I started and ran my own software company (2002-2009) that developed and sold a personal knowledge management application in 27 countries.  This venture began as a university project to assist students with managing the overwhelming amount of information they were receiving in their courses and to help them integrate it into a personally relevant knowledge structure.  I was able to raise $250,000 in start-up funding for this venture and have pitched to Angel Investor groups.  Creating and running a company was a tremendous experience from which I have gained skills in leadership, financial management and fund raising, marketing and promotion, intellectual property management and the patent application and review process.  We submitted a patent application and supported it through the second round of review. We also submitted an NSF small business development grant which was not funded but were offered funding from the Ben Franklin organization in Pennsylvania.  In addition to this business entrepreneurship experience I would suggest that the new programs that I have developed were also highly entrepreneurial.

Encouraging entrepreneurship in others.

As a business entrepreneur I recognize that it often takes 5 failures for each success achieved, and if we are learning from those failures to build toward that success it is worth the investment. I therefore encourage my faculty and staff to take informed risks, promote a culture in which it is safe to do so, and believe in celebrating both successes and failures.

To encourage student entrepreneurship Fort Hays State created The Center for Entrepreneurship which reported directly to me during my time as Provost.  This interdisciplinary center has a dedicated residence hall for students.  It also has endowed funding to support a director and staff, experiential activities, an Entrepreneurship Challenge, student business tours, guest speakers and panels, and some start-up funding.