Georgetown BSchool Hires 13 Profs, Says No to Entrepreneurship

According to the Washington Business Journal, Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business has hired 13 new professors for the fall. None teach or research entrepreneurship — well entrepreneurship is mentioned once in the press release, but as an after thought in describing an instructor who does not have a PhD and spent a major part of their career in corporate finance at Lockheed Martin.

I have looked around McDonough’s site and see little regarding entrepreneurship. There appears to be a club and a few classes, but not concentrations, research centers, or entrepreneurship centers. They do host the Mid-Atlantic Business Plan, but the MIT Enterprise Forum actually runs the event.

I just attempted to call the Dean’s Office (George G. Daly) to find out more as Daly was quoted in the article and press release. His office pushed me off to associate Dean Chris Kormis. She was not available. I will hopefully hear back from her soon.

So, at this point, I am not sure why Georgetown didn’t hire any entrepreneurship profs in this hiring spurt. With entrepreneurship being the fastest growing field in business education this appears to go against the trends.


Entrepreneur v MBA Debate Continues

I recently completed the first draft of a policy analysis brief investigating the state of entrepreneurship education in higher ed — especially at the grad school level.

It turns out most of the endowments, classes, centers, etc. are located within MBA programs. However, many studies (Moutray, Bhide) show that most entrepreneurs/self-employed are not MBA holders.

I came across a MaRS Blog (out of the University of Toronto) post that delves further into this argument. Keri Damen offers some insights by highlighting some research contrasting MBA thinking and entrepreneurial thinking. From Damen:

It’s not a surprising distinction given the old adage that entrepreneurs are born, not made, and the fact that everyone seems to be doing an MBA these days. However Bill Taylor’s blog takes it a step further and argues that the differences between the two are becoming more important and that it’s time to change our minds about what kinds of people are best-equipped to become the business leaders of the future.

Taylor cites Professor Saras Sarasvathy’s interesting research about entrepreneurial thinking in which she’s discovered that MBAs use “effectual” reasoning while entrepreneurs use “causal” reasoning. According to Professor Sarasvathy, the causal reasoning of entrepreneurs “begins with a pre-determined goal and a given set of means and seeks to identify the optimal -fastest, cheapest, most efficient, etc.- alternative to achieve that goal.” An MBA’s effectual reasoning “does not begin with a specific goal. Instead, it begins with a given set of means and allows goals to emerge contingently over time from the varied imagination and diverse aspirations of the founders and the people they interact with.”

Gonna go check out Sarasvathy’s research. Any thoughts?

100 Attributes/Behavior of Entrepreneurs

Found this via Apparently it is making the rounds on Twitter two years or so after its original publication. Here is the original post. As the author, GL Hoffman, writes, “Here are one hundred characteristics and attributes of people who start companies—some born of experience, education or birth. Most can be learned by study and practice.”

Here are a few:

22. Sales in number one, two and three on the priority list. You should plan on spending most of your time worrying and working on your sales efforts. Nothing else much matters. A sale happens when someone pays you for your service or product. Don’t get too excited if the marketing focus group says everyone will buy one. Get excited when someone pays for it.

75. No one cares as much about it as you do. Your new company will consume you, and even most of your employees. Realize that most other people will not have heard about, or even care that you have a brand new widget. Your big dilemma about increasing prices?…they won’t even recognize it or care. As one old curmudgeon told me once, “we are nothing but pimples on the ass of progress.” I got the message. Continue reading “100 Attributes/Behavior of Entrepreneurs”

Young Entrepreneurs Academy @ GMU

Tomorrow I will be on a panel of entrepreneurs during Mason’s 5th Annual Young Entrepreneurs Academy. The annual event brings together aspiring entrepreneurs to learn practical business skills and to apply the the entrepreneurial spirit in their career goals. Though not associated with the Kauffman Foundation, this event is congruent with Kauffman’s goal of seeding entrepreneurship across campus.

This is a great event for all in the Mason Community and neighborhood and highlights some of the ‘low hanging fruit’ type of entrepreneurial offerings that many colleges and universities make available. Hope to see you at the Johnson Center tomorrow.

WSJ Advice for Young Entrepreneurs

WSJ writer Jonnelle Marte with advice for young entrepreneurs (those under 30). The piece offers examples from successful entrepreneurs including a Yale spawned financial services firm. From the piece,

Finding capital for a start-up today is difficult regardless of your age, but you might be set back further by a weak credit history and lack of business experience. To show that you’re serious, write a business plan and have a prototype before you approach a bank or investor.

When Miles Lasater founded a financial-services firm tailored to colleges with two fellow undergraduates at Yale University, they set measurable goals for growth and followed up with possible investors after achieving their aims.

“We were able to show how we progressed,” says the 31-year-old Mr. Lasater, who was 22 when he started Higher One, which streamlines the transfer of money between financial-aid offices and students for more than 210 colleges. “So we raised money from people later who said no the first time.”

Winners for Pace Pitch Contest Announced

Yesterday the finals of the Pace University Pitch Contest were held in Manhattan. The contest featured a social venture track and a new business concept track. Here is a little bit about the winners and OpenOtto: Continue reading “Winners for Pace Pitch Contest Announced”

Mobile/Web Media Dorm/Incubator at U of Waterloo

I received an email recently from a student living in the VeloCity Residence at the University of Waterloo (I believe Waterloo is the home of Research In Motion). The residence is pretty tricked out with conference rooms, a wireless device lab, and very modern minimalist design to it. Looks like a pretty cool place to be a campus entrepreneur to me.  Their partners, mentors, and speakers are a pretty impressive bunch. Under projects, the site states:

VeloCity residents will have the freedom to pursue projects that they feel passionate about.

They’ll have the chance to collaborate with some of the most talented students from across campus.

They’ll have an experienced mentor who can help guide them in the right direction.

And at the end of each term, there will be a forum where they’ll have the chance to pitch their work to people who can help take things to the next level.

Unless teams decide to work on a project that is also part of their academic coursework, nothing from VeloCity will be graded or put on a transcript, so the motivation to be successful will come from within each team. It is the VeloCity residents who will have control over their workload – and progress.

With the right mix of talent, mentors, facilities, ideas and ambition, VeloCity projects have all the critical ingredients needed for success.

Peter Kao, a member of the first cohort (entered in Sept.) to participate in VeloCity has been very impressed with the technology — from the lighting to the flat screens and wii. In an email, Peter said,”What makes the place extra special is the entrepreneurial spirit everyone has and their motivation and passion for that special venture idea they want to develop.” He posts about his early move in experiences his blog.

I believe these focused dorm/vocational residences and programs may be one of the key ways for schools to teach entrepreneurship across campus. There is no reason engineers, artists, and even pre-law, biz, and med students should be augmenting their studies with practical entrepreneurial experiences. Kao believes the VeloCity is the first student incubator residence in Canada. I believe that there are a handful here in the states; I know there is a program called Dingman at the University of Maryland.