Not Just Research: Kauffman Emerging Scholars in the Classroom, on Campus & In the Community

As part of the Kauffman Foundation’s efforts to promote high-quality entrepreneurship research, we invest in new doctoral researchers and those in the early stages of their career.

While the focus of this effort is in the production of new research (see recent post), we are cognizant of the important roles Kauffman Emerging Scholars play within their broader entrepreneurial ecosystems.

But our knowledge, until recently, was just from anecdote. Now, thanks to a survey of our scholars, we have a more holistic view of the roles Emerging Scholars play within their communities or universities.

We received 51 responses to the survey — a response rate of 26 percent of the total nearly 200 Kauffman Emerging Scholars. These scholars are some of the top names in entrepreneurship research, but what other parts of ecosystem are they active? Teaching? Programs? Mentoring? Investing? Let’s find out.

In the Classroom

As scholars advance in their careers, it appears that they are more able to teach specialized courses such as entrepreneurship. Of those 47 percent who teach an entrepreneurship course (50 percent when we remove those who have left academia), 79 percent researched and developed the course themselves — which makes sense given the career development of the scholars and the newness of the academic field of entrepreneurship.

We drilled down to see what the numbers look like when we take into account scholars who are early in their career (0-5 years out from receiving their PhD), a little further out (6-10 years), or veteran entrepreneurial scholars (11-15 years out).

Other Involvement on Campus

We know that entrepreneurship has skyrocketed across campuses, in the classroom and out.

It appears that much of the work to support better research has also moved into the community via work with entrepreneurship centers on campuses ­— 46 percent of respondents are affiliated with the entrepreneurship center at university.

A smaller 16 percent of respondents work with their university commercialization program.

In Their Communities

A full 60 percent of respondents report acting as a mentor/advisor to entrepreneurs, with 49 percent of respondents provide ad hoc consulting services to area entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship programs.  

A smaller 23 percent of respondents serve on the board of an entrepreneurial program or startup, 21 percent work with an accelerator, and 12 percent invest directly in startups.

This only shows a fraction of what that these scholars are doing on a day-to-day basis, and does not begin to account for their contributions to research. But it’s clear to us: these scholars show a strong commitment to developing entrepreneurial ecosystems within their communities and universities. 




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