Entrepreneurial Business Faculty Lead the Way
by Dr. Annie Becker, Dean of the College of Business
Did you know that on Florida Tech’s campus about 90% of business faculty have entrepreneurial backgrounds? They bring to the classroom their entrepreneurial knowledge, experience, and skills with the intent to bridge theory and practice in a wide range of business fields.
Meet some of our faculty entrepreneurs:
Dr. Roger Manley, Professor of Management, is President of REM Management Development & Consultation, Inc.; Director and Shareholder of Compsys, Inc., a business startup formed by an engineering professor and his graduate assistant; and Director of Ron Jon Surf Shop, Inc. and Ron Jon Worldwide, Inc.
Dr. Martha Lair Sale, Associate Professor of Accounting, started several businesses including a custom drapery and upholstery house, a bookkeeping service, a real estate brokerage and property management firm and a remodeling contracting company.
Dr. Samuel Doss, Assistant Professor of Marketing, started, managed, and sold several small businesses including a personal training facility and a prescription drug facilitation enterprise; additionally, interned with the venture capital department of a multinational corporation, and co-owner of The 180 Firm, a consulting firm aimed at small businesses and start-ups.
Dr. Amitabh Dutta, Associate Professor of Finance, was involved in several business startups including an enterprise for manufacturing a dye-intermediate, and a venture in marketing agricultural pumps and valves.
Dr. Carolyn Fausnaugh, Assistant Professor of Strategy and New Ventures, founded and later sold a CPA firm, which had grown to be the largest woman owned CPA firm in the Phiadelphia SMA; and co-founded one of the first Internet Service Providers in Brevard County.
Dr. Michael Workman, Professor of Information Systems, co-founded NETCommerce (C-corporation) raising $11 million in round A with JP/Morgan Chase and another $2.5 million in round B with JP/Morgan Chase and Venturion Capital. A commercial property and casualty insurance application service provider (ASP), NETCommerce was later sold to WebTone (the technology arm of State Farm Insurance).
Why are faculty entrepreneurs so important to our College of Business? They bring to the classroom real-world experiences about business trials and tribulations. They become a motivating factor for students to think creatively, innovatively, and globally.
Entrepreneurship has powerful characteristics that affect all aspects of the global business environment. In this 21st century, entrepreneurship plays an important role in innovating new technologies, addressing social issues, creating new markets, and broadening product and service offerings. Entrepreneurship continues to be the backbone of small business development. But, it is also an integral part of large corporations particularly in the areas of capital ventures and spin-offs.
Entrepreneurship has become all-pervasive in the world of doing business. Our business faculty are meeting this challenge.
I am impressed with the business faculty having real world experience and the highest academic degrees, PhDs, Professor’s real world experience would enhance learners participation in both face to face and online course.
For example, looking at entrepreneurship from theoretical perspective is a straight forward. The real challenge is when a business starts operation, which requires skills such as managing finance, hiring people, dealing with competitors, taking care of tax obligations, federal and state, to mention a few. Why so many start-up businesses fail?