I am the Director of the iLab at the University of Virginia. The W.L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Lab, or iLab, is funded by the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Darden School of Business and provides various programs, workspace, mentors, community, and additional resources to support innovators and entrepreneurs.
Previously, I was an Assistant Professor and Director of the Galant Center for Entrepreneurship within the McIntire School of Commerce at UVA, and an Assistant Professor at Washington and Lee University, within the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics.
In the years prior, I founded or held management roles in a series of startups, leading to experience across the life cycle of new ventures — from idea to acquisition and at times failure. I founded my first startup at age 23, two years out of college.
The short list of ventures with which I have been involved would be: Vega, Noisebox (acquired by Sonique),Sonique (acquired by Lycos), MyFilms, Kick (acquired by Sony’s 550 Digital Media Ventures unit). I have also worked as an advisor to not only startups — Joystiq (a brand within Engadget, acquired by AOL), MusicFans, JBTV (acquired by Launch/Yahoo!), AgentArts (acquired by FAST/Microsoft), but also global copyright owners and collectives, global technology firms, and Fortune 500 companies.
My research interest could be summed up in a single word: opportunity. I am particularly interested in how opportunity emerges from disruption, as from automation or the Internet. This sort of work has implications for theory, policy, and practice. As a result, I have been lucky enough to not only publish in academic venues, but also write for and speak in policy and practice venues. I have also been interviewed and/or cited by media outlets such as: Financial Times, BBC, WIRED, Billboard, Congressional Quarterly, and the Guardian.
In the classroom, I actively mix theory with practice through interactive presentations, case discussions, and simulations. Two courses I developed that now travel with me would be Startup (described as “Entrepreneurship 101 meets the Amazing Race”) and Wicked Problems (a critical problem solving and social action course).
I hold a PhD in Management from Vanderbilt University (Owen Graduate School of Management), an MBA from AGSM (at the time, a joint degree from the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales), and a BA in Economics from Northwestern University (Weinberg School of Arts & Sciences).