UIF’s Entrepreneur Mentoring supports students, adult learners, and startup companies in the Philadelphia region. Inspired by serial entrepreneur, Dr. Richard E. Caruso,  Entrepreneur Mentoring uses the Caruso Incubator and the Caruso Challenge initiatives to guide individuals through curriculum, activities, coaching designed around the “entrepreneurial mindset”. By learning how to apply the “entrepreneurial mindset” concept, UIF stakeholders can advance their personal and professional goals.

Caruso Challenge

The Caruso Challenge is a college accredited course focused on the root of entrepreneurship;  problem solving.  Students identify a problem in their community and work with experienced Foundation staff, entrepreneurs, and former Challenge alumni, to create a sustainable solution using the entrepreneurial mindset.   The Caruso Challenge has successfully mentored students from an array of schools and community organizations including William Tennent High School, Hopeworks Camden, Franklin Institute, and the Andrew L. Hicks Jr. Foundation.

Since 2019, the Caruso Challenge has worked with more than 50 students and adult learners  from 8 partner organizations, tackling problems related to school mental health resources, challenges of virtual learning in a pandemic, and police brutality.

Caruso Incubator

The Caruso Incubator is a nonprofit, business development program that mentors entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia start-up community.  At UIF we believe entrepreneurs are integral to the success of the Greater Philadelphia Region. They engineer innovation, stimulate the economy, and drive employment…all contributing to healthy, vibrant communities.

Since 2016, the Caruso Incubator supported over 65 nonprofit and for profit companies including Kovarvic, The Weekly Fight, Capture Greatness, Fulphil, Valley Forge Coffee Reserve, ibalans, Pain QX, Thermaquil, and Paltauri.

The Caruso Incubator is designed to create a mentoring community for startups with access to resources, such as:

  • Network of in-house and external volunteer mentors
  • Business development and research support from top-tier university interns
  • Shared office and meeting space
  • Connection to private and government funding agencies

Caruso Incubator entrepreneurs are expected to mentor it forward by volunteering their time and expertise in schools and other organizations partnered with UIF.

If you’re interested in learning more about the the Caruso Incubator or Caruso Challenge, contact Ben Pietrzyk, Director: Ben.Pietrzyk@uif.org