September 26-28
Stockholm 2019

2019 GCEC Awards Nomination Process


The GCEC awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the very best of university entrepreneurship! We are excited to read about the great achievements of university entrepreneurship programs and proud to recognize them. Each year, the GCEC recognizes the top entrepreneurship programs in eight (8) categories. More than one winner may be selected in each category, except for the Nasdaq Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence.

Award winners will be announced at the annual awards ceremony at the 2019 GCEC Conference in Stockholm, Sweden on September 28, 2019. A leader from your Center must be registered for and attend the conference to be considered for an award.

Nominations must be received by midnight Monday, July 22, 2019 to be considered.

For questions, please contact one of the following:

Holly DeArmond, GCEC Awards Committee Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. Mail: [email protected]

Mary Lynn Fernau Senior Director, External Relations and Communications Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. Mail: [email protected]


Awards can be submitted in the following eight categories

  1. Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center
  2. Outstanding Contributions to Venture Creation
  3. Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines
  4. Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education
  5. Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation
  6. Outstanding Student Engagement & Leadership
  7. NASDAQ Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence
  8. GCEC Legacy Award

You can nominate in multiple award categories. A committee of judges, led by past winners, selects the award recipients.

Submission Information

  • Each Nomination is limited to 3 pages (PLUS, a cover page with contact information), and should be submitted through the Reviewr platform. All documents should be submitted as PDF files. An Appendix and/or Supplemental information (maximum 10 pages) should be provided and must be appended to the 3-page Nomination, and sent as a single PDF file. The total PDF file should be no more than 14 pages (cover page, 3-page nomination, and 10-page appendix) and no more than 10MB.
  • One exception is the NASDAQ Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence Award. The nomination can be up to 5 pages (plus cover page and 10-page appendix). The total page count maximum for the NASDAQ application with appendix is 16 pages and 10MB in size.
  • Center Directors should submit nominations for the category that they believe best fits their Center’s accomplishments. It is a Center Director’s responsibility to evaluate the category that can best be articulated in terms of their Center’s focus, achievements, and purpose. A university may apply for awards in multiple categories, if they believe they have strengths in multiple categories.
  • Awards in each category will be made to the centers that demonstrate exceptional achievement within the category. There will NOT be a minimum or maximum number of awards in each category. It is at the judges’ discretion.
  • Awards will be announced and presented at the annual GCEC Conference (Oct. 18-20).
  • A representative from each nominated university must be present to accept the award.
  • Any award winning school will not be eligible the following year to submit for an award in the same category. (Moreover it is unlikely that a school would ever be considered to win the same category twice unless there are extenuating circumstances). In addition, winning schools may be asked to have a representative on the Award Judging Committee to evaluate nominations the following year.

Preparing the Nomination

  • We want you to tell us what makes your center shine! The following guidelines are designed to facilitate a fair and simple basis for nominations, review, and award selections.
  • Identify the specific category for which the center is nominated. Identify the center and institution names and contact information for the center director and for the individual submitting on behalf of the center. Unfortunately, if the category is not clearly identified, the nomination will not be considered.
  • In all responses, please clearly indicate the center’s role in highlighted activities, and/or specific relationship to the center of individuals, programs, or activities that are highlighted.
  • Be sure to address each item in the nomination criteria, even if the answer is N/A. Once these specific items have been addressed, you may add information that you think is relevant, however it must tie to the category in order to be considered. This should be done in no more than 3 pages! 
  • Appendix
  • Many Award Categories have suggested or required appendix materials. The appendix is limited to 10 pages, including the suggested materials according to the Award Category.
  • The appendix should be appended to the 3-page Nomination and submitted as a single PDF document, together with the 3-page nomination. The maximum combined file size is 10MB.
  • If you choose to submit optional information in the appendix, we recommend that you include examples of programs, initiatives or courses that visually capture what you have described in your 3-page nomination. You may include PDF’s of marketing materials, fact sheets, collateral, brochures, PowerPoint files, flyers, testimonials, photographs, or other information that supports your nomination. Do NOT simply use the appendix to include additional text about your program.
  • Also, when including supporting materials, please be sure to clearly indicate how the items relate specifically to the award category. In other words, please submit only those that specifically tie to the category and criteria. Ad hoc materials that do not specifically tie to criteria requests will be excluded from evaluation and may negatively affect the evaluation.

    Award 1: Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center

    This award honors an entrepreneurship center that is 5 years old or less (from official Center launch date). Clearly state the purpose and goals of the center and include target audience. Highlight what you believe differentiates you from your peers. This might include a specific challenge you overcame to launch the Center, how you created buy in with key stakeholders, ability to attract major donors, engagement with cross campus or community partners, etc. Selection criteria will include Center’s objectives, campus and community engagement, program portfolio and metrics to date.

    Application Criteria:

    1. Briefly discuss the rationale for creating this entrepreneurship center to include how stakeholder interest and support were gathered.
    2. Provide a graphical timeline depicting major milestones for the development of the center from conception to current year. Include the initial milestones you set and how you met them.
    3. Provide a list of three to five specific achievements to date with a brief explanation. Include highlights that illustrate what makes this Center unique.
    4. Appendix
        ● Provide a center organizational chart to include faculty, staff, other personnel, and strategic partners.
      ● Include up to two (2) other items of your choice that best reflect the goals of your emerging center.

    Award 2: Outstanding Contributions to Venture Creation

    This award honors a center that creatively supports the process of launching and accelerating university affiliated startups through 1) competitions, 2) incubators, 3) accelerators, or 4) other programs. Selection criteria will include the strength of program content, specific outcomes of the program, growth of program over time and level of community engagement.

    Application Criteria:

    1. Clearly state the purpose and goals of the program, including target audience.
    2. Describe how the venture acceleration programs work.
    3. Outline how the program engages the community (faculty, alumni, mentors, funders) with the associated ventures and entrepreneurs.
    4. Provide a list of outcomes achieved from efforts in any of the 3 types of activities (competitions, incubators, accelerators) to include:
      ● Number of participants
      ● Number and amount of awards granted to students
      ● Number of startups generated
    5. Appendix:
      ● Include up to two (2) other items of your choice that best reflect the content and outcomes of your program.

    Award 3: Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines

    This award honors a center dedicated to creating, advancing, and enabling entrepreneurship education opportunities to multiple audiences across campus. Selection criteria will include creativity of multidisciplinary approach, measured impact across campus, and diversity of partners and stakeholders.

    Application Criteria:

    1. Clearly state the purpose and goals of the activities, including target audiences and disciplines.
    2. Describe the multidisciplinary program and explain why the program is unique and/or innovative.
    3. Provide a list of three to five specific achievements and/or related outcomes, with a brief explanation, that illustrate Center’s impact.
    4. Appendix:
      ● Provide a center organizational chart to include faculty, staff, other personnel, and strategic partners from other disciplines.
      ● Include up to two (2) other items of your choice that best reflect the goals of the interdisciplinary program.

    Award 4: Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education

    This award honors a center dedicated to expanding access to entrepreneurship education to a specific audience or area of focus, such as technology/knowledge transfer, social entrepreneurship, women in entrepreneurship, arts & humanities, non-majority populations, etc. Selection criteria include innovation of programming, measurable outcomes, partner engagement and long term impact.

    Application Criteria:

    1. Clearly state the target audience for your specialty program and the genesis of the program.
    2. Outline the program including expected outcomes, participants and partners.
    3. Identify some of the unique characteristics of this program compared to your peers & discuss how other schools could replicate this program to serve specialty audiences.
    4. Provide a list of three to five specific achievements to date with a brief explanation.
    5. Appendix:
      ● Provide up to two (2) items of your choice that best reflect the goals and outcomes of your specialty entrepreneurship program.

    Award 5: Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation

    This award honors a center that has developed a significant original innovation in entrepreneurship pedagogy. Selection criteria includes differentiation from existing programs, measurable learning outcomes, student engagement and stakeholder support.

    Application Criteria:

    1. Clearly describe the pedagogical innovation your center has developed.
    2. Briefly discuss the rationale for creating this original innovation to include how stakeholder interest and support were gathered.
    3. Provide examples for how this innovation is being used at your center and how it could be replicated elsewhere.
    4. Outline how the Center is measuring the learning outcomes and impact of this approach.
    5. Appendix:
      ● Provide up to two (2) other items of your choice that demonstrate the innovativeness of your pedagogical approach and application within your Center.

    Award 6: Outstanding Student Engagement & Leadership

    This award honors a center that amplifies their impact by achieving high levels of student engagement and student leadership in its entrepreneurship programs. Selection criteria includes level of student engagement, impact of student leaders on Center and variety of students projects.

    Application Criteria:

    1. Discuss the various programs or initiatives your Center supports to engage a broad spectrum of students to achieve the Center's goals? How do you empower students to lead or own these efforts?
    2. Highlight one to two specific efforts that demonstrate student leadership in your Center. Efforts should communicate the types of initiatives your Center executed that would not have happened without student leadership.
    3. What metrics do you use to measure success? How do you benchmark these efforts vs. other co-curricular activities on your campus?
    4. Appendix:
      ● Provide up to two (2) other items of your choice that demonstrate student engagement & leadership. This could include testimonials from engaged students.

    Award 7: Nasdaq Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence

    The Nasdaq Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence award represents the highest honor that a University Entrepreneurship Center can receive. This special award was created by Nasdaq in association with the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers for the purpose of recognizing the unique achievements and outstanding efforts of entrepreneurship centers across the world.

    The Nasdaq award honors those centers that have made and will continue to make enormous contributions in advancing entrepreneurship as the force in economic growth throughout the world. The honor is bestowed upon entrepreneurship centers that have made remarkable advancements in the entrepreneurial field in the following areas:

    • outreach to emerging ventures
    • entrepreneurship curriculum
    • community collaborations
    • special projects
    • overall prestige
    • recognition in the entrepreneurship field
    • entrepreneurship research

    Selection criteria is based on the breadth and depth of programs outlined, prestige of center, sustainability of programs, contributions to the advancement of entrepreneurship education and commitment to GCEC.

    Application Criteria:

    1. National prestige of the entrepreneurship program/center (national rankings or other recognition).
    2. National/State recognition achieved (awards, achievements, recognition from other outside organization - e.g. U.S. Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Academy of Management, previous GCEC awards).
    3. Entrepreneurship breadth of programming, program quality and longevity of the program (Ph.D., MBA, BS).
    4. Entrepreneurship curriculum development (courses specifically designed for major/minor programs).
    5. Contributions to entrepreneurship research (Publications/Books/Etc).
    6. Outreach activities (significance & uniqueness to the entrepreneurship center).
    7. Community collaborations (specific to the entrepreneurship center).
    8. Special projects or accomplishments (unique to the particular center).
    9. University/community commitment to the entrepreneurship center in terms of endowment, space, and presence.
    10. Commitment to the GCEC.
    11. Appendix:
      Optional - Up to 10 pages of collateral and/or supporting information (non-text).

    Award 8: GCEC Legacy Award

    “GCEC Legacy Award: For pioneering work in advancing entrepreneurship in universities and/or directing a university entrepreneurship center that created a legacy impact on the field of entrepreneurship”.

    Nominee Criteria and Instructions:

    • Candidates should have demonstrated a long-term commitment to entrepreneurship in an academic setting, either as a faculty member, educator, and/or center or institute director.
    • The individual should have achieved a standard of excellence in an area of university-affiliated entrepreneurship and made a substantial impact upon students, faculty, staff, startups, and/or region, or contributed to the enhancement of other entrepreneurship programs at other universities
    • Candidates should have made a major impact on at least one of the following:
      ● University entrepreneurship program: the individual should have made a highly significant contribution to the advancement of entrepreneurship within one or more universities, and specifically made a seminal difference in one or more of the following areas: center development and growth, curriculum and degree program development, co-curricular programming, university-wide entrepreneurship, community engagement.
      ● GCEC organization: the individual should have significantly contributed to the growth or enhancement of the GCEC organization and/or have made major contributions to the advancement of GCEC’s mission to share best practices among universities in order to advance academic entrepreneurship
    • Examples of impact could be:
      ● Teaching: Candidates may have contributed significant innovations to curriculum design, creation of degree programs, course development, teaching methodologies, and/or pedagogical tools and approaches.
      ● Center: Candidates may have contributed to the growth of an entrepreneurship program or center at a university that had significant impact upon that university or region
      ● Candidates may have contributed to a university program that have a significant impact on the region, e.g., economic development and venture creation through incubation, seed funding programs, mentoring, student consulting, community events, ecosystem coordination, and other kinds of engagement.
    • The award recognizes exceptional contributions, with the review process considering the entirety of the individual's body of work.
    • The individual and/or the individual’s organization should be well-regarded or recognized and/or have significant measureable outcomes.
    • This award will only be given when there is a candidate that meets the above criteria. The award may or may not be presented each year.
    • The awardee is expected to attend the GCEC Conference to receive the award. An exception may be made for health reasons. The award may be given posthumously.
    • The awardee should be nominated by another individual (other than the nominee). The nominator can be someone at the same university or same center/institute or from a different university.
    • The nomination should be limited to a maximum of 3 pages and submitted via PDF. It should include a description and examples of how the candidate meets the profile described above. Please title the PDF file: “GCEC Legacy Nomination – FirstName LastName”.