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>  News Releases >   2001 >   August

Dartmouth Announces New Organization to Support Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Posted 08/24/01

In response to growing interest in entrepreneurial activities among students and faculty throughout the campus, Dartmouth College announced today that it has established a program that will provide hands-on educational opportunities in entrepreneurship as well as service to startups seeking guidance about their ventures.

The Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, a pilot program that will be administered through the Office of the Provost, is being led by Gregg Fairbrothers, an alumnus of the College with extensive business management and startup experience. The network will also rely heavily on the experience and resources of Dartmouth's alumni and friends in entrepreneurship, venture capital and other relevant sectors. It is open to all faculty, students and alumni of Dartmouth and to startup businesses in the Upper Valley on a case-by-case basis.

"Faculty, students and alumni have a strong track record and an enormous interest in entrepreneurship," said President James Wright. "This network will nurture that interest and provide targeted education to help individuals and groups develop their entrepreneurial skills."

The Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network will be guided by objectives that build on the College's recognized leadership in the following areas:

  • Education - To provide hands-on educational experiences and advice in business development, complemented by traditional classroom-based programs. The Network will host workshops, convene a monthly speaker series, offer internships and conduct research focused on startup and pre-startup businesses.
  • Service - To offer guidance and support to faculty members and students with entrepreneurial ideas, referring entrepreneurs to external resources, and creating educationally complementary consulting opportunities for faculty members.
  • Business Development - To help develop ideas into focused and successful businesses or non-profit organizations by providing services and guidance. Services available through the Network will include space, communications, administrative support, mentoring, and networking opportunities.
  • Strategy - The Entrepreneurial Network will also help Dartmouth develop a strategic plan for other entrepreneurship-related programs on and near the campus.

"The Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network will provide a strategic resource for developing early-stage ideas," said Mary Lou Guerinot, Associate Provost. "Since so much of the learning of entrepreneurship involves 'doing,' we want our faculty and students to have access to proven expertise if they have interests in this area."

"One of Dartmouth's strongest traditions is innovation," said Professor Guerinot. "Of course, many people realize that the BASIC computer language was created here at Dartmouth by Professors John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz, a concept which still shapes how computing is done around the world. But the origins of the modern petroleum industry can also be traced, in fact, to two Dartmouth faculty members who distilled Pennsylvania rock oil in 1853 in Crosby Hall and found it to have valuable properties. Their analysis encouraged a Dartmouth alumnus, George Bissel (Class of 1845), and others to take that innovation to the market, an effort that led to raising half a million dollars to begin drilling operations in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Under the direction of Col. Edwin Drake, their company discovered the first commercial oil in August 1859," Guerinot said.

Overseeing the Network's activities is Fairbrothers, a member of the Dartmouth Class of 1976. President and founder of Samson International, Ltd., a mid-sized international oil and gas producer, Fairbrothers managed, founded and built exploration and production companies on three continents. Since returning to the Upper Valley in 1999, he has been involved in a number of startup initiatives.

"On returning to Dartmouth two years ago I was delighted to see the level of entrepreneurial activity in the community, as well as the level of interest at the College in teaching and supporting it," said Fairbrothers. "Anyone in the Dartmouth or Upper Valley communities who is interested in either learning about entrepreneurship, or looking to pursue an entrepreneurial idea, should definitely contact us."

Justine W. Fahey (Dartmouth '94, Tuck '99) will join the program as Associate Director. Prior to coming to Dartmouth, Fahey managed product marketing initiatives at several early stage technology companies, including FairMarket Inc. and InterTrust Technologies. She will be primarily responsible for Network marketing initiatives, providing strategy and marketing advice to startup teams, and managing other Network operations.

Peter T. Glenshaw, Managing Director for Venture Initiatives in Dartmouth's Office of Development, will oversee alumni participation in the Network. Prior to coming to Dartmouth, Glenshaw served in several administrative positions at Harvard University. He helped to create and lead two companies with members of the Harvard faculty, one of which produced Encarta Africana with Microsoft, and the other which produced an Internet portal that Time Warner acquired. He was most recently a contributing editor with, a literary Internet startup created by CourtTV founder Steven Brill.

Dartmouth, founded in 1769, is the nation's ninth oldest institution of higher learning and a member of the Ivy League. Renowned for its excellent undergraduate program, Dartmouth is also home to three distinguished professional schools -- Dartmouth Medical School, the Thayer School of Engineering, and the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration -- and offers 16 graduate programs in the arts and sciences. Private and coeducational, Dartmouth enrolls students from across the country and around the world.

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