Research Foundation News

April 4, 2019

Entrepreneurial academy advances Purdue faculty commercialization possibilities

Tillmann Kubis Tillmann Kubis, a research assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, gives a presentation on QUAIL Modeling LLC, which he co-founded. The company is developing a method to accurately and efficiently predict chemical reactions in liquid solutions, which would help agribusinesses, fuel companies, food makers, cosmetic industry and many other businesses. (Purdue Research Foundation image/Hope Sale) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Entrepreneurial Learning Academy is accepting applications from Purdue University faculty interested in finding out more about the commercialization possibilities for their research.

Tenured or tenure-track faculty including research and clinical faculty are eligible.

“The academy introduces faculty to the vast resources available throughout the Purdue entrepreneurial ecosystem, provides them with the essential skill sets needed for entrepreneurs and innovators and offers extensive networking opportunities,” said Arnold Chen, the managing director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Purdue.

Since the academy was founded in 2007, 146 faculty members from every college at Purdue have participated. In the past five years, 36 percent of participants have gone on to develop a new business venture based on an idea they introduced during the program.

“Faculty usually don’t think of themselves as entrepreneurs.  However, there are a lot of parallels between a faculty member and an entrepreneur: Both need to raise funding, hire employees and learn how to effectively pitch their ideas,” Chen said.

Mohammad Jahanshahi Mohammad Jahanshahi, an assistant professor in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, gives a presentation during a session of the Entrepreneurial Learning Academy. Since the academy was founded in 2007, 146 faculty members from every college at Purdue University have participated. (Purdue Research Foundation image/Hope Sale) Download image

Participants meet weekly for two hours throughout the fall and spring semesters and learn how to effectively conduct market research, create business model canvases, reach customers, oversee entrepreneurial finances and how to pitch their ideas. At the conclusion of the program, participants pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, who award prize money is that can be used as a seed fund to help them launch their startups.

To enter, each participating faculty member will need to come up with an idea or technology they are interested in moving through the commercialization process.

There are currently nine faculty members in the 2018-19 cohort. Faculty members who have participated in previous years are eligible to participate again if they have a new idea or technology that they want to introduce. Interested faculty members should submit a two-page overview of their idea or technology, a two-page CV and a letter of support from their department head. Email applications to Emily Bear at

More information about the academy can be found here.

About the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

Discovery Park’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is Purdue University’s gateway for innovation and entrepreneurship on campus. It houses a number of programs and competitions for student and faculty entrepreneurs designed to encourage innovation and discover big ideas that have potential to benefit society. The Burton D. Morgan Center works closely with the Purdue Foundry and Purdue Ventures to enhance the university’s robust entrepreneurial ecosystem and to provide meaningful access to capital and talent for Purdue entrepreneurs. The center also houses the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, which is administered through Purdue’s Office of the Provost, and is the primary vehicle for delivering entrepreneurship education to over 1,800 students across campus each year.

Writer: Zeina Kayyali,

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Tom Coyne, 765-588-1044,

Source: Arnold Chen,

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