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.
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. She serves on the editorial review boards of Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management Studies, and Journal of Business Venturing. Prior to joining USC, Professor Yli-Renko worked in consulting at McKinsey and Company and as Research Fellow at London Business School. She was Co-Founder of technology start-up Perception Robotics, which was acquired by OnRobot A/S. Yli-Renko currently serves on the boards of OnRobot and Gamma Alloys.
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.
PhD, MBA, University of California, Irvine
Greg Autry researches the influence of government in the emergence of new industries. His context is the New Space business: startups commercializing spaceflight. Dr. Autry served on the NASA Agency Review Team and as White House Liaison at NASA. He serves on the editorial board of the New Space Journal. His insights on entrepreneurship and space frequently appear in major international news outlets. Dr. Autry been a serial entrepreneur in video games, computer services, Internet content, enterprise applications, health care IT and material upcycling. Prior to joining the Greif Center, Dr. Autry taught entrepreneurship, strategy and economics at UC Irvine.
Anthony Bailey is USC’s Vice President for Strategic and Global Initiatives. He is tasked with building the university’s brand and recruitment efforts globally and leads various strategic growth initiatives. These include expanding USC’s international offices, launching a number of new schools and programs, and serving as founding dean of the USC Bovard College.
Before joining USC, Bailey built Kaplan International Colleges, a chain of 44 schools with operations in 20 countries through organic growth and acquisitions and launched an automotive service company in Brazil.
He holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business and a doctorate in Higher Education Management from UPenn.
Doctorate, MA, MS and BS all from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Anthony Borquez is an expert at building and scaling creative tech businesses. He is Founder and CEO of Grab, a leader in augmented and virtual reality. He also founded Blue Label Games, an early leader in mobile game development, later acquired by Konami. Prior to Blue Label, Anthony co-founded Spacient Technologies, a location-based mobile startup acquired by Trimble.
Anthony has been teaching at USC for 20+ years. He currently teaches BAEP 465 Digital Playbook for Entrepreneurs: Creating a Tech Startup.
Anthony holds a Doctorate, MA, MS and BS all from the University of Southern California.
BA, MBA, Harvard University
Jeremy Dann has served as an innovation consultant from 2000 to the present, working with such companies as Daimler-Benz, Levi Strauss, Spalding, Lockheed Martin, Guidant and General Electric. Jeremy has collaborated closely with Harvard Business School professor and innovation authority Clayton Christensen—author of The Innovator’s Dilemma—on many research, case development and consulting projects.
JD, BA, Case Western Reserve University
Luke Dauchot is a trial lawyer who focuses his practice on intellectual property and complex commercial cases. He has first-chaired many civil jury trials, obtaining some of the highest jury awards in venues throughout the country. His practice extends to appeals; he has appeared and argued before state and federal courts of appeals, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Luke also appears and argues before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
JD, University of Chicago Law School; BA, University of Michigan
During her career in the entertainment industry, Laura was responsible for overseeing business and legal affairs for the DreamWorks SKG movie division, and was the VP of Legal Affairs for Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures. Since leaving DreamWorks, she has served on many nonprofit boards and as a guest lecturer at UCLA. She is currently the Board Chair of P.S. Arts and a member of the Board of City Year Los Angeles. She received a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Michigan, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School
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).
BS, UCLA; MBA, University of Southern California
Founder and CEO of POPmedia Brands, and PopStar Club, Inc., Sherry Gunther Shugerman is an award-winning producer, media executive, and entrepreneur. She’s produced animated hits such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, Rugrats, Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, The Powerpuff Girls, Looney Tunes; and headed production at Hanna Barbera, Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox Television, Nickelodeon, and more. At PopStar Club, Inc., Sherry created and launched The Beatrix Girls, a multi-platform media brand of fashion dolls. POPmedia Brands focuses on creating, developing and launching multi-platform media brands. Sherry is the recipient of two Emmys, a Cable Ace award, and a Humanitas Award.
PhD, University of Virginia, MBA, Harvard Business School; BA, Harvard University
Susan's research focuses on the intersection of entrepreneurship and ethics and the transformative potential of entrepreneurship education. An expert on the case method of instruction, she founded the International Case Method Institute (ICMI) LLC and serves as a Facilitator for Harvard Business Publishing. She is the author of dozens of Harvard Business School case studies and has taught executive education, conducted seminars on pedagogy and developed tailored cases for clients all over the world. Her research in entrepreneurship and business ethics has appeared in top journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, The Journal of Business Venturing, Business Ethics Quarterly and The Journal of Business Ethics.
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.
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.
PhD Oklahoma State University; M.A., B.A. Oral Roberts University
Dr. Benjamin Houltberg is the Director of Research at the USC Performance Science Institute. Benjamin is a developmental scientist by training and is widely published in topics such as family socialization of emotion regulation, promoting resilience through adversity and the importance of healthy identity development and emotional wellbeing for high performance. He is also a licensed counselor that conducts applied research to inform training for entrepreneurs, athletes, and community members, while informing theories on mindset and performance.
MBA, Stanford University; BA, Bucknell University
An entrepreneur and investor, Jessica’s work has focused on financial inclusion, the sharing economy, and social justice. She is best known as a cofounder of Kiva, the world's first p2p microlending website. Kiva lets internet users lend as little as $25 to individual entrepreneurs, providing affordable capital to start or expand a small business. Since its founding in October 2005 Kiva has facilitated over $1B in loans worldwide. Jessica teaches Social Entrepreneurship at the Marshall School of Business. She’s also an independent consultant on social impact initiatives, and an investor and advisor with the Collaborative Fund and SparkLabs Global Ventures.
B.S. in Business Administration, CSUN ; MS in Entrereneurship and Innovation, USC Marshall School of Business
If you ever sat in the audience when Kimberly was speaking on entrepreneurship, you were immediately captivated by her deep knowledge and passion for helping entrepreneurs accelerate their business growth. Kimberly Kelly-Rolfe is a premier business trainer, professor of entrepreneurship in USC Marshall School of Business, and Director of the USC Greif Center’s Certified Business Enterprise Supplier Training (CBEST), an accelerator for businesses seeking corporate and government contracts. She is best known for training entrepreneurs throughout Southern California to grow in business by leveraging contracts and for her previous work as the founder/CEO of Kelly Rolfe Financial Services.
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.
MBA, BS, University of Southern California
Knapp is the Academic Director of the Master's of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and an Associate 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 three-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.
MBA, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania; BA, Princeton University
Scott Lenet runs the LA office of Touchdown Ventures. He began his venture capital career in 1992 as the first associate at Geocapital Partners, a late stage venture capital firm focused on technology investments. In 2002, Scott co-founded DFJ Frontier, an early stage fund making west coast investments for the DFJ Network. Following his initial experience as a venture capitalist, he worked in product marketing for Trilogy Software in Austin, Texas, and was the co-founder & CEO of SmartFrog.com, the first cash-back rewards program for online shopping, which he sold to Cybergold. Scott co-founded Touchdown in 2014 with David Horowitz and Rich Grant, and has diverse investment interests, including media, information services, consumer products, and healthcare. He has been teaching entrepreneurship at the graduate level for 18 years, eight of those at Marshall USC.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Entrepreneurial Management Unit, Harvard Business School; PhD in Business History, University of Goettingen, Germany; MA in History and Business Administration, University of Goettingen, Germany
Christina Lubinski is a visiting professor at USC’s Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and leads its entrepreneurial-history activities. A historian by training, she uses historical sources and reasoning to study entrepreneurial imagination and action over time. Christina has published in leading journals in both management (Organization Studies, Journal of Family Business Strategy) and history (Business History Review, Business History) and is currently writing a monograph on entrepreneurial collaborations between German businesses and Indian nationalists over the twentieth century. She has won the Henrietta Larson and Oxford Journals Article Prizes as well as several teaching awards at Copenhagen Business School, where she holds an appointment as Associate Professor.
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.
BA, University of Maryland; Omnicom Advanced Management Program, Babson College
Michael Napoliello is a lifelong entrepreneur who loves teaching. The company he co-founded in his college dorm (U.S. Marketing & Promotions, www.themarketingarm.com, now part of Omnicom) is currently the leading promotional marketing agency in the country. Napoliello is currently a movie and television producer and a founding board member at Radar Pictures, known for hit films such as “The Last Samurai,” “Spring Breakers,” “Riddick” and "Jumanji." He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed.
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 Partner of Navigate Ventures, an early growth stage venture fund focused on helping entrepreneurs prepare for rapid growth, scaling, and expansion. Navigate ventures invests in companies that are between A & B rounds, and is focused on Software, AI, Data & Analytics, and Consumer Internet. NV partners bring significant experience, deep domain expertise, and a broad base of contacts and resources to each investment.
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.
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.
PhD, University of Oregon; BS, MS, National University of Singapore
Smrithi Prasad completed her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in Social and Personality Psychology. Prior to that, she earned her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Her primary research examines how events in our social environment – like acute social stressors and competitive outcomes – may modulate the influence of biological and psychological processes in motivating social and economic decision-making behaviors. Her questions are informed by theories and methods from social psychology and behavioral endocrinology using both laboratory paradigms and naturalistic field methodologies.
BA, Marquette University; Post Graduate Certification, Stanford University Publishing Course
Marianne Szymanski is the founder and creator of the TOY TIPS brand and publisher of toytips.com. She has talked toys on Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, and Oprah. She is the co-author of Toy Tips: A Parent's Essential Guide to Smart Toy Choices and creator of Toy Tips and Parenting Hints Magazine. Szymanski, who started her company at 23 with just a great idea, will share her knowledge of bootstrapping a business with Greif's graduate and undergraduate entrepreneurship students.
BA, New York University; MBA, University of Southern California
Selina Troesch spent her early career at Barclays in New York. Her career at Barclays spanned risk management, securitized products valuation, commercial real estate valuation, and capital management. A Silicon Valley native, she left Wall Street to invest in the innovators with whom she grew up. Selina graduated Summa Cum Laude from New York University with a degree in math and economics and top of her MBA class from the University of Southern California. She earned the CFA designation in 2012. She joined Touchdown Ventures in 2014 and is now a Senior Associate, helping corporations operate their VC programs.
BA, UCLA; JD, Harvard Law School
Ben Van de Bunt is an entrepreneur and co-owner of Cypress Creek Renewables, Paramount Equity, LoanPal, FHR, Nestidd and Rosewood Homes. Previously, Ben worked at Guthy-Renker, serving as CEO and President for over 15 years. Since leaving Guthy-Renker, Ben has made many venture capital and social entrepreneurial investments in start-ups and serves and served on many various boards of directors, including Houlihan Lokey, Solar City, St. Johns Hospital and the Watts Learning Center. Ben has been married for 28 years, has two daughters and is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School.
BA, Yale University; PhD, University of Pennsylvania
A business historian by training, Dan Wadhwani’s research and teaching examines how entrepreneurial processes drive industrial and institutional change. At USC he is developing and teaching a course in entrepreneurial history. He has published in leading journals in management (Academic of Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies) and business history (Business History Review, Business History), and is co-editor of Organizations in Time: History, Theory, Methods (Oxford University Press, 2014). Dan’s primary appointment is as Fletcher Jones Professor of Entrepreneurship at University of the Pacific. He holds visiting appointments at Copenhagen Business School and Kyoto University. He is also a Venture Partner at Impact Venture Capital.
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.
MBA, BS, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania; MA, University of Pennsylvania
Mr. Weinbach has 20+ years’ experience in senior roles in private equity and investment banking.
He is a Senior Managing Director at Rippowam Partners, Managing Director/Co-Founder of Yankee Hill Capital and Vice Chairman/Board Member of Great Western Products. Previously, Mr. Weinbach was a Managing Director and Investment Committee Member at AIG Horizon Partners and Vice President of Apax Partners. He’s served on Boards of Directors for a range of industries including consumer, media and software. Mr. Weinbach was a Director of Furman Selz’s Investment Banking Group and a Vice President at Citibank/Salomon Smith Barney’s Investment Bank in Mergers and Acquisitions.
MBA, University of Pennsylvania; BA, SUNY at Stony Brook
Adlai Wertman is the David C. Bohnett Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School. He is the founding Director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab, as well as the Academic Director of the Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship and the Warren Bennis Scholars programs. Before USC, Adlai spent seven years as CEO of Chrysalis — an LA social enterprise devoted to helping homeless through employment. Prior to Chrysalis, Adlai spent 18 years as an investment banker. He earned his BA in economics from SUNY Stony Brook and his MBA in finance from The Wharton School.
BS, University Southern California; EMBA, Pepperdine University
Mike West has been involved in the branded consumer product space for nearly 30 years. He founded 686 technical apparel in 1992 from a business plan as a student while enrolled in the USC Entrepreneur Program. Since then, he’s co-founded several other lifestyle business’s in the Fashion, Digital and Logistics industries including Matix, Westwell, MAEKAN and NRI Distribution which is the largest North American 3PL provider in the Action and Outdoor Market. Mike sits on the executive board of Snow Sports Industries America and is an avid Surfer, Snowboarder, Runner, Yogi and Explorer.
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.
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.
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.
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.