This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Technology Entrepreneurship Program set

New SOM program to focus on business aspects of technology commercialization

Published: January 6, 2005

Reporter Contributor

The School of Management has launched a new Technology Entrepreneurship Program designed to facilitate understanding of the important business aspects in the commercialization of technology.

The new program will focus on the school's initiatives in entrepreneurship education, particularly on creating and managing new technology-based companies.

The impetus for the program comes from a surge of interest in entrepreneurial activity at UB and a number of recent successes in which the SOM has played a major role.

Included among the successful building blocks for this new program are the school's growing relationships with the UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR) and Bufflink; budding outreaches to local, emerging high-tech companies; the addition of an Advisory Board of Senior Fellows in Entrepreneurship that features several prominent local entrepreneurs; an innovative Technology Entrepreneur Competition; and the creation of new courses in the areas of entrepreneurship and bio business.

"Over the past several years, we have had considerable success in helping to create new businesses and accelerate business growth for emerging companies," said John M. Thomas, SOM dean. "The time has come for us to formalize our efforts and take them to the next level."

John Hannon has been named director of the Technology Entrepreneurship Program.

An associate professor of entrepreneurship in the SOM, Hannon has more than 20 years of industry, consulting and academic experience. He joined the UB faculty in 2000 to start an entrepreneurship curriculum and since has taught more than 300 MBA students the finer points of entrepreneurship. He previously taught in the MBA program at Purdue University for seven years and also has taught in China, Japan and Singapore. He received his MBA from UB and his doctorate in human resource studies from Cornell University.

According to Hannon, several recent MBA graduates have started technology-based entrepreneurial ventures and their success has been another major source of momentum for the school. He estimates that the number of new companies started as a direct result of the SOM's recent entrepreneurship classes is approaching 10. Hannon would like to see that number grow by three to five per year.

"These dynamic and energetic entrepreneurs are symbolic of Buffalo's best hope. Most of them have significant work experience, but have chosen to forgo the corporate route, the 'primo' jobs at the Fortune 500 companies of the world, to build something of their own here in Western New York," Hannon says. "We need to dramatically increase our efforts to help them be successful."