As an entrepreneurship educator, the lack of equity in entrepreneurship is a topic that concerns me deeply and one that the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CEI) at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business is committed to positively impacting. I want to explain more about why and why now.

First, entrepreneurship has historically been a means of creating individual and generational wealth. The wealth gap between Black and white Americans has continued to grow since the 1950s. In 2016, the net worth of a typical white family was $171,000, nearly ten times greater than that of a Black family ($17,150). There…


A couple weeks ago I was contacted by a recent graduate of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, Gabby Bashist, who is advising founder of MomBox, Kate Westervelt, on a fundraising strategy for the early-stage venture. They wanted to know if there was a way to include a code of conduct clause requirement for their investors. The question sparked a lot of dialogue, including a conversation with integrity and ethics expert Robert Chesnut, author of Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead An Ethical Revolution.


Agility is a required trait for startups who are constantly navigating uncertainty. And, recent tectonic shifts have escalated uncertainty to a new levels — not just for startups but for established firms, too. What must leaders do to ensure their firms not just survive but begin to thrive during this period of rapid change?

A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty. -Eric Ries, The Lean Startup

To help answer this question, I scanned the landscape to understand how the most nimble entrepreneurs were creating new value for their…


Let week, the students at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business had the opportunity to learn from Troy Henikoff, Managing Director at MATH Venture Partners about how startups can survive apocalyptic events, like the COVID-19 crisis. Troy’s experience with leading a startup through a swift economic downturn comes from both leading his own startup, SurePayroll.com, through the dotcom bubble in early 2001 and the events of 9/11 later that year, as well as working with MATH Venture Partners and Techstars Chicago portfolio companies. Below, I’ve summarized the key points from our conversation, which were too good not to share:

When leading…


Predictions for Innovations that Will Emerge from the COVID-19 Crisis.

Times of crisis have produced innovation gems, from miniaturization of CT 3-D scanning and the launch of Meetup out of 9/11 to the founding of Slack and Github out of the 2009 financial crisis. We can expect the COVID-19 crisis to be no different. From a design thinking perspective, everyone has become an extreme user whose needs are more acute and easier to see. The duct tape we use to hold our professional and personal lives together is unraveling and revealing inefficiencies and weak joints that need repair. …


Predictions for Innovations that Will Emerge from the COVID-19 Crisis.

Times of crisis have produced innovation gems, from miniaturization of CT 3-D scanning and the launch of Meetup out of 9/11 to the founding of Slack and Github out of the 2009 financial crisis. We can expect the COVID-19 crisis to be no different. From a design thinking perspective, everyone has become an extreme user whose needs are more acute and easier to see. The duct tape we use to hold our professional and personal lives together is unraveling and revealing inefficiencies and weak joints that need repair. …


Predictions for Innovations that Will Emerge from the COVID-19 Crisis.

Times of crisis have produced innovation gems, from miniaturization of CT 3-D scanning and the launch of Meetup out of 9/11 to the founding of Slack and Github out of the 2009 financial crisis. We can expect the COVID-19 crisis to be no different. From a design thinking perspective, everyone has become an extreme user whose needs are more acute and easier to see. The duct tape we use to hold our professional and personal lives together is unraveling and revealing inefficiencies and weak joints that need repair. …


Times of crisis have produced innovation gems, from miniaturization of CT 3-D scanning and the launch of Meetup out of 9/11 to the founding of Slack and Github out of the 2009 financial crisis. We can expect the COVID-19 crisis to be no different. From a design thinking perspective, everyone has become an extreme user whose needs are more acute and easier to see. The duct tape we use to hold our professional and personal lives together is unraveling and revealing inefficiencies and weak joints that need repair. …


Reaching out to someone you don’t know about your business idea may feel intimidating; however, understanding a problem or an industry from the point of view of a stranger — someone that doesn’t feel obligated to make you feel good about your idea like your family and friends do — is an important step in advancing your understanding of the opportunity. Most of us are willing to share our business idea with a family member or friend, but according to research by my Duke colleagues few of us are willing to seek input from a stranger. Perhaps it’s that we…


My colleagues at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, Prof. Victor Bennett and Prof. Aaron Chatterji, surveyed over 30,409 individuals in the US and found that less than 20% of individuals who consider launching a business speak to someone they do not already know about their business idea.* In fact, fewer than half of the respondents who considered starting a business reported that they had taken even the lowest cost steps of searching the internet for potential competitor or speaking with a friend about their idea. As an entrepreneurship educator, these findings surprised me. I want to see all people, not…

Jamie N. Jones, PhD

I teach innovation & entrepreneurship at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. Reformed chemist. I believe in the power of science to change the world.

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