Rollins MBA Launches Entrepreneurial Scholars of Distinction Program

May 8, 2012 - The Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship has launched of a new offering, the Entrepreneurial Scholar of Distinction (ESD) program, which will offer select Rollins MBA students a year-long immersive entrepreneurial experience with early stage companies. The program was soft launched in fall 2011 with students working in conjunction with Florida IDEA Fund Partners and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

“We wanted to provide a more intensive and extensive environment for our students to immerse themselves in entrepreneurial endeavors,” said Mike Bowers, Academic Director, Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Rollins MBA Center for Advance Entrepreneurship. “We believe this program is a unique opportunity, and the feedback from the students already in the program has been very positive.”

The ESD program gives students hands-on internships at partner organizations. Students receive credit hours and are supervised by a member of the Rollins MBA entrepreneurship faculty throughout the year. Early Advantage MBA, Professional MBA and Executive MBA programs students are eligible; however each partner may have specific requirements. MBA students who take part in the ESD program are well-prepared to pursue their own entrepreneurial projects, as well as developing the skills needed to join venture capital or private equity firms as analysts.

2012 Partners Include:

Florida IDEA Fund Partners
IDEA Fund Partners, a venture capital firm providing seed and early-stage financing to technology companies throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, operates this grants program in partnership with the Community Foundation of Central Florida, Rollins MBA and Orlando, Inc. to find and accelerate new high-growth companies in Central Florida. Information regarding the Florida IDEA Fund can be found at

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. The Institute consistently ranks among the top five organizations worldwide for its scientific impact in the fields of biology and biochemistry (defined by citations per publication) and currently ranks third in the nation in NIH funding among all laboratory-based research institutes. Sanford-Burnham is a highly innovative organization, currently ranking second nationally among all organizations in capital efficiency of generating patents, defined by the number of patents issued per grant dollars awarded, according to government statistics. For more information, please visit

venVelo, a member of the Global Accelerator Network
VenVelo (Venture Velocity) provides selected entrepreneurs with professional mentoring, seed capital, and administrative support to bring their ideas to market. VenVelo makes financial investments in startups, in exchange for equity, under the Global Accelerator Network startup accelerator model. For more information, please visit


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