For nearly two centuries, Spartans have ventured to feed a hungry world, fight cancer, invent new technologies, and kindle the imaginations of learners around the globe. Here, we don’t just dream about tomorrow’s solutions. We create. We venture.

The Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation empowers students to learn through action by providing programs, courses, and resources to foster an entrepreneurial mindset, develop empathy, and create new ventures. Our program is designed to prime students to embrace failure mindfully, explore unknowns, and develop skills that matter.

So, come artists and engineers, biologists and physicists, changemakers and activists, makers and marketers. No matter the area of study. No matter the discipline or college. All your venture requires is the courage to take the first step.

What’s your venture?


Jeff Grabill

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Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, & Technology

Paul Jaques Managing Director of Venture Creation

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Managing Director for Venture Creation

Ken Szymusiak LinkedIn Icon

Managing Director of Academic Programming

Lori Fisher

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Director of Operations

Desiree Melfi

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Director, Student Success & Advising

Aaryn Richard, Strategic Storyteller and Communications

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Director of Marketing & Communications

Christopher Sell

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Director of Alumni & Entrepreneur Engagement

Aubrey Haase

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Events & Projects Coordinator

Leigh Anne Jewison

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Executive Assistant, Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Neil Kane

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Faculty, Author, & Entrepreneur


Jasmene Bowdry, 2020–2021 Entrepreneur-in-Residence

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Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 2020–2021

Curtis Daniel III, 2020–2021 Entrepreneur-in-Residence

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Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 2020–2021

Stacey Marsh, 2020–2021 Entrepreneur-in-Residence

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Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 2020–2021

John Rood, 2020–2021 Entrepreneur-in-Residence

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Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 2020–2021

Jim Wirth, 2020–2021 Entrepreneur-in-Residence

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Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 2020–2021


Riyaad Ahmid LinkedIn Icon

Community Development Intern

Hemkesh Agrawal, Web & App Development Intern

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Web & App Development Intern

Sahil Bagga

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App & Web Development Intern

Kelly Branigan

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Discovery Photographer

Rajmeet Chandor

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App & Web Development Intern

Katie Clark

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Discovery Intern

Gabe Hails

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Senior Communications Intern

Grace Heslip

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Graphic Designer

Mike Kamwana

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App & Web Development Intern

Justice Keech

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Senior Communications Intern

Ryan Koschay

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Engineering/3D Printing Intern

Shawn Luo

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DEI Student Coordinator

Mateo Marchan

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Discovery Intern

Phoebe Moll, Graphic Design & Photography Intern

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Graphic Design & Photography Intern

Christian Nderu

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Graphic Design Intern

Danielle Tice

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Graphic Design Intern

Michael Umanskiy

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App & Web Development Intern

Cassie Valice

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Discovery Intern

Brandon Weaver

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Senior Communications Intern


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