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Faculty

Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

An entrepreneurial faculty.  Our faculty are thought leaders, doers, and creators. They are academics, entrepreneurs, and domain experts, transforming how entrepreneurship is taught and business is done. 

Helena Yli-Renko

Director, Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Orfalea Director's Chair in Entrepreneurship, and Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship

PhD, MS, Helsinki University of Technology

Helena Yli-Renko's research focuses on the growth and performance of young, technology-based firms; internationalization; new product development; and knowledge acquisition and social capital in interfirm relationships. She has published in Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Marketing, and Journal of Business Venturing, among others, and has won awards from the Academy of Management, the American Marketing Association, the Babson-Kauffman Entrepreneurship Research Conference, and the International Council for Small Business. Prior to joining USC, Professor Yli-Renko worked in consulting at McKinsey and Company and as Research Fellow at London Business School. She is Co-Founder of technology start-up Perception Robotics.

David Belasco

Executive Director, Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Violina Rindova

Captain Henry W. Simonsen Chair in Strategic Entrepreneurship, Director of Research for the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and Professor of Management and Organization

PhD, NYU

Violina Rindova teaches and studies strategic innovation -- how firms create value, intangible assets, and new market opportunities through unconventional strategies across a variety of industry contexts. Her work has been published in the premier management journals and has been covered frequently in the business media, including the Economist, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. She is the recipient of multiple grants and awards, including the “Thought Leadership” award from the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management (2009), and the award for outstanding scholarly contribution from Strategic Organization (2012). She served as an Associate Editor of the Academy of Management Review and is currently part of the leadership team of the Behavioral Strategy Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society.

Gregory Autry

Assistant Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship On leave for the spring 2017 semester

Greg Autry researches the role of government in shaping the environment in which new industries and organizations emerge. His research context is the New Space business, where startup firms are commercializing space launch, spacecraft, and related services. Dr. Autry has been a serial entrepreneur in video games, computer services, Internet content, enterprise applications, health care IT and material upcycling. He publishes in business and aerospace journals as well as the popular press. He serves on the editorial board of the New Space Journal. He has a passion for restoring American manufacturing jobs and serves on the board of the Coalition for a Prosperous America and the American Jobs Alliance. Prior to joining the Greif Center, Dr. Autry taught entrepreneurship, strategy and economics at UC Irvine.

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Anthony Bailey

Corporate and international entrepreneurship
Office: VKC 363
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Anthony Borquez

Technology entrepreneurship
Office: JFF 500

Lien Denoo

Postdoctoral Scholar and Teaching Fellow

Lien Denoo’s research focuses on the business model development of nascent and young technology ventures, on resource acquisition and market creation processes by entrepreneurs and on the growth of new ventures in emerging industries. Lien is also actively involved in the research program of the Innovation Node – Los Angeles I-Corps program. Lien has published several book chapters on new venture evolution and has presented her work at leading international conferences. For her dissertation, she received the Academy of Management’s 2016 Heizer award for best doctoral dissertation on new enterprise development. Prior to joining USC, Lien obtained her PhD in management and entrepreneurship from Ghent University

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Glenn R. Fox

USC Peak Performance Institute
Office: JFF 507

Abby Fifer Mandell

Assistant Director

Elissa Grossman

Associate Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship

PhD, MBA, UCLA; MS, London School of Economics; BA, Harvard University

Elissa's research concerns social networks in new venturing – encompassing traditional network development for startup resource acquisition and, more recently, crowd-funding. Her work has been published in journals including Journal of Management and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. Before joining USC, Elissa was on the faculties of Loyola Marymount University and Baruch College. Elissa has received national and university awards for excellence in both research and teaching. Early in her career, Professor Grossman worked in brand and marketing management for companies including Procter & Gamble, Sun Microsystems, and LiveCapital (a start-up acquired by Dun & Bradstreet).

Christopher Harrer

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

BBA, Loyola Marymount University; MBA University of Southern California; MSBA University of Southern California

Christopher J. Harrer is a successful entrepreneur and educator with over 30 years experience in the finance, real estate, and service industries. He is an Adjunct Professor at the USC Marshall School of Business and has been teaching at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies since 2002 and has won the student-voted Golden Apple Teaching Award.

An accomplished entrepreneur in the hospitality and information management industries, Harrer was the founder of United Document Storage LLC and Pacifico’s LLC prior to successfully selling both companies.

Patrick Henry

Assistant Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship

MBA, University of Southern California; BS, CSU-Northridge

Patrick Henry's expertise is in applying theories of social networking into career and business development efforts for professionals. He received Marshall's Golden Apple Award in 2006 and 2012. He also received the Ivan C. Thompson Award for Mentoring of Students. Professor Henry was member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Corporate Growth, Los Angeles Chapter, and the President's Circle in the Town Hall of Los Angeles. He currently heads the Referral Engine Company which teaches social networking as a business development tool to professionals in organizations like Bank of America, Deloitte & Touche, White & Case, Comerica Bank and Smith Barney/Citibank.

Jessica Jackley

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Jill Kickul

Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship and Research Director, Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab

Jill was formerly at NYU’s Stern School of Business as Director of Social Entrepreneurship and the Chair for the 30-course MBA specialization in social Innovation and Impact. She is the Founding Director of the Annual Conference on Social Entrepreneurship, the largest academic conference in the field. She has published more than 100 articles in leading entrepreneurship and management journals and her bestselling book, Understanding Social Entrepreneurship has been adopted in over 80 universities. Jill is the Editor of the Social Entrepreneurship Journal and her work on entrepreneurship education has been nationally recognized by Fortune as a Top 10 Innovative Program.

Thomas Knapp

Associate Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship, Academic Director of the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program

MBA, BS, University of Southern California

Knapp is the former Associate Director and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship in the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. His teachings encompass all facets of entrepreneurial studies including Venture Management, Feasibility Analysis, Business Planning and Launching. Knapp developed the “E”-Challenge and a new course for students involved in a family firm: Entrepreneurial Family Business. A two-time Golden Apple Award winner for outstanding teaching as voted on by the student body. Knapp is founder of Club Sportswear and Honolua Surf Co, an Action Sports Industry leader, and partner in Blue Jay Bay Ventures a real-estate investment firm.

Scott Lenet

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Steven Mednick

Associate Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship

JD, MPA, University of Southern California; BA, UCLA

Steven Mednick is an expert in entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship, strategic alliances and angel funding. He is the past Associate Director of Marshall’s Center for Global Innovation and is an author and frequent speaker in the field. Professor Mednick currently teaches in the Marshall MBA, EMBA and Master of Medical Management programs and is a two-time winner of the Marshall Golden Apple teaching award. Outside of USC, he has advised over 500 early stage companies through his ten-year relationship with the Small Business Administration. Steve’s clients have reported over $620 million in economic impact to the SBA, and he has been awarded the SBA’s State Star for outstanding performance.

Gene Miller

Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship

JD, New York University; MBA, Harvard University; BS, New York University

Gene Miller has consulted for a variety of organizations, including the Sound Advance Systems, Rockwell Science Center, Munger, Towles and Olsen, and Akin, Gump. He has served as a Member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara.

Justin Miller

Assistant Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship

Albert Napoli

Lecturer of Clinical Entrepreneurship

Ivan Nikkhoo

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

MBA, USC; B. Eng. McGill University

Ivan Nikkhoo is an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. He began his education in Montreal, and moved to the US for his MBA, after which he moved to France. He is the Managing Director of N3 Capital, a catalyst to help entrepreneurs create and grow disruptive technology platforms by providing seed and early stage investing, raising growth capital, and offering guidance and strategic board advisory services.

Paul Orfalea

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea grew a single copy shop into the industry leader with 1200 branches worldwide and over 23,000 co-workers. Much of Kinko's success is grounded in Orfalea’s passion for retailing, his insistence on taking care of his co-workers and customers, and a sharp eye for opportunity. Orfalea retired in 2000 and is no longer involved with Kinko's. Orfalea has always invested in real estate, stocks and opportunities ranging from small business ventures to entire chains. Orfalea is in demand for public speaking and lectures at colleges nationwide. His family's philanthropic foundation supports early care and education in California.

Paul Orlando

Director of USC Incubator Program & Adjunct Professor for the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

MBA, Columbia University; BA, Cornell University

Paul Orlando focuses on getting startups to succeed. As Director of the USC Incubator (http://startUSC.com), he works with businesses founded by USC students, alumni, and faculty. Incubator startups have been funded, run crowdfunding campaigns, shipped product, and have been acquired. Paul teaches Feasibility Analysis, Growth Hacking, and the Digital Startup Launchpad. Before USC, he co-founded AcceleratorHK, Hong Kong's first startup accelerator, which recently had a portfolio exit. Previously, he co-founded a startup that developed new communication technology and won at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon. He wrote the book Startup Sacrilege about thriving outside the tech hubs. Paul's work has been featured in media including Forbes, TechCrunch and the Wall Street Journal.

Molly Schmid

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Fran Seegull

Fran Seegull is Executive Director of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance which seeks to increase awareness of impact investing in the United States, foster deployment of and demand for impact capital across asset classes globally, and partner with stakeholders, including government, to build the impact investing ecosystem. Previously, she was Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director at ImpactAssets. Seegull has a BS in Economics from Barnard/Columbia University and an MBA from Harvard University. She is a Senior Fellow at the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab and tweets on impact investing at @franseegull.

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Ashish Soni

Entrepreneur-in-Residence
Office: JFF 500

Mark Stagen

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Mark Stagen is a serial entrepreneur who has been successfully founding companies since he was a teenager.
His two current companies are XLN (www.xln.network) and Emerald Health Services (www.emeraldhs.com). Prior to these companies, Mark was involved with firms in the technology, consumer products and real estate sectors.
Mark also founded the non-profit YBA (www.youthbizalliance.com), which teaches inner city high school students about business.
Mark is actively involved in many organizations including YPO, and EY Entrepreneur of the Year program as a Judge. Mark received his BA in three years from Yale and was a member of the Football Team.

Noam Wasserman

Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship and Founding Director, Founder Central

PhD, MA, Harvard University; MBA, Harvard Business School; BSE, Penn Engineering; BS, Wharton School of Finance

Noam Wasserman is founding director of USC’s Founder Central initiative. Before returning home to L.A., he was a professor at Harvard Business School for 13 years. His book, The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup, was an Amazon #1 bestseller in Management and won the Academy of Management’s Impact on Practice award. Noam created HBS’s most popular entrepreneurship elective, “Founder’s Dilemmas,” for which he won the Faculty Teaching Award. He also taught the course at Stanford Engineering, where he received a perfect teaching rating. Noam’s research has been published in top academic journals and national periodicals.

Peter Weinbach

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Adlai Wertman

David C. Bohnett Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, Founding Director, Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab

MBA, University of Pennsylvania; BA, SUNY at Stony Brook

Adlai Wertman spent seven years as President and CEO of Chrysalis, the only non-profit in Los Angeles devoted solely to helping homeless change their lives through employment. Prior to Chrysalis, Professor Wertman spent 18 years as Managing Director and Manager of Prudential Securities' West Coast Public Investment Banking Group. He has taught non-profit management at UCLA, and is a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and a Wexner Heritage Fellow. Professor Wertman consults with not-for-profits and government groups on fundraising, strategic planning, and governance, and is a frequent speaker on social responsibility, social enterprise and public/private partnerships.

Scott Yamano

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Pai-Ling Yin

Associate Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship and Director, Technology Commercialization Initiative

PhD, Stanford; MSc, London School of Economics; BA, BS, Indiana University

Pai-Ling Yin is an Associate Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship and Director of the Technology Commercialization Initiative. She co-founded the Mobile Innovation Group (http://mig.stanford.edu) to research the mobile app ecosystem, from industry evolution to platform competition to entrepreneurial strategy. Pai-Ling received her economics PhD from Stanford. She was a professor of strategy at Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan and a research scholar at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. She has written numerous cases on technology and strategy and research papers on platform competition and innovation diffusion. She co-owns a small business, FitLAB Pilates, in Cambridge, MA.

Kathleen Allen

Professor Emeritus of Clinical Entrepreneurship

PhD, University of Southern California; MA, UCLA; MBA, BA, CSU

Kathleen Allen, PhD is Professor Emeritus of Entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business where she founded and led the USC Marshall Center for Technology Commercialization. She is the author of multiple books and journal articles in the fields of entrepreneurship and technology. In 2014, she was selected as Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year by the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Her personal entrepreneurial endeavors include co-founding five companies and serving as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at a major aerospace firm. She is on the board of directors of an S&P 500 company as well as several private companies.

William Crookston

Professor Emeritus of Clinical Entrepreneurship

PhD, Claremont Graduate School; MS, MBA, University of Southern California; BA, Stanford University

Bill Crookston combines a career in sales, sales management and entrepreneurship with teaching, consulting and coaching emergent companies. His interest is in sales and sales management and social entrepreneurship. He serves on various NFP boards. Professor Crookston received Marshall's Golden Apple Award in 2004 and 2010. In 2003 he received the Community Service Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice. Professor Crookston is the former owner and president of Western Badge and Trophy Company. He has consulted for a variety of programs and continues to consult in managing and marketing at WHC Associates.

Thomas O'Malia

Professor Emeritus of Clinical Entrepreneurship (Deceased)

MBA, Claremont Graduate School; MBA, University of Scranton; BS, King's College

Tom O'Malia's entire career experience has been in entrepreneurial ventures and teaching. His teaching experience has been extensive with the highlight being more than two decades of service to the University of Southern California. His entrepreneurial ventures have included the successful startup, growth, and sale of a software technology company. Consulting experiences include turnarounds of five troubled companies including the successful sale of three and, being a key team member in the startup of two ventures, one of which is now NASDAQ listed.