dartmouth college skyline nh

Opportunities for Businesses at Dartmouth College

March 22, 2022 9:29 am

Roughly an hour from downtown Bristol is Dartmouth College, one of the world’s most renowned institutions for higher learning. There you will find an active student body of elite students, world-class faculty research, and a long legacy of innovation and excellence.

Dartmouth’s academic reputation is well-known, however people may not realize that the school has also developed a robust business incubator and entrepreneurship program to help students, faculty, and businesses outside the school innovate and grow.

Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth

The Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth is a portfolio of 30 different programs aimed at helping students gain and practice entrepreneurial skills, and faculty advance cutting-edge research. Programs range from funding to conferences to connect with business leaders. 

Jamie Coughlin, the director of the center who has a long history working in business development, said the Magnuson Center aims to connect the work done by students and faculty to the world outside campus. In recent years, the Magnuson Center has engaged the community through speaking series providing expert entrepreneurial insights, such as how to pitch a business idea or position a business for investment. 

“The key to our approach is our four pillars, students, faculty, alumni and community,” said Coughlin. “We are building this center in support of the full stack of users, not just for students and faculty research, but really trying to think about it in a holistic sense.”

Coughlin said grants and other funding through Magnuson Center is typically reserved for faculty, however, there are opportunities for students to fund their internships through center grants. This enables local high-tech, advanced manufacturing, or other innovative businesses to seek highly-skilled interns to work on scaling up or developing new products. 

In addition, there is a wealth of connections “with Dartmouth alumni and those throughout the Northeast” that businesses can access through their involvement with the center, said Couglin. 

Four Key Pillars

The Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship was established in 2018 through a generous gift from Allison and Rick Magnuson ’79, with the goal of fostering innovation, attracting more entrepreneurial faculty and students to campus, and strengthening skills needed to solve the world’s problems.

As Coughlin mentioned, the mission of the center is based on four key pillars: entrepreneurial learning, startup support, alumni engagement and community development. Through support of the larger entrepreneurial community with connections to thought leaders and sharing best practices, the goal is to create a stronger, more dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

In 2022, the Magnuson Center will move into a state-of-the-art building in the west end of campus, the nexus of technology and business education at Dartmouth. The new building will be a destination for students and faculty from all five Dartmouth schools to pursue interdisciplinary ventures and creative collaborations.

Opportunities for Local Business

For businesses in the Bristol area, or those thinking of locating in the area, the center offers a significant advantage. Not only does Bristol have access to institutions like Dartmouth, it can offer owners and employees a high standard of living, great work-life balance and a beautiful landscape, just two hours north of Boston. 

It’s unique for a rural area to boast such a robust professional network in its backyard, as well as access to high-speed broadband and a highly trained workforce. It’s just another example of technology transforming rural towns into areas of opportunity.

“I’m encouraged by how the past two years have really shifted people’s mindset to call smaller communities NH home,” said Coughlin.

Other Dartmouth Opportunities

In addition to the center, Dartmouth also houses the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center (DRTC) in connection with the Grafton Regional Development Corporation (GRDC). This nonprofit economic development incubator promotes and supports business growth in the region and economic development in New Hampshire by leasing work space, laboratories, and offices to growing businesses. 

The DRTC also offers entrepreneurship programming and economic development programs via events featuring faculty and professionals from the Magnuson Center, Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, the Tuck School of Business Center for Entrepreneurship, and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center. Previous DRTC tenants have included medical device companies, tech companies and agriculture businesses.

For more information about business opportunities in Bristol, go to www.bristolnhbusiness.com to connect with us!