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Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship & Business Ethics

» Entrepreneurship at Chapman

The Leatherby Center’s vision is to inspire, educate, and empower the next generation of talent to have an entrepreneurial mindset. We encourage students to innovate, take risks, and be future global citizens.

Our mission is to provide hands-on experience to the next generation of talent, guiding them to launch and scale ventures which aim to solve the world's most challenging problems. 

Chapman University supports entrepreneurs of all types: 

  • Tech and innovation startups 
  • Small businesses 
  • Sole proprietorship​s, and 
  • Intrapreneurs innovating inside large corporations 

The entrepreneurship program is open to all students. Business majors may add an emphasis in entrepreneurship, and non-business majors can add a minor in entrepreneurship. The Leatherby Center offers a wide range of courses in entrepreneurship: 

  • How to Run a Successful Business 
  • Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship
  • Protecting Ideas and Innovation 
  • Customer Acquisition and Insights 
  • Sports and Entertainment Marketing 
  • Entrepreneurial Finance 
  • Global Entrepreneurship 
  • Social Entrepreneurship 
  • Corporate Sustainability Management 
  • Entrepreneurial Failure 
  • Blockchain for Business  

To complement our curriculum, we host events, roundtables, guest lectures, and other programs that are open to all students, staff, and the entire community.  

The Leatherby Center is also an incubator for new business startups. The Center has a mentorship program where mentors provide their expertise to students. Our mentors come from a wide range of industries and have varied skill sets.

The Center has committed mentors, or Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs), who hold ‘office hours.’ EIRs are accessible to students for ongoing advice and consultation. We also have project team rooms that student, staff, and alumni-run startups can utilize.  

We host competitions where students can hone their business concepts and plans in front of judges. Our annual Panther Cage Match boasts cash prizes. For example, Eli Schecter, our #1 winner of the Panther Cage competition in 2022, is running Safe Title as a senior at Chapman. After his win, Eli raised $300,000 for his company and attracted a CEO from the Tesla Foundation to assist him. 

We are proud to have been the birthplace of many successful, ongoing businesses. Click here for the entire list. 



The Leatherby Center is an incubator for startups. We offer a structured program guiding entrepreneurs from idea to business plan. Students, staff, and alumni may apply.

Get Involved

Learn about the multiple ways to get involved by visiting our various program pages.