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August 15, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Inaugural conversation bridging entrepreneurial research and practice set for end of August

The late afternoon discussion on August 30 about building support networks features two local entrepreneurs and two of UT, Knoxville's ACEI Research Fellows.

After announcing the first awards under the new Anderson Center Research Fund in June, the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEI) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) is following up on the promise to create community conversations that bridge research and practice with the first event scheduled for late in the afternoon of August 30.

“The community panel will talk about topics and issues that impact them, and the researchers will talk about cutting-edge academic research related to those topics and issues,” says Melissa Cardon, ACEI’s Research Director. “Essentially the event will create an opportunity for both the researchers and the practitioners in our community to bring value to one another.”

This first event will focus on best practices and pitfalls as entrepreneurs work on building internal and external support networks.

Those speaking from the entrepreneurial perspective are Angelique Adams, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Angelique Adams Media Solutions and an active mentor to a number of start-ups, and Gary Pratt, CEO of Surgical Review Corporation. Those sharing their research are Jessica Jones, an Assistant Professor in UTK’s Haslam College of Business and one of the inaugural ACEI Research Fellows, and Timothy Munyon, Professor of Management in the Haslam College and Co-Founder of Red Castle Human Capital.

Jones’s research focuses on entrepreneurial ecosystem stakeholders, impact investing, and social entrepreneurship, while Munyon’s focuses on the decision-making of entrepreneurs and employees, including teams. Both UTK faculty members received $12,500 each to pursue academic/scholarly research on entrepreneurship and innovation as noted in this June article.

For Cardon who grew up in an entrepreneurial household, the new fund, the ACEI Research Fellows announced in March (see article here), and the inaugural “Bridging Research and Practice” forum, are part of an overall effort to build better connections within and across UTK and the Knoxville community. She joined the Haslam College faculty five years ago where she noted that “we do all this great academic research, but we are not necessarily turning it into practice.”

Cardon adds that she started “beating the drum” to do a better job of two-way connection and communication – researchers sharing what they are doing in ways that could positively impact entrepreneurs and business leaders, and the latter sharing the challenges they are facing that could be informed by research on those topics.

“We want to be more connected,” Cardon said, adding that the ACEI research efforts are not limited to faculty researchers in the Haslam College. “We’re looking for others doing entrepreneurship and innovation research across the campus.”

The first “Bridging Research and Practice” forum will start at 4:30 p.m. EDT on August 30 in the Techstars space, 465 South Gay Street. That’s just across Union Avenue from the Embassy Suites Hotel. To register, click here.

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