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

Jeff Grabill LinkedIn Icon

Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, & Technology

Paul Jaques LinkedIn Icon

Managing Director for Venture Creation

Ken Szymusiak LinkedIn Icon

Managing Director of Academic Programming

Lori Fisher

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Assistant Director

Aaryn Richard

Aaryn Richard LinkedIn Icon

Strategic Storyteller & Communications Manager

Christopher Sell

Christopher Sell LinkedIn Icon

Director of Alumni & Entrepreneur Engagement

Desiree Melfi

Desireé Melfi Bozzo LinkedIn Icon

Student Success & Advising Manager

Neil Kane

Neil Kane LinkedIn Icon

Faculty, Author, & Entrepreneur

Aubrey Haase

Aubrey Haase LinkedIn Icon

Events & Projects Coordinator

Leigh Anne Jewison

Leigh Anne Jewison LinkedIn Icon

Executive Assistant, Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation


Jasmene Bowdry, 2020–2021 Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Jasmene Bowdry LinkedIn Icon

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 2020–2021

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

Curtis Daniel III LinkedIn Icon

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 2020–2021

Stacey Marsh, 2020–2021 Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Stacey Marsh LinkedIn Icon

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 2020–2021

John Rood, 2020–2021 Entrepreneur-in-Residence

John Rood LinkedIn Icon

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 2020–2021

Jim Wirth, 2020–2021 Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Jim Wirth LinkedIn Icon

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 2020–2021


Gabe Hails

Gabe Hales LinkedIn Icon

Senior Communications Intern

Brandon Weaver

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Senior Communications Intern

Justice Keech

Justice Keech LinkedIn Icon

Senior Communications Intern

Hemkesh Agrawal, Web & App Development Intern

Hemkesh Agrawal LinkedIn Icon

Web & App Development Intern

Phoebe Moll, Graphic Design & Photography Intern

Phoebe Moll LinkedIn Icon

Graphic Design & Photography Intern