Entrepreneurial Princeton



Several years ago, a small group of Princeton alumni got together to endow a new position: the dean’s visiting professorship in entrepreneurship. This spring that professorship was formally re-named in honor of former School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean James Wei, who recruited the legendary Ed Zschau to teach what has become a hugely popular and highly influential course called “High-Tech Entrepreneurship.” Says Zschau: “For every entrepreneurial endeavor you need a big idea and then someone who has the vision to recognize its potential to make it happen. In this case the big idea was offering entrepreneurship courses and programs. The individual who recognized the potential was Jim Wei.”

The James Wei Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship for 2011 is Ely Dahan, assistant professor of marketing at the Anderson School at University of California-Los Angeles.

A video celebrating Princeton entrepreneurs can be found at:




“Princeton is making itself quite unique in that it’s not just entrepreneurship applied to the private sector but rather the appli- cation of the principles of innovation and risk-taking to address social problems and global challenges.”

–Ed Zschau ’61

Serial entrepreneur, former congressman, professor


One of the big pieces that makes these entrepreneurship projects a reality is support from alumni. Not just financial support, but also support in terms of reading over business plans, tweaking things, bringing in other connections, letting us know what’s good and what’s not so good about our projects.

-Michael L. Smith ’10

Cofounder, [em]Power


The dean’s visiting professors in entrepreneurship have had huge impact on the entrepreneurial environment at Princeton. We’ve been able to build an ecosystem around entrepreneurship that encourages collaboration.

-Nikhil Basu Trivedi ’11

Co-President, Princeton Entrepreneurship Club


It doesn’t matter what stage you are with your idea -- whether it is in conception or already in execution. Princeton really is a great place to have an idea.

-Edward Weng ’10

Inventor of the unplugged pump and co-founder (with Vivian Weng ’05) of Mittenberry

1 Comment


How can I study more about the entrepreneurial ecosystem project in Princeton University? We studying my master degree in ITESM Chihuahua and my thesis it’s about the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.