50 Years of Entrepreneurship at USC

The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies celebrates its 50th anniversary; it was the first integrated entrepreneurship program at a business school back in 1972

November 07, 2022
Attendees of Greif 50th anniversary
Staff, faculty, students, alumni and friends were all in attendance Nov. 1 at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. 

USC Marshall celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies among several hundred students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and entrepreneurs atop the iconic USC Coliseum on November 1, 2022.

Marshall Dean Geoff Garrett observed that when USC first launched its program in 1972, years before the world knew of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, few people knew was an entrepreneur was. The next 50 years proved the business school incredibly prescient.

“Entrepreneurs are in the business of turning ideas into outcomes, ideas that have changed and will continue to change the world,” he said. Marshall has played a powerful role in turbocharging the entrepreneurship revolution.

Today the Greif Center is the hub for USC’s student entrepreneurship eco-system, with an ever-evolving core of more than 50 classes across undergraduate and graduate programs, including two popular master’s degree programs, the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MSEI) and the Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship (MSSE). The Greif Case Collection includes nearly 100 teaching cases, often LA-business focused, that are used as case studies by business schools around the world. The Greif Center also hosts prominent conferences such as the Athena Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit as well as pitch competitions and hackathons.

The Center’s Director Elissa Grossman emphasized that Greif Center’s impact extends well beyond the classroom through its support of student entrepreneurs. The Marshall/Greif Incubator and its Blackstone Launchpad have helped launch hundreds of startup companies since its inception in 2015, including one that recently was recognized by the United Nations. The Marshall Venture Fund teaches students about venture capital by investing real money in promising startups.

The Greif Center also supports popular student entrepreneurship clubs such as Troy Labs and its signature Demo Day, and blockchain@USC, which recently partnered with the Van Eck Digital Assets Initiative. on a major blockchain for business conference.

“Entrepreneurs are alchemists,” said Lloyd Greif MBA ’79 whose generous gift endowed the Center in 1998. “They add value to existence, turning iron into gold, through strength of will, intelligence, and a determination to succeed.”