Engineering a third option

Engineering a third option

Working with budding local tech companies can be good for researchers, good for startups and good for the local economy — even if, in the end, the researcher decides to head back to the lab. Here’s the story of what one PhD student is learning about his options.

Has America lost its entrepreneurial edge?

HarringtonThe uncertain economy of the last few years has some wondering if American innovation and ingenuity is in decline, but not Kenneth Harrington and Robert Skandalaris. Harrington, director of the Skandalaris Entrepreneurship Program at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis and Skandalaris, founder and Chairman of Noble International Ltd, are collaborating on a book on entrepreneurship and find it alive and well. But in a recent article, they caution that “people, organizations, institutions, and governments that don’t have a strategy to lead in entrepreneurial innovation will be displaced or at serious risk of becoming obsolete.” The Washington University business school launches its 2004 Olin Cup Entrepreneurship Competition this month with special events, speakers, and workshops. Washington University recently received a major grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to expand entrepreneurship education campus-wide.

Venture capital funding validates a startup, research shows

GuptaLessons learned by startups during the dot-com hiring frenzy may have lasting benefits, according to a study conducted by Washington University Olin School of Business professor Mahendra Gupta. His paper, “Venture Capital Financing and the Growth of Startup Firms,” which focuses on the role human capital plays in starting a company, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Business Venturing. Journal editor Sankaran Venkataraman called the paper noteworthy in its comprehensive examination of how human capital relates to success, the internal processes of a firm, and team characteristics. Companies able to get venture capital funding had an advantage over those who were able to find funding resources but not thru v.c. funding.