The gift will in part support the competition’s programming and awards for international students.
The George Washington University New Venture Competition will receive from Fosun Foundation a $300,000 gift that further enhances the competition, including through a specific focus on promoting entrepreneurship among international students.
Fosun’s gift will fund the development of new programming for international students, such as workshops and mentoring. The financial support also will expand the prize base for the annual competition and add new award categories, including recognizing the best venture by a team that includes at least two international students.
“We are grateful to Fosun Foundation for this generous gift,” said School of Business Interim Dean Vivek Choudhury. “Initiatives like the New Venture Competition provide all students with valuable experiential learning opportunities, and empower GW students to innovate solutions to some of the world’s most challenging issues.”
During the 2017-18 year, 276 individuals and 137 teams participated in the New Venture Competition, which awarded more than $150,000 in unrestricted cash grants.
The competition, managed by GW’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, also engaged the broader GW community, with more than 300 mentors and judges comprising alumni and friends.
“This contribution will enable us to expand programs and promote social entrepreneurship, specifically among international students, and nurture the next generation of leaders,” said Lex McCusker, director of student entrepreneurship programs for the GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Founded in Shanghai in 1992 by five graduates of Fudan University, Fosun has evolved from an entrepreneurial start-up into a leading industrial group with offices around the world.
“Fosun is committed to supporting global education,” said Li Haifeng, senior vice president and chief communications officer for Fosun International and director-general of Fosun Foundation. “We are pleased to support the New Venture Competition at GW and through this partnership look forward to helping develop young entrepreneurs and creating interesting inter-country opportunities for them to learn and grow.”
Mitch Blaser, B.B.A. ’73, chair of the School of Business’s Board of Advisors, was instrumental in connecting Fosun to GW.
“This partnership, between a world-class university and world-class business organization, aligns GW’s entrepreneurial culture with a successful company,” Mr. Blaser said. “This gift will benefit students from the U.S., China and other countries and enable them to explore new dimensions of innovation and creativity.”