from Provost David Lee
Princeton's faculty, students, staff and alumni are increasingly interested in exploring Princeton's emerging role in the area of entrepreneurship. This theme arose during President Eisgruber's listening tour on campus last spring and has intensified in the intervening months.
The number of entrepreneurship-related activities, curricular or otherwise, being offered on the Princeton campus has grown considerably in recent years. These activities range from undergraduate and graduate course offerings such as "Entrepreneurial Leadership," "Social Entrepreneurship: Ventures to Address Global Challenges," and "High-Tech Entrepreneurship"; to internships coordinated through the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, the Pace Center, the International Internship Program, and Career Services; to a Summer Accelerator Program; to broad student-led programing coordinated through groups such as the Entrepreneurship Club and the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative. Enrollment and participation rates have closely paralleled the growth of such offerings.
This is an opportune moment to develop a broad, holistic vision for what entrepreneurship "the Princeton Way" could look like on campus. Such a vision will necessarily be rooted in Princeton's strengths as a liberal arts institution and as a leading research university, and should amplify University's core missions of teaching and research.
I have assembled this committee of faculty, students, staff and alumni to develop a set of recommendations for what actions the University can take to create an entrepreneurship "identity" at Princeton, and an environment that offers students and faculty the fullest opportunity to explore and pursue entrepreneurial paths. I would like to call on the expertise of this committee to develop a recommended action plan, in the short, medium and long run. The hope would be that the plan would comprise implementable proposals that include specifics for each action: its rationale, how it links to the broader goals of an entrepreneurship vision, who will execute it, an estimated budget and thoughts on funding models.
Since you will be keeping Princeton University's core mission of research and teaching in mind, I anticipate there will be points at which the goals of the initiative in some respects might run counter to the pursuit of our core mission as a university. I would ask the committee to consider the following questions:
- How do we provide an encouraging and supportive environment for entrepreneurial activity, but at the same time ensure the engagement of our students and faculty in their respective academic programs?
- Related to the first question, what are the ways in which supporting entrepreneurship can complement and enhance our ability to be a world-class research institution and provide a world-class education broadly defined to our graduate and undergraduate students?
- How can we best consolidate and enhance the many entrepreneurial opportunities that already exist on campus, so that the whole is better than the sum of the parts?
- What are the range of possible initiatives and activities that are available — including those that worked or did not work at our peer institutions? What should be the highest priorities to pursue given Princeton's distinctive characteristics? What directions should we avoid and why?
- What would be the best long-term structure of governance for our various entrepreneurial activities?
- Mung Chiang, Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor of Electrical Engineering; Director, Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education; Director, Program in Technology and Society
- Sanjeev Kulkarni, Dean of the Graduate School; Professor of Electrical Engineering
- Melissa Lane, Class of 1943 Professor of Politics
- Kai Li, Paul M. Wythes '55 P86 and Marcia R. Wythes P86 Professor in Computer Science
- Lynn Loo, Theodora D. '78 and William H. Walton III '74 Professor in Engineering; Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering; Associate Director for External Partnerships, Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment
- David MacMillan, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry; Chair, Department of Chemistry
- Adel Mahmoud, Lecturer with the Rank of Professor in Molecular Biology and Public Policy, Woodrow Wilson School
- Jennifer Rexford, Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor in Engineering; Professor of Computer Science
- Lynda Clarizio '82, President, Nielsen US Media
- John Diekman '65, Founder and Managing Partner of 5AM Ventures
- Christopher Kuenne '85, Founder and CEO, Rosemark Capital Group; Lecturer, High Tech Entrepreneurship
- Gordon Ritter '86, Founder and General Partner of Emergence Capital Partners
- Peter Wendell '72, Managing Director, Sierra Ventures
- Catherine Dennig '15, Co-president of Social Entrepreneurship Initiative, 2013-14
- Eric First, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
- Stephanie He '15, President of Entrepreneurship Club, 2014-15
- Vivian Qu '14, Co-president of Entrepreneurship Club, 2013-14
- Pascale Poussart, Director of Undergraduate Research, Office of the Dean of the College; PEAC Secretary
- John Ritter, Director, Office of Technology Licensing and Intellectual Property
- Kimberly de los Santos, John C. Bogle '51 and Burton G. Malkiel *64 Director of the Pace Center for Civic Engagement
- Entrepreneurship the Princeton Way (.pdf) President Christopher L. Eisgruber and
- Provost David S. Lee's response to the entrepreneurship report (.pdf)