Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Friday, March 29, 2024  |  1 p.m. EDT​

This virtual event is designed exclusively for professors passionate about driving innovation and enabling entrepreneurs within academia and your surrounding community.

About the Event

Welcome to "Fostering an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem," a virtual event designed exclusively for professors passionate about driving innovation and enabling entrepreneurs within academia and your surrounding community.

This event offers a unique platform for professors to explore strategies, share insights, and collaborate on building a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem within their academic communities. Through the engaging presentation and panel discussions, participants will:

• Explore innovative approaches for fostering an entrepreneurial mindset among students and faculty members.
• Discuss strategies for leveraging academic research and expertise to support startups and small businesses.
• Share experiences and lessons learned in mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs and facilitating industry-academia collaborations.
• Gain insights into the role of professors in shaping regional entrepreneurial ecosystems and driving economic development.

While this event may be virtual, the opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration are boundless. Join us as we empower professors to take a leading role in fostering innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship within their academic communities.

About the Speakers

Dr. Jen Riley


Dr. Jen Riley is a Marketing Professor at Vanderbilt University, specializing in Marketing, Sales, and Entrepreneurship. Her research focuses on technology in Professional Sales and Marketing education practices. An award-winning entrepreneur and consultant, she guides students, supports clients, and seeks innovative ways to engage audiences and nurture student passions


Isaac Yao Addae, PhD

Dr. Isaac Y. Addae is an award-winning educator, author, speaker, and strategist. He currently serves as the Small & Minority Business Liaison for the Nashville, TN, Mayor’s Office and as a business professor for both Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University. Isaac brings over a decade of experience in technology consulting and systems development across the automotive, defense, and information technology industries for companies like IBM and Ford, to name a few. His first book, Black Boy Fly, serves as a tool to empower Black males to overcome obstacles and fly toward greatness, inspired by his life as a first-generation Ghanaian-American.

Dylan Harper

Dylan Harper is the Owner of Forge Marketing Group, a 13-person team specializing in helping companies build their online presence through digital advertising, website design, content creation, and more. When he is not running his marketing agency, Dylan serves as a Board member of the Rotary Club of Lexington, Kentucky.

Jewel Thompson

Jewel N. Thompson is an entrepreneurship lecturer at Ashesi University and leads initiatives that intersect technology and sociocultural dynamics for the entrepreneurship concentration. She is the co-developer of the Ashesi Venture Incubator and has secured over $500k in funding for the organization. Jewel is the head of the African Women Amplified group, bridging funding gaps between recipients and opportunities. A Fast Company World Changing Ideas Honoree, she is also the Owner of Eco-Launch, fostering African startups globally, and has been recognized by the World Economic Forum, Georgia State University’s 40 Under 40, and is a GBSN microsimulation award winner.

Dan Drogosh

Dan Drogosh is the Social Innovation Program Coordinator at the Wond’ry, Vanderbilt University’s Entrepreneurship Center. He blends a decade of small business marketing support with a passion for the entrepreneurial journey. Having grown a nonprofit entrepreneur center to over 100 thriving members, Dan specializes in design thinking and human-centered design methodologies. Outside of work, he enjoys 3D printing, public speaking, and creating music.

Engaging students with

Entrepreneurial Experiences

This event will focus on giving your students the tools to become experts in entrepreneurship and understanding risks involved with startup businesses. Dive into these turnkey resources that will transform your classroom into a hands-on learning experience. Request access to these courses and see for yourself how your students will be career-ready when they leave your classroom.

Whether students find themselves wanting to work for a company, or are thinking about starting businesses of their own, “Entrepreneurship: How to Start, Grow, and Scale a Business” provides practical resources and guidance for every step. Paired with the Entrepreneurship Simternship™, students will then apply what they learn in a hands-on entrepreneurial experience without the financial risk.

“New Venture Creation: Starting the Right Business for You” is a higher education courseware that guides students through the process of generating and evaluating potential business ideas. The chapter content is accompanied by instructional resources and a hands-on, semester-long project to create an unforgettable learning experience for rising entrepreneurs.


Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Friday, March 29, 2024  |  1 p.m. EDT​