Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Castleberry Grant

Edward “Hap” Castleberry Entrepreneurship Grant

A premier opportunity for Entrepreneurship majors is the Castleberry Grant. Funded by Xavier MBA alumnus Edward “Hap” Castleberry, the grant is designed to help students gain valuable entrepreneurial experience through an internship at a startup or small business.

Castleberry Benefits

  • Students get real-life experience working directly with upper management of a startup or small business
  • The demand for interns is high so students usually have their choice of several exciting companies to work with
  • Provides a proven way to gain early entrepreneurial experience
  • Potential lead to a second internship or on-going full-time employment
  • Helps connect students to non-profits or other companies that might not normally be able to fund internships
  • Ability to build your professional network

How it Works

  • Students apply via Ann Schmidt, Undergraduate Office Smith 128 (schmidta8@Xavier.edu)
  • Counts as 3-hour course credit for ENTR303 or ENTR403
  • Available three times per year, Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters
  • Resumes of accepted students sent to about 1,000 startups and small businesses in the Cincinnati area
  • Those companies contact students directly. Each student is usually contacted by 25-50 companies
  • Students work to find the ideal internship opportunity that meets their needs
  • The student notifies Ann Schmidt. Final paperwork submitted through Handshake
  • Students write two papers, one mid-term draft and one final, submitted through the ENTR303/403 Canvas site
  • The company writes review of student’s performance
  • Professor of record issues final grade
  • Student receives a $2,500 grant (tax-free) credited to their bursar account upon completion of the internship


  • Entrepreneurship Major
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Prerequisite: ENTR301 and ENTR305
  • Endorsement of the entrepreneurship faculty
  • Open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors
  • Students work 200 hours during the semester for their company
  • Students are limited to one Castleberry while at Xavier

Edward “Hap” Castleberry (1932-2022)

Hap’s mother and father instilled in him a hard work ethic, the belief that you should follow your passions, and the duty to give back to your community. Hap helped run his family’s local dairy business, Cedar Hill Farms Inc until it was sold in 1963. He started his career as an entrepreneur in 1964. He proceeded to start and purchase small businesses to grow and develop. He successfully developed and sold more than twelve local companies in his career. (US Building Services, Inc, Coffee Break, Inc, Art Guild Book Bindery, Inc, Ohio Building Services, Inc, Ohio Coffee Services, Inc, E.F. Castleberry & Assoc, Inc, Imperial Adhesives, Inc, T-Shirt City, U.S Abatement Co.)

 Hap was very civic-minded, supporting and volunteering for over fifteen non-profits, businesses, and academic organizations in Cincinnati. He was the founder and chairman of the Greater Cincinnati Business Hall of Fame and a founder of the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association. He was appointed the chairman of the Cincinnati Citizens Committee on Youth, Junior Achievement of Greater Cincinnati, and the University of Cincinnati Economics Center for Education and Research. He delighted in helping young men and women learn business skills through Junior Achievement of Greater Cincinnati. His mother gave him the nickname “Happy” as a child, but he garnered the name “Hap” by his positive and friendly manner. He tried to create “Hap”iness wherever he hung his hat. 

Hap attended The Summit Country Day School, graduated high school from Cincinnati Country Day School, graduated with a BA from Brown University, and received his MBA from Xavier University. He was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.