George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Academic Opportunities

What do FedEx, Microsoft, Facebook, WordPress, Reddit, Google, and Snapchat have in common? They were started by student entrepreneurs. Your college years are a great time to innovate and create because you have more time to devote to projects, access to resources, and proximity to like-minded peers. Use the flexibility of the collegiate lifestyle to your entrepreneurial advantage.

No Matter Your Major, We Want You​​​

Mason is passionate about encouraging and assisting budding entrepreneurs in all disciplines, not just business students. Whether you major in bioengineering, education, global affairs, information technology, or something else, industries around the world need innovators to solve tomorrow’s problems.

Our programs are designed to help entrepreneurs of all backgrounds. We encourage students to team up, collaborate, share their skills and strengths, and create something that didn't exist before.

Mason's mentors and professors are willing resources, providing knowledge, guidance, and experience. They'll help you develop your idea from that first spark of inspiration into a marketable product. And along the way, you'll learn the steps and principles every entrepreneur needs to know, including how to:

  • Create a prototype. You'll find out what doesn't work as well as what does. This process helps you understand the technical issues that arise during production and helps you prepare to file a patent.
  • Develop a sustainable competitive advantage. You've created something that is not only useful and valuable, it's unique. In other words, other companies can't easily copy what you've done and offer it at a lower price.
  • Conduct a market analysis. What kind of market exists for your product/service/idea? Who are your competitors? Who are your buyers? You'll learn how to conduct research that answers these questions.​
  • Measure value creation. You create something and, hopefully, people pay you for it. The incoming revenue is more than the expenses involved in the creation of the product/service/idea. You'll learn how to determine where your profit point will be.
  • Draft a business plan. Map out the path you'll follow and the steps you'll take to launch a successful company. If you don't have a plan, you're less likely to succeed.
A student in a suit makes a presentation at Mason's

The annual Deans' Business Competition calls on investors, entrepreneurs, and members of the Washington, D.C. innovation community and game industry to serve as judges.

Standouts Among Startups​

Competition drives innovation, and our entrepreneurial contests will bring out your best. Participating in a competition at Mason will help you:

  • Develop and grow ideas.
  • Get helpful feedback.
  • Receive coaching advice.
  • Win money to invest in your new venture.

Our biggest event, the Deans' Business Competition, is jointly hosted by the deans of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Science, the College of Education and Human Development, the Volgenau School of Engineering, and the School of Business.

There are additional smaller competitions throughout the university, including engineering competitions within Volgenau and a mobile game competition through the Virginia Serious Game Institute.

Mason students also participate in competitions held by other organizations. See what's open to you through our makerspaces in the MIX (Mason Innovation eXchange; visit our Facebook page).