Kent State's College of Business Administration Associate Dean Named to Startup Officers Leadership Council

Robert D. Hisrich, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate and international programs and Bridgestone Chair in International Marketing in Kent State University’s College of Business Administration, has been named to the Startup Officers Leadership Council. 

The Startup Officers Leadership Council is a new, invitation-only group launched by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2). Hisrich and other council members will be tasked with finding improvements to the university-corporate-startup ecosystem, providing congressional staffers ideas for legislation to fill the “funding gap” and provide infrastructure funding to universities and to lead the university community on corporate interaction, gap funding advocacy, University Startups Demo Days and conferences. 

“This is an excellent opportunity for Kent State’s College of Business Administration to be represented on a national level with industry leaders in technology and business,” said Deborah Spake, Ph.D., dean of the college. “This is one of the many exciting projects Associate Dean Hisrich has been involved with due to his extensive entrepreneurial experience and business expertise.”

Hisrich joined Kent State in 2015. Formerly the director of the Walker Center of Global Entrepreneurship at Thunderbird School of Global Management, he has served as visiting and honorary professor at more than eight universities in six different countries. He has co-authored 40 books and has written more than 300 articles on entrepreneurship, international business management and marketing, which have appeared in numerous academic journals.

The council’s first task will be participating in the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer’s inaugural University Startups Demo Day on Sept. 20. According to the organization’s website, the event will provide an opportunity for corporate open innovation and venturing groups to discover, review, partner with and fund university startups. In addition, the event will raise awareness in Congress of the pivotal role that universities play in the formation of high-potential startups, the creation of high-value jobs across the country and overall national competitiveness.

Hisrich sees the appointment as an opportunity to help develop technological innovation on college campuses nationally. According to the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, the federal government invests more than $130 billion in research and development at universities and federal laboratories each year. Although most research is federally funded, it is ultimately the vision of university-entrepreneurs and private investors that an improved university-corporate-startup ecosystem would better convert research into commercial products. 

“So much of the technology developed in the university setting languishes rather than be developed further, and I see this as an opportunity to help correct that problem through training, fundraising and advocacy,” Hisrich said. 

For more information about the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, visit

For more information about Kent State’s College of Business Administration, visit

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Media Contacts:
Joni Bowen,, 330-672-1279
Michelle Manning,, 330-672-2717
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 18, 2024 04:16 AM
Joni Bowen