The ECenter is the co-curricular heart of ideas, innovation, and entrepreneurship at UNH. Our goal is to create the next generation of leaders with an entrepreneurial mind-set who can see opportunities and identify creative solutions others have missed, one idea at a time. Although part of UNH, we are independent of any one college.
September 2018 Newsletter
The Latest Happenings from the ECenter
The fall semester is underway and there is an amazing amount of energy at the ECenter already. New and returning students continue to work on their new and existing ideas and companies at the ECenter and in the recently rebranded Cube x Coworking Space at UNHInnovation. It is contagious to be around them and their enthusiasm.
We wrapped up another successful summer of student engagement with three students paid to work on their start-up companies, Drunk TXT and SMARTwheel, in the $10,500 Summer Seed Grant sponsored by the Wildcatalysts Network and the law firm of Pierce Atwood. 

Likewise, four students participated in our Paid Student Internships at Start-ups Program sponsored by Harry Patten ’58. It's exciting to see the personal growth of students as they catch the entrepreneurial bug… as I said, it’s contagious!

We welcomed our first 23 students into the newly created Idea & Innovation Society (IIS). 100 first-year students from all five UNH colleges who have already started a company, organization/non-profit, or were actively involved in innovation in their high school, applied to the IIS. The next newsletter will highlight more on this program.
THE GROWTH OF STUDENT IDEAS REQUIRES YOUR HELP! If you are interested in being a mentor (can be one mentor session for an hour or regular meetings), or if you are an angel investor interested in funding some of the capital-ready student companies, please let us know.
We have just completed summarizing the 2017-2018 academic year with our first ECenter annual report. See the story below for more information.
It takes a team to do what we do. I'd like to give a well deserved shout-out to ECenter Program Manager, Heather MacNeill, and Associate Program Manager, Beth Mayton, for all they do every day to help the growth of ideas, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Thank you!
Ian Grant
Executive Director, ECenter
2018 Summer Seed Grant
The Summer Seed Grant is a unique program that provides $10,500 to three students to work on their early-stage ideas/start-ups over the summer without having to find a summer job. The students work out of the Cube x Coworking Space and receive mentorship from Ian Grant.
In its third year in this format, eight start-ups applied. We were thrilled to award the $10,500 Summer Seed Grant to Ethan Towsley ’21 and Rob Lee ’21 (CEPS) for DrunkTxt and TJ Evarts ’20 (CEPS) for SMARTwheel! Both teams were incredibly productive over the summer and learned valuable skills to help move their ideas forward!

“This was a fun summer with students at very different stages of their companies," said Ian Grant, their summer coach-mentor. “Ethan and Rob connected right before the submissions and neither had worked on a start-up venture. This was a summer of huge growth for them, from customer discovery to learning to improve their coding skills. TJ, on the other hand, has been working on SMARTwheel for a number of years and worked through some key development stages and marketing project planning as he works towards a full product launch. What was even more impressive was the way all three helped each other while working on their own ventures.”

Thank you to sponsors Pierce Atwood and the Wildcatalysts Network.
Makerspace Grant Benefits Faculty & Students
Over the past year, faculty at UNH took part in projects at the Makerspace at the ECenter thanks to a grant received by UNHInnovation from VentureWell.

The grant, which wrapped up in August 2018, provided $500 for each faculty member utilizing the Makerspace for class projects. Approximately 160 students visited the Makerspace as a result of the grant.

Thank you to the faculty who participated this year!
  • Dennis Britton, UNH College of Liberal Arts (vinyl cutter)
  • Molly Campbell, UNH College of Liberal Arts (vinyl cutter)
  • Martin McKinsey, UNH College of Liberal Arts (vinyl cutter)
  • Jen Purrenhage, UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (laser cutter/engraver)
  • Sachiko Akiyama, UNH College of Liberal Arts (3D printers)

The top picture is from Prof. Molly Campbell's class and the bottom picture is from Prof. Sachiko Akiyama's class.
2018 Paid Student Internship at Start-ups Program
Due to the generosity of Harry Patten (‘58), four UNH Durham students from any college or major can get hands-on experience working at a start-up company (priority given to UNH alumni start-ups). We recognize that not all students have the “a-ha” idea right away and/or they want to learn about and understand the inner workings of a start-up and help in the building process. The Internship Program provides that experiential learning opportunity over a 10-week period. Students receive a stipend of $4,000.
This is the second summer we have run the Paid Student Internship at Start-ups Program. Last summer was widely successful from both the start-up and student standpoint. We had over 11 companies and 12 students apply this year.

Congratulations to Paul College students, Sierra Migneault ’19 (internship at PickUp Patrol, NH), Alexandra Fogarty ’19 (internship at Industolutions, NH), and Arseniy Shapovalov ’19 (internship at Cuseum, Boston, MA), and COLA student, Emily Masse ’19 (internship at Nobl, NH). Heather MacNeill manages the Program.

We're excited to share that Emily is staying on at Nobl and Alexandra is staying on at Industolutions after the summer!
Emily Masse (COLA '19) with NOBL founder,
Connor Roelke (Paul College '15), in the NOBL brewery
Want to read more about the student experiences? Read their blogs and watch their video summaries here.

For 2019, we're expanding the internship opportunity to six spots! Be on the look out for more information in the next few months. Email Heather at if you're a student or start-up interested in learning more about the program.
Call Out to Mentors and Angel Investors
As mentioned in Ian's note above, we need you to help students grow their ideas!

No one understands the needs of an entrepreneur more than a fellow successful entrepreneur. If you are interested in being a mentor, please let us know by signing up on our website. In addition to mentorship needs for students with ideas/start-ups all around UNH, we need mentors for students in our Idea & Innovation Society, as well as in UNHInnovation's I-Corps Program.

We also have students with capital-ready companies in need of investment. If you are an angel investor interested in learning more and potentially funding a student or alumni company, please let us know by emailing Ian Grant at

Thank you!
2017 - 2018 Annual Report
The ECenter is excited to publish our first annual report!

If you would like to receive a copy, please contact Beth Mayton at

We look forward to sharing this update with you!
UNH Student Entrepreneur Spotlight
UNH Today recently profiled Devin McMahon (Paul College of Business and Economics '19) in their IMPACT series. As you may know, Devin has been part of the ECenter family since her first year at UNH when she received coaching for her idea with Kate Aiken (Paul College '19), LilyPad, before the Holloway Prize Competition and used our Makerspace for prototyping. Most recently, Devin was an ECenter intern and participated as a judge for one of our programs. We're pleased to share the UNH Today story on Devin, written by Tracey Bentley at UNH Communications and Public Affairs.

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Devin McMahon ’19 didn’t waste any time getting to the   Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center, or ECenter — which is part of   UNHInnovation   and intentionally independent of any one college — when it opened in Madbury Commons in 2016. “I was actually one of the first people in the door,” she says.

That was during her freshman year. McMahon and a friend had just signed up to compete in the Paul J. Holloway Prize Competition, the annual event that awards more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind services to innovative new businesses. “We knew that, as freshmen, we needed some extra resources and assets in order to be competitive,” she recalls.

Director Ian Grant and other ECenter staff members worked with them throughout the spring semester. “They were a huge part in helping us understand and determine the best path to take our company,” says McMahon, a Hampstead, New Hampshire, native who came to UNH on a   Hamel Scholarship .

That company offered an innovation on the female overnight sanitary napkin. The duo took second place in the competition. “When we heard our names called … it was just completely unbelievable and, honestly, the kind of moment that you don’t really forget,” McMahon says. “That experience changed me and helped shape the rest of my college career.”

business administration  major in the  Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics , she became a dean’s ambassador, traveling across the country to meet and network with UNH alumni in Silicon Valley. She also helps run the college’s   Rines Angel Fund , which has $350,000 under management.

McMahon has also stayed connected to the independent ECenter, working on its nationally recognized   i2Passport program   in which students earn $25,000 to help pay off student loans by participating in entrepreneurial events and activities. She also writes blog posts about entrepreneurs who got their start at UNH. “We’ve seen multiple companies that started here, with Ian’s mentorship, that are still running today,” she says. Writing the blog is “a fun way to engage with alumni while making students here aware of all the opportunities they have.”

Those opportunities are around to stay. Recently, early ECenter supporters Peter T. Paul ’67 and Harry Patten ’58 (funder of the i2Passport program) both renewed their commitments to the center’s mission. They are providing support for student-focused programs in development and ongoing operations at this fun, university-wide hub for students to converge around ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship.

In 2017, the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers recognized the ECenter as the “Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center.” But McMahon already knew that. “To have access to programming that isn’t restricted to certain majors and that exposes you not just to business perspectives but to developer and production management perspectives, you’re able to become connected on campus and gain friends who have different viewpoints on issues, and that really allows you to develop solutions that are much broader and more effective,” she says.
Plus, she says, “It’s fun to see Ian still personally meeting with students to help them with their ideas.”
Ian Grant
Executive Director
(603) 862-5470

Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center
21 Madbury Road, Suite 101
Durham, NH 03824
Heather MacNeill
Program Manager
(603) 862-4959

Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center
21 Madbury Road, Suite 101
Durham, NH 03824

Beth Mayton
Associate Program Manager
(603) 862-1291

Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center
21 Madbury Road, Suite 101
Durham, NH 03824