World Report in the magazine’s 2014 guide to America’s Best Colleges, improving one spot from last year’s ranking. The review also ranked Bradley as seventh in “Best Value” among schools in the Midwest.
U.S.News & World Report showed the University tied for the highest graduation rate among the 108 Midwestern schools on the list. Almost 70 percent of incoming freshmen finish in the top 25 percent of their high school classes, and Bradley boasts a freshman-to-sophomore retention rate of 87 percent. Recognized as a top university providing a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs, the report also noted the student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1 was among the best.
For the fifth consecutive year, Bradley has been recognized by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Ranked 57th in the list of the nation’s Best Values in Private Colleges, Bradley improved on last year’s rank by 29 places while distinguishing itself as the only school in Illinois outside the Chicago area to be recognized.