New Certificate Program in Environmental Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Begin

September 6, 2012

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084,

DURHAM, NC – Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment will launch a new Certificate Program in Environmental Innovation and Entrepreneurship (EI&E) this fall.

The program will combine classroom instruction, one-on-one mentoring and start-up experience to help students gain the business and leadership skills needed to develop and market new technologies and solutions to society’s most pressing environmental problems. An incubator fund will provide seed money to help launch promising student start-up ideas.

“The program is structured to provide practical guidance on every phase of a start-up’s creation, from conception through early growth,” said Dean William L. Chameides. “The goal is to give students a foundation in business principles so they can be the next great leaders in entrepreneurial ventures for a more sustainable future.”

For-credit classes offered through the program will include “Environmental Mega-Trends,” to be taught in the second half of the fall 2012 semester; and “Foundations of Environmental Entrepreneurship,” to be taught in spring 2013.

The EI&E program will be open to all Master of Environmental Management students.

For more information, go to the EI&E website.

The new program will be led by Jesko von Windheim, former CEO of Nextreme Thermal Solutions and vice president of commercialization at RTI International, who joins the Nicholas School faculty this fall as professor of the practice in environmental entrepreneurship.

In addition to his experience leading high-tech start-ups and commercialization efforts, von Windheim has served as adjunct associate professor of the practice at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, where he co-taught the course, “Marketing Essentials for Early-State Technologies.”  He was an instructor at the Environmental Entrepreneur Business Boot Camp presented by the Nicholas School in partnership with the Fuqua School of Business this January.

The EI&E program will be overseen through the Nicholas School’s new Environmental Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, which von Windheim will direct.