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UW College of Business Gains Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship

January 29, 2019
man talking to woman
UW Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Matthew Fox meets with chemical engineering Associate Professor Katie Dongmei Li-Oakey about her business, TLS Materials LLC. Fox is part of a recent UW cluster hire in entrepreneurship. (UW Photo)

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Matthew Fox has joined the University of Wyoming’s College of Business in the Department of Management and Marketing as part of a cluster hire to boost entrepreneurship education in conjunction with the launch of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE).

Fox earned his Ph.D. from Duke University, his MBA from the University of Nevada and his B.A. from Colorado College. Most recently, he served as an assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of South Dakota’s Beacom School of Business.

“I found myself drawn to entrepreneurship as an outlet for my desire to make an impact,” Fox says.

His research has shown that making a lasting impact is a major reason people want to create new products and organizations. This new position at UW attracted Fox because of the resources the state and university offer to help entrepreneurs.

“When you look at people in Wyoming, particularly at the university, they want to have that kind of impact,” he says. “The IIE is a hub for that kind of activity.”

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.

“We have people from the business school like me who can reach across campus and work with people in the school of engineering or pharmacy, or whatever it might be,” Fox says. “That’s exciting to me. In addition to the IIE, we have the John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition, entrepreneurship courses; we’re adding new faculty across campus with this expertise, and it really creates an opportunity to do something special here.”

Fox is part of a team working on UW’s entrepreneurial coursework options.

“A lot of what I want to do is get students to start something, whether it be their own idea, or we can pair them up with someone who needs that kind of help,” he says. “As we redesign the curriculum, we want to try to be responsive to interdisciplinary collaborations.”

Whether a student wants to start a business or work for an established company, an entrepreneurial mindset is a huge benefit, Fox says, as businesses are looking for those skills and creativity in their employees.

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