MBA and Innovation: Our 4 Favorite Denver Schools for Entrepreneurs

Colorado’s population and economy have been rapidly expanding in recent years. The Denver Post estimates that, by 2050, Colorado’s population could increase to 8.5 million people: a 64 percent increase from the current population of 5.5. The economic and population boom make Denver an ideal place to launch a business. Denver is also less than an hour from Boulder, a city Inc. Magazine refers to as “America’s Startup Capital.” All in all, Denver metro is starting to look like a no-brainer for budding entrepreneurs.

But turning an idea into a company involves making infinite difficult decisions about business issues and strategy. According to Forbes, 90 percent of start ups eventually fail. Earning an MBA means gaining access to business networks, knowledge, and resources, and it can be an excellent way to gain the edge you need in order to help your idea thrive. Below, we’ve laid out four of our favorite Denver MBA programs for entrepreneurs.

University of Denver – Daniels College of Business

Students who want to start a business would be remiss not to consider the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, which was recently listed among Inc. Magazine’s “15 Most Innovative MBA Programs.” Forbes also ranked University of Denver in the “Top 50 for Startups” as recently as 2014. Daniels grads have gone on to start their own companies, and to find creative ways to meet the needs of their community. Leo Osahor (MBA 2007, MSM 2007) developed FlightSpeak, the largest and most detailed airport app to date. The app allows travelers to view security wait times, shopping options and coupon offers, and WIFI info for 315 airports around the world. The school also helps sponsor an annual Pitch Competition that fosters entrepreneurship by allowing graduate and undergraduate students to present their company or product ideas to a panel of local business owners. Winners receive a $1,000 cash prize that lets them take steps toward bringing their ideas to fruition.

The Daniels College of Business/Photo via

Colorado State University College of Business

The Colorado State University College of Business has an entire institute devoted to entrepreneurship. The Institute for Entrepreneurship offers several programs outside of the classroom that help budding entrepreneurs gain the insight and resources they need to embark on their business ventures. According to the school, the institute hosts annual events such as Women Entrepreneurs’ Leadership Summit, Venture Adventure Challenge, and the Distinguished Entrepreneur speaker series.

University of Colorado – Denver Business School

The University of Colorado’s Denver Business School MBA program provides the option of pursuing an entrepreneurship specialization. This specialization allows students to explore a breadth of topics including web development, personal branding, and social entrepreneurship. MBAs with this specialization devote 12 of their 15 elective credits to entrepreneurship-related courses. University of Colorado’s Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship supplies students aiming to start their own business with additional resources, such as career coaching, networking, job recruitment, and internship opportunities.

University of Colorado, Boulder – Leeds School of Business

Students at the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Leeds School of Business will have no trouble accruing the knowledge and skills necessary to start their own business. Leeds students can pursue an MBA with an entrepreneurship focus. In fact, the school offers so many entrepreneurship electives, there are six sub-categories students can use to tailor their educational trajectory to their specific goals. Entrepreneurship MBAs can focus on New Venture Finance, Entrepreneurial Marketing, Entrepreneurial Practice, Sustainable and Social Entrepreneurship, Corporate Entrepreneurship, or New Venture Creation. Leeds School of Business has inspired innovators such as Brent Handler, the destination club pioneer who co-founded Exclusive Resorts.


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