IU shines in entrepreneurship

September 1, 2009
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Entrepreneurship has become one of the hottest areas of academic research in business schools. And, by at least one measure, Indiana University churns out the papers as well as any institution in the world.

The university proudly issued a release today pointing out that four of its entrepreneurship profs were named to a list of the 100 most prolific researchers in the field.

The list resulted from, you guessed it, a study. Howard University looked into which researchers and institutions published the most papers in academic journals.

Actually, IU was the only institution with four profs in the top 50.

Don Kuratko, who chairs IU’s Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, notes that when he got into the field 28 years ago at Ball State University, only five universities in the world studied entrepreneurship. Now, 2,000 offer bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

Driving the explosive growth is recognition that ideas and innovation create wealth. Think back to the devastating recessions of the early 1980s, Kuratko says. Times were bleak. But a young dynamo named Bob Laikin was convinced “car phones” were the future. Today, Plainfield-based Brightpoint is the largest cell phone distributor in the world.

Now, governors, mayors, CEOs and seemingly everyone else wants to encourage the Laikins among them.

What could university research possibly contribute to the person with the concept and the dream? Quite a bit, Kuratko contends.

Dean Shepherd, the second-most prolific scholar on the list, has delved into the grief entrepreneurs feel after a business fails. By borrowing from psychology, he’s helping entrepreneurs process the death of a business and get back on their feet to try again. Remember that many of the most successful entrepreneurs blow it repeatedly before getting it right.

Jeff Covin is learning how big corporations can instill the spirit of entrepreneurship within their workers. A CEO can’t just dictate, “Everyone be innovative!” Rather, what works is training employees to think like entrepreneurs. Sometimes just a few days of intensive training can change minds and attitudes, Kuratko says. The upshot is workers who think of ways to improve existing companies and dream up spin-off ventures that benefit the mother ship.

“This kind of research of truly driving the body of knowledge, so we’re truly helping everybody in the field,” Kuratko says.

What do you think about the research university business schools are doing? Any thoughts in particular about IU’s entrepreneurship program?


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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

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  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

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