School:Cooper Union

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The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

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The Cooper Union is a small college in the East Village of Manhattan that was founded by industrialist and entrepreneur Peter Cooper.  The Cooper Union is made up of three schools: The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, The School of Art, and The Albert Nerken School of Engineering. It aims to use intensive study in each of these three majors to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

Student Led Entrepreneurship 

The main organization on campus for student entrepreneurship is create@cooper. This club runs regular events on campus such as guest speakers and short two hour tutorials on how to do something cool as well as the annual hackathon, “HackCooper”. Currently the club is mostly comprised of engineering students (the largest of the three schools that make up Cooper), however the student leadership of the club is reaching out to the other schools to improve their involvement with events such as a Design Hackathon. More information on create@cooper can be found at

Institutional Entrepreneurship

Beyond classes that focus on design and innovation, Cooper Union has an intensive accelerator program called Invention Factory. The selective program guides 20 students through a rigorous process of invention: Participants conceive of and prototype inventions, present their inventions each week to guest evaluators, file a provisional patent application and participate in a competition at which a panel of distinguished designers, inventors, engineers and patent attorneys choose the best inventions.

Students are payed to participate, and work in teams to create the “best” patentable, novel, and innovative invention. This program started in the summer of 2013 and will be running for its fifth consecutive year in June 2017.

Interacting With Businesses and the Community

Cooper Union is unique in that it is so small that many student projects that are ready to move beyond the classroom are further developed in a case by case basis. Students typically ask faculty members with whom they are close with to help out with any technical needs and the students maintain full rights over everything they develop while at the school. Many notable projects that developed into something greater have come from classes like "Engineering Design and Problem Solving", which is taken by all freshmen. A few examples of this are the Gaia Project, RAMESSES and SociaLite, all projects of Professor Toby Cumberbatch that benefit the local community and those in need.

Other Resources and Information


Cooper is rapidly expanding its entrepreneurial efforts. Although the school is small and does not have abundant resources, a strong push is being made to bolster what is available as well as reinforce entrepreneurial education within the required curriculum. For up to date information on Cooper, visit

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Related Links

Vision for Cooper

Nicholas Breeser's Wiki Page

Cooper Union Student Priorities

Fall 2016 Leadership Circle

Anushree Sreedhar

Christopher Watkins

Ruchi Patel

Zach Tzavelis

Giovanni Sanchez

Mary Dwyer

Pranav Joneja

Winter Intensive at Cooper Union Proposal: