I love teaching entrepreneurship because of the amazing innovations that students ideate and then create businesses around. I like the quote attributed to both Homer (the philosopher, not the father of Bart) and Steve Jobs, “The journey is the reward.” I’m honored to be able to guide the WPI students through their journeys of not only learning about business ownership, but also actually building something – whether it’s a prototype, a minimally viable product (MVP) or a company. Being in a university setting provides students with a safety net to fail fast and pivot their ideas. No idea is too silly or too small to explore while in a learning mode.
I’ve also been fortunate to bring my love of mentoring students into my research. With a focus on under-represented populations in entrepreneurship, I study how society and educational institutions can foster a sense of curiosity for minority students to encourage ideation and business creation. A recent research focus on Benefit Corporations, companies that take a triple-bottom line approach (people, planet, and profit), provides insights on how these companies create value for society. Not surprisingly, many recent students have taken a ‘business for good’ perspective in building their companies focusing on social impact as well as making profits (which are necessary!) This knowledge allows me to guide students through the unique hurdles of the social enterprise. Research on social entrepreneurship in Cuba, a country with high innovativeness but limited resources, provides great lessons of how to be successful even when faced with challenges.
In addition to working with students, I enjoy mentoring community members of under-represented populations as they launch their own businesses. My experience co-founding a legal-tech company and past participation in a legal-tech accelerator gives me the insights on the challenges of entrepreneurship and how rewarding it is to start a business! My door is open to anyone interested in discussing a business idea, whether you’re a student, alum, Worcester community member, staff, or faculty.
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