Research Will Power Accelerated Learning for Technology Entrepreneurs

Tammy Y. Allen, Director, Marketing & Programs, The NIIC

May 30, 2018, Fort Wayne, Ind.—Successful entrepreneurs are driven to address unmet market and customer needs. In that same spirit, a national research project is underway to accelerate learning for technology-driven entrepreneurs. “This research is focused on founder learning behaviors, the role of entrepreneur coachability, and how startups can gain commitment from that first employee. We are unaware that this type of research exists,” said Matthew R. Marvel, Director, of Entrepreneurship Center, Ball State University and Principal Investigator.

The Tech Startup Readiness Research Project is led by a team of thought leaders in entrepreneurship research and venture acceleration, including Marvel; Donald F. Kuratko (Dr. K), Jack M. Gill Chair of Entrepreneurship, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Executive & Academic Director of Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and Director, Entrepreneurial Innovation Academy; Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, The NIIC; and Mark S. Long, Director of Incubation Services, University of Florida.

“At Indiana University, we are committed to remain leaders in entrepreneurship research. With incubators playing such an important role in the development of entrepreneurial startups, we believe it is critical to research some of these deeper questions that impact the eventual performance of new ventures. This is an all-star team that has been assembled to delve into this project,” said Kuratko.

“Over the past eighteen years, a hallmark of The NIIC’s approach is to align the key pillars of capital, talent, workspaces, and networks to accelerate both the growth of the entrepreneur and the development of their venture. Through this innovative research, we can better understand and improve the conditions for entrepreneurial venture success,” said Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, The NIIC.

This research will provide actionable advice about how founders of tech startups can accelerate venture growth and attract employee talent. It is focused on answering the following research questions:

  1. How does founder coachability relate to early performance outcomes?
  2. How does customer interaction relate to early performance outcomes?
  3. How can startups gain commitment from initial employees?

“At UF’s incubators, we receive many applications from startup companies every year. One of the primary factors we look for in the management team or founding individual is ‘coachability,’ which relates to their willingness to take advisement and direction. This research should help us better identify specific characteristics of successful entrepreneurs,” said Long.

Data collection kickoff is September 2018, and study design and Institutional Review Board approval are ongoing. Nominations are being accepted for the research project. “We are working with leading technology incubation professionals to identify founders of tech startups and provide best practices,” said Marvel. To nominate an outstanding incubation professional who works with founders of tech startups, contact Marvel.

About Ball State University Entrepreneurship CenterThe Ball State University Entrepreneurship Center’s undergraduate entrepreneurship program consistently ranks among the best in the country, most recently as 20th in The Princeton Review’s annual list of Top 25 Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Programs. Our entrepreneurship program engages directly with the startup community, focuses on real-world business problems, experiential learning, and getting out of the building. Student experiences include E-Day, The Entrepreneurial Experience Lecture Series, Mentor Day, Learning Journeys, and our Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO).

About Indiana University Kelley School of Business Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & InnovationJCEI’sacademic programs are nationally ranked. The center is recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in entrepreneurship education with groundbreaking research appearing in top academic journals, books adopted by universities around the globe, through our comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculum offered at the PhD, MBA, and undergraduate levels, and our Entrepreneurial Innovation Academy for MBA students.

Headquartered in the Kelley School, JCEI has offices for cross-campus initiatives in the IU School of Medicine, Maurer School of Law, and College of Arts & Sciences, and affiliations with the Jacobs School of Music and the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.
The Center’s programs provide students with a wide range of experiences and classroom opportunities designed to develop their entrepreneurial perspective. Students work with some of the world’s most recognized entrepreneurship authorities including department faculty in management & entrepreneurship, finance, and marketing in the Kelley School, and faculty from the School of Public & Environmental Affairs.

About University of Florida-UF INNOVATE: The Hub | Sid Martin Biotech—Successfully transferring new discoveries to the marketplace is an important responsibility for one of the nation’s top public research universities. The University of Florida has earned a reputation as a leader in commercializing discoveries that cure diseases, create jobs and make the world a better place. This reputation is the result of the collaborative working relationship between faculty generating new discoveries and UF INNOVATE | Tech Licensing working to find commercial partners. Tech Licensing staff are dedicated to assisting UF employees who feel they have something new and useful, with patent or copyright potential. UF INNOVATE comprises the Tech Licensing Office, Sid Martin Biotech Incubator, The Hub Incubator, and UF Ventures.

UF INNOVATE consistently ranks among the top universities for startup launches and licensing. Since the office opened in 1985, it has launched nearly 200 biomedical and technology startups, generating more than $1 billion in private investment. In fiscal year 2015-16, OTL received 311 invention disclosures on $724 million in UF research, signed 122 licenses and options, and launched 17 companies.

About The NIICThe NIIC is a non-profit, vibrant entrepreneurial community. We help business builders and entrepreneurs launch and grow successful business ventures. Formed in 1999 by a consortium of community and government leaders and organizations in 2013, The NIIC was recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the top four under-the-radar incubators in the country. This basically means Entrepreneur magazine, with the help of International Business Incubation Association, picked four U.S. incubators to highlight, and we were one of them. In their words, we “stand out in a state not always perceived as small business friendly.” The NIIC is one of the country’s only ISO9001: 2008 registered business incubation and acceleration program. https://theniic.org/.


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