Message from the Dean
Innovation—and its wellspring, creativity— is a major factor underlying the success of the most highly acclaimed individuals, organizations, regions and countries. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Google, Microsoft, Silicon Valley, Israel’s high-tech "start-up nation"—these are just a few of the well-touted exemplars of innovation. Innovation and entrepreneurship drives jobs, fosters economic development and promotes sustainable growth in our communities.
Interestingly, Maryland ranks number one or two in basic research and development and in being prepared for the new economy. But, according to a recent Kauffman Foundation report, the state ranks less than average (#33) in terms of entrepreneurial activity. At the Merrick School of Business, we believe that a higher education in business can and must do more to close this kind of gap and foster entrepreneurial activity.
We also understand that innovation and entrepreneurship are as much about leadership and management as they are about science and technology. Jobs understood this difference when he said, "Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get [entrepreneurship]."
This edition of the Merrick Exchange is devoted exclusively to the entrepreneurial initiatives in the Merrick School of Business. From this fall’s Start-Up Maryland initiative to our thriving Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to the new undergraduate and graduate programs focused on entrepreneurship, innovation management and technology commercialization, the school is elevating the concept of innovation and entrepreneurship. Of course, there is no single formula for achieving these aims. But here at UB, we believe that it’s important to uncover new ways for management education to make a difference and be a catalyst for innovation. Our efforts include:
- UB’s culture-changing Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the leadership of director Johnetta Hardy;
- Start-Up Maryland, which generated more than 50 ideas from UB’s undergraduate, graduate and law students;
- a student incubator and funding for start-ups;
- Merrick’s distinctive Entrepreneurship Fellows program for undergraduates;
- the region’s only graduate program in Innovation Management and Technology Commercialization.
I hope you enjoy reading the articles in this edition; each is intended to give you some unique insights into our programs and the faculty, staff, students and alumni who are engaged in these exciting endeavors.
With UB Pride,
Darlene Brannigan Smith, Ph.D.
Alumna, B.S. '79, M.B.A. '80