News Release

CHICAGO — Venture Connects has formed a collaborative partnership with DePaul University’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center to benefit students and alumni of the university’s acclaimed entrepreneurship program. DePaul University’s entrepreneurship program has been consistently ranked among the nation’s top 25 entrepreneurship academic programs for the last 20 years.


Venture Connects provides entrepreneurs with access to investment capital, strategic business partnerships and other essential business services. The company’s innovative online platform and in-person partnerships bring together three important constituencies: entrepreneurs, investors and service businesses. Venture Connects bridges the gap and is a one-stop source to assist entrepreneurial companies.


DePaul’s entrepreneurship program balances solid business fundamentals with real-life application through its Coleman Entrepreneurship Center. The university offers an undergraduate, graduate and MBA in entrepreneurship. The program has won numerous awards from nationally recognized publications such as Business Week, Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review.  The program further helps students become a part of the larger entrepreneurial community and provides an excellent network upon completion of the program.


Venture Connects recognized an opportunity to form a collaborative partnership with DePaul based on the university’s experience and reputation in launching students as entrepreneurs. Venture Connects plans to offer its online platform to juniors, seniors, graduates and alumni of the program. This will allow DePaul entrepreneurs to utilize the platform, access service providers, participate in educational webinars from industry experts, and gain access to potential funding for their companies.


The collaborative partnership allows students on all DePaul campuses to access the platform for their entrepreneurial efforts. “We are excited to partner with DePaul University,” says RJ Pahura, CEO of Venture Connects. “When you take the best school for entrepreneurship and match it with a leading platform to gain funding, you create a powerful synergy. We look forward to working with DePaul’s entrepreneurship program to help their students and alumni find funding and launch successful firms.”


Dr. Terri Lonier, executive director of DePaul’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, said the partnership will assist DePaul entrepreneurs start and grow their companies. “The Venture Connects platform gives students access to valuable resources to find both information and funding that can give them a competitive edge. We look forward to working with a startup whose focus is enabling other startups to thrive.”

The partnership with DePaul starts in February and will be effective to students of the program immediately. For more information on the program please visit and


The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center was established at DePaul through a Coleman Foundation pledge of $2.5 million in 2003. Building on DePaul’s well-respected academic programs in entrepreneurship that were first offered in 1982, the center promotes entrepreneur education and offers services to assist entrepreneurs. Since opening its doors in September 2003, the center has assisted hundreds of entrepreneur clients through professional and student-based consulting services.


Entrepreneur magazine and the Princeton Review recently ranked DePaul’s entrepreneurial programs among the country’s 25 best for entrepreneurship education. The academic program is headed by Harold Welsch, Coleman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship. Of the more than 2,000 surveyed for the “Best Schools for Entrepreneurs 2012” guidebook, DePaul’s graduate entrepreneurship program was ranked 17th and the undergraduate program was ranked 20th.





Terri Lonier




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