About Us

Oberlin College’s Creativity & Leadership Program is a multi-disciplinary effort designed to encourage students to put their innovative ideas into practice. The program reflects Oberlin’s artistic excellence, academic rigor, and longstanding commitment to preparing students for leadership and civic engagement. 

Oberlin's approach to entrepreneurship derives from the synergy between the liberal arts and pre-professional training. Through experiential learning, co-curricular activities, and expert coaching, students are challenged to hone their intellectual and artistic passions.  Students design and launch new ventures - broadly defined - to tackle the questions, challenges, and opportunities of the 21st century. The program emphasizes creativity, leadership, and innovation as attributes at the core of successful ventures in any field.

Open to all Oberlin students and student organizations, the Creativity & Leadership Program offers academic courses, funding for project development, guest lectures, and experiential learning opportunities - culminating in LaunchU, Oberlin's annual startup accelerator, bootcamp, and pitch competition.

The Creativity & Leadership Program engages a diverse group of constituents, including students, alumni in a variety of fields, friends of the college, and faculty and staff across departments to contribute to the practice and understanding of entrepreneurship. Contact us at creativity@oberlin.edu to see how you can get involved.

Creativity & Leadership Staff

Matt Utterback, Director of Entrepreneurship
John Knific, Entrepreneur-in-Residence
Ty Diringer, Program Associate
Danielle Hinrich, Administrative Assistant


Morgan and Kauffman Foundations

Creativity & Leadership: Entrepreneurship at Oberlin is part of the Northeast Ohio Collegiate Entrepreneurship Program (NEOCEP), a Kauffman CampusesSMInitiative funded by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Burton D. Morgan


The mission of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is to strengthen the free enterprise system by investing in organizations and institutions that foster the entrepreneurial spirit.  In 1967, Burton D. Morgan established the private foundation based in Akron, Ohio.  The primary purpose of the Foundation is to preserve and support the free enterprise system, which Mr. Morgan believed to be America’s greatest asset. 

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. The Kauffman Foundation was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman.