Johnson launches Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (EII)

3/21/2011 4:13:00 PM

Institute will align goals across research and practice and ensure Johnson’s leadership position in today's critical growth areas of entrepreneurship and innovation


Johnson at Cornell University has announced the formation of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (EII), which will act as a hub for entrepreneurial research, education and programmatic activities.  The formation of EII aligns with Johnson’s vision to be a premier global business school and to continue its tradition of offering a truly unique education for entrepreneurs and managers that involves theory and research-based knowledge and a full spectrum of applied entrepreneurship and innovation programs. The formation of EII builds on Johnson’s commitment to the greater Cornell community by working with Entrepreneurship@Cornell to connect students to a powerful, well-organized, and dynamic network of teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and innovative corporate leaders.

"Through this institute, Johnson can take entrepreneurship study and practice from good to great," said Zachary Shulman, Johnson senior lecturer of Entrepreneurship and interim director of EII.  "We want support for entrepreneurship to get bigger and better; to be able to fund more research, hold larger competitions, and have greater alumni engagement.  We want those who know us already to celebrate our strength and growth and for those who don’t to open their eyes to Johnson as a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation research, knowledge, programs and collaboration," said Shulman.

The Institute’s Academic Director is Wesley Sine, a J. Thomas Clark Professor of Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise. Sine’s research is focused on entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, and innovation in various contexts including developing countries.  "Johnson needs to be on the cutting edge of knowledge about entrepreneurship and innovation, and we need to share that knowledge," says Sine.  "EII will enable us to attract the best researchers in the world so we can become a hub of knowledge about innovation.”  Sine also envisions an entrepreneurship-based "thought leadership initiative" that will connect researchers with practitioners to analyze, critique, and apply research at conferences and off-campus workshops. We intend to produce world class research and share that knowledge with both academics and practitioners. "Through EII, we will reach out to entrepreneurs and innovators throughout the world, providing them with the knowledge and training that will help them grow their businesses."

EII is off to a quick start.  The institute has already hosted speakers to Johnson and in January, Sine led a ten-day entrepreneurship course in Saudi Arabia focused on helping local students start businesses.  This is a program that institute leaders expect to be one of many outreach efforts for EII.

The establishment of EII aligns with Johnson’s strategic plan, "Building Our Future Together," which specifically addresses the need for Johnson to ensure its commitment to business-related Thought Leadership by enhancing current and establishing new centers and institutes of excellence. 

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