Throughout each Academic Year, we organize a diverse slate of educational, inspirational, thought-provoking, and fun events that allow students, faculty, and guests to meet, discuss, debate, contemplate, learn, and celebrate. These include mixers, interviews, talks, workshops/colloquia, performances, and an end-of-year celebration designed to provide those associated with the Greif Center a chance to honor and experience entrepreneurship through others’ successes (and failures!) – a chance to understand entrepreneurship as a creative source of not only businesses and jobs, but also new knowledge and friendships.
Each year, we organize a variety of social networking events that provide our entrepreneurship students and founders a chance to build networks and perhaps even founding teams. Our mixer calendar includes events that are both program-specific and interdisciplinary, encompassing semi-annual get-togethers for each specific student group (undergraduate, MBA, MSEI, MSSE, Master of Business for Veterans) and to support various student clubs.
ATHENA Women's Entrepreneurship Summit
ATHENA brings hundreds of women and allies to campus each year for a day that celebrates female entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders through keynotes, interactive panels, fireside chats, networking, performances, and a pitch competition. Designed for everyone, ranging from those with an early interest in entrepreneurship to those who are accomplished CEO/founders, attendees hear and share in the perspectives of those early in their entrepreneurial journey to those – like Jane Wurwand of Dermalogica, Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields of Proactiv, and Gwyneth Paltrow of GOOP – with success stories that inspire and instruct. Additional information about the ATHENA Summit can be found here.
Founder Central Symposia
Founder Central organizes and hosts an annual symposium to which faculty from USC and elsewhere are invited, for the purpose of diving deeply into specific facets of entrepreneurship teaching and research. In 2019, a Historical Entrepreneurship symposium was convened at the Greif Center, bringing together a group of expert historians and entrepreneurship scholars from top institutions worldwide. In 2018, a symposium focused on Founder’s Dilemmas was held at the Academy of Management meeting in Chicago, focused on the classroom materials, experiential exercises, and instructional issues key to enhancing classroom student skills in and understanding of founder challenges. In 2019, we plan to organize an Entrepreneurial Ethics symposium. For more information about Founder Central, click here.
SCALE: The Future of Tech & Entertainment
A biennial conference hosted by the Greif Center, in partnership with the Marshall School and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, SCALE brings together thought and business leaders to share their thoughts about the “what next” of our most dynamic industries – those anchored in or vital to Southern California, creating the future of artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, digital media, gaming and e-sports. Past speakers have included Robert Iger (Disney), LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard (Imagine Entertainment), Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill (Riot Games), Santiago Chamarro (General Motors), Sarah Harden (Otter Media), Cindy Eckert (Sprout Pharmaceuticals), Tom Penn (LA Football Club), plus leaders from Magic Leap, Meta, and Google Tango. For more information about SCALE can be found here.
Entrepreneurship Seminar Series
Each academic year, the Greif Center, in partnership with Marshall’s Management and Organization Department, invites luminary entrepreneurship researchers from around the world to visit us, present their recent work, and meet with interested students and faculty. Those to visit most recently include:
- Saras Sarasvathy, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
- Paul Godfrey, Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University
- Michael Leiblein, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University
- Howard Aldrich, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Aaron (Ronnie) Chatterji, Duke University
- Toby Stuart, Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, UC Berkeley
- Rajshree Agarwal, R.H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland
- Woody Powell, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
For more information about the Entrepreneurship Seminar Series or about academic research programming more generally, click here.
SoCal Commercial Space Initiative Workshop
Each year, the Greif Center hosts an SCCSI workshop that draws in top entrepreneurs, policy-makers, researchers, faculty, and students to discuss the present and future of space technology and exploration. Past speakers have included Former NASA administrator, astronaut, and USC alumnus General Charlie Bolden, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides, and Executive Secretary of the Natonal Space Council Dr. Scott Pace. More information about the SCCSI workshop and our efforts in space entrepreneurship more generally can be found here.
Entrepreneur of the Year
Each year, we celebrate entrepreneurial excellence by conferring two awards that honor their recipients’ entrepreneurial spirit and transformative business efforts: Entrepreneur of the Year and the Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year. Past honorees are listed below.
University Venturing Summit
For many years, the Greif Center invited its alumni back for a special single-day event during which they can network, reconnect with early mentors and friends, make new connections, hear talks from expert in our local entrepreneurial ecosystem, and reminisce. In 2019, Networking Day returns after a brief hiatus, to re-establish a long-held tradition in a new and current way. If you’re an alumna or alumnus who wants to be kept updated, click here.
Marcia Israel Awards Banquet
The Greif Center wraps up each Spring semester with a celebration of those who matter most: our students. We recognize those from each degree program who have risen above as dedicated, innovative, forward-thinking entrepreneurial thinkers and doers; announce the winners of our New Venture Seed Competition; award scholarships to those whose work and entrepreneurial commitment merit additional academic funding; and honor absolutely everyone for successful completion of another school year.