Since 1987, Salisbury University students have competed for the coveted Bernstein Achievement Award for Excellence, honoring each year’s best business plan. In 2013, SU reimagined its Bernstein competition and expanded from 4 judges selecting one $5,000 student winner to the Student Entrepreneurship Competitions a multi-round competition with 40 community sponsors/judges who award a total prize goal of $100,000 in cash, prizes, and services to 15 plus student business winners, with the Bernstein Achievement Award for Excellence still being the top prize but now awarding $20,000!
In 2013, the success of our Student Entrepreneurship Competitions led to the establishment of the biannual Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery Business competition open to Mid-Atlantic businesses, awarding $200,000 annually.
In 2016, we opened the Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Hub (Hub), located on the first floor of Perdue Hall to assist students with design thinking and entrepreneurship ideas for the competitions.
In 2021, we opened the Dave and Patsy Rommel Center for Entrepreneurship (Rommel Center), located in the Salisbury University Downtown Building, to assist with launching our 36 winning entrepreneurship each year, while building a community of entrepreneurs to support one another for economic development and job creation.
The campus community and surrounding regional community can share space in the Hub and Rommel Center. Bringing all these groups together provides for cross-discipline collaboration, idea generation and community development.