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Entrepreneurship Education at UW Gains New Expert

January 2, 2019
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Patrick Kreiser

The University of Wyoming’s entrepreneurship efforts have received a boost with the hiring of Patrick Kreiser as the new Rile Chair of Entrepreneurship and Leadership in the College of Business.

In conjunction with the launch of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE), Kreiser is part of a cluster hire focused on entrepreneurship.

Kreiser comes to UW from Iowa State University, where he most recently served as the Bob and Kay Smith Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship. He earned a doctorate and an MBA from the University of Alabama and a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University. His past appointments include serving as the Robert H. Freeman Professor of Entrepreneurship and director of academic programs and research at Ohio University, and visiting scholar of entrepreneurship at Indiana University.

Kreiser’s research has been published in leading entrepreneurship journals, and he currently serves on the boards of Journal of Business Venturing and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.

Kreiser says he was drawn to the new position at UW because of the strong support for entrepreneurship from both the state and across the university.

“Entrepreneurship is a perfect fit in a lot of ways with the culture of Wyoming and being very self-reliant and independent, but knowing how to form and develop relationships with others,” he says. This is a culture strongly embraced by the new IIE.

Wyoming’s wide-open frontiers are home to outside thinkers hungry for a challenge. They share a spirit of adventure, restless curiosity and wonder. The world needs more cowboys, and UW’s IIE calls on innovators from throughout the state as it works to instill entrepreneurial thinking to empower the leaders of tomorrow. Adding needed programs and curriculum that draw together all UW colleges, business services and entrepreneurship competitions, the IIE serves as the university’s front door for the state’s entrepreneurs.

“There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity, and it’s something that hasn’t been fully unleashed as of yet,” Kreiser says. “There are so many exciting things we can do -- from the Business Creation Factory to student curriculum to outreach throughout all of Wyoming. I think it’s going to be great for the state and the university.”

He looks forward to being part of an effort that will invigorate the state’s economy and encourage more students to stay in Wyoming and start their own businesses.

Kreiser wants to spread the word that every student and every community member can benefit from an entrepreneurial mindset.

“Even if they don’t think of themselves as entrepreneurs, everyone can think entrepreneurially -- focusing on opportunities and the positive influence that they can have on the world around them,” he says.

Based in the College of Business’s Department of Management and Marketing, Kreiser chairs a task force revamping the entrepreneurship curriculum at UW. He looks forward to working with students from across campus and helping students develop cross-disciplinary teams and projects.

“We want to combine the academic piece -- the theory and concepts -- with the application piece,” Kreiser says. “I think one of the things the task force is excited about doing is promoting that integration where students develop the skills they need but also can go out and hone them in the real world.”

This involves students working with entrepreneurs and businesses in the state as well as creating their own businesses.

“Students may think it’s about starting a business, but I also think it’s more broadly about how you think about and approach the world,” Kreiser says. “Whether it’s going to work for a family business or a small firm or a corporation or going back to work on the ranch, entrepreneurship is about taking advantage of opportunities and controlling your own destiny. When you start changing a student’s mindset to be more focused on what they can accomplish with an optimistic outlook and hard work, then the sky is the limit.”

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