CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (Jan. 4, 2024) — Thomas More announces its partnership with the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) as the University is set to host GSE’s annual Summer Startup program on campus in 2024. GSE’s Summer Startup identifies and empowers Kentucky high school students to become the Commonwealth’s next generation of entrepreneurs through a three-week, on-campus residential experience. Thomas More is one of only two institutions chosen to host GSE in 2024, with the other being the University of Kentucky.

“GSE couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with these two fantastic universities for our Summer Startup program,” says Anne Jewell, president and CEO of the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs. “Both have demonstrated their deep commitment to and passion for developing Kentucky’s current and future entrepreneurs. We can’t wait for our students to experience the exceptional opportunities and environments at Thomas More and U.K.”

GSE’s Summer Startup program at Thomas More is spearheaded by Jeni Al Bahrani ’05, director of the University’s Dr. Anthony ’65 and Geraldine ’66 Zembrodt Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ZCEI). “I am excited for Thomas More University to partner with GSE, marking a new era for entrepreneurship education in the Commonwealth,” says Al Bahrani. “GSE has developed a strong reputation for entrepreneurial education, and as the innovation destination of the region, our collaboration will empower the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.”

The free program welcomes participants from across the Commonwealth and equips them with the skills and opportunities necessary to build business plans and develop product and service prototypes. To accomplish this, students are introduced to Kentucky’s most successful entrepreneurs and fastest-growing businesses, furnished with the tools to create and build their own businesses, and matched with complementary skilled peers. The intensive annual GSE Summer Startup program culminates in a pitch competition attended by a large audience and live-streamed. As a direct result of participation in GSE, millions of dollars in scholarship opportunities are offered by Kentucky colleges and universities specifically to students who have completed the program. Over 900 student entrepreneurs have graduated from the summer program since its inception in 2013.

“This collaboration represents an extraordinary opportunity for Thomas More to support the engagement of future entrepreneurs and innovators,” says Thomas More University President Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D. “By hosting this program, we are not only fostering innovation and entrepreneurship but also providing a platform for young minds to flourish and make a lasting impact on the world. Together, we are igniting a spark of creativity that will shape the future of business in the Commonwealth.”

The ZCEI was established to foster academic excellence and innovation, one of the goals set forth in Thomas More’s five-year Strategic Plan: Lighting the Way. By complementing the Catholic, liberal arts education provided at Thomas More, the center focuses on project-based learning curriculum, co-curricular programming, building eco-system connections, and the ZCEI Fellowship program, which equips Thomas More students with the tools needed to unleash their inner entrepreneur and carve their own pathways of opportunity.

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For more information on the ZCEI, visit

More information about GSE, including the online application portal for the free Summer Startup program, is available at


About Thomas More University

Founded in 1921, Thomas More University stands as a beacon of academic excellence and innovation, challenging students to Make It More. Deeply rooted in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, this timeless foundation supports a transformative educational experience as students looking to Be More are guided in the pursuit of knowledge, ethical leadership, and the integration of faith and reason. Through the high-quality, liberal arts education provided at Thomas More, students examine the ultimate meaning of life, their place in the world, and their responsibility to others which leads to the ability to think critically and contribute meaningfully to the world. Serving more than 2,000 students, Thomas More takes its place as the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, being named one of the 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal. To find out more, visit

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