Professor Mentors Student Entrepreneurs for More than 30 Years

Jim Wolfe3Every entrepreneur starts with a spark—a spark of creativity, a vision for a product or the way something can be. But taking that vision or spark and turning it into a product or business takes more than just an idea. Hard work, discipline and, often times, education will nurture your vision and help turn it into a success.

George Mason University’s School of Business is dedicated to entrepreneurs.

For more than 30 years, Professor Jim Wolfe has inspired entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams leading them step-by-step along the way. Wolfe, entrepreneur-in-residence for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of management at the School of Business, credits his former professor of entrepreneurship, Dr. William L. Haeberle at Indiana University, for much of how he teaches entrepreneurship at Mason.

As a grad assistant teaching an undergraduate course 35 years ago, Wolfe says he watched a tall, motivated kid come up to Haeberle to talk about a new business the student was starting in town, a bar. That student was Mark Cuban, today the owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks and star of the venture capital reality show Shark Tank. Where Wolfe expected Haeberle to dismiss Cuban’s interest in opening yet another college town bar, Haeberle’s advice was quite the opposite. That moment stuck in Wolfe’s head.

For 10 years, Wolfe has been inspiring students at Mason. These days Mason is doing great things in entrepreneurship, including the annual Deans’ Business Competition, the Mason Innovation Lab, and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). New “popup” single-session classes on entrepreneurship are being offered as part of Mason courses too.

Wolfe’s work with the CIE at Mason has helped many entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to the next level, including second place Deans’ Business Competition prize recipient, Niels Bulskov’s Ground Control Coffee that provides roast-on-order coffee for a fresher experience, and Chris Savage’s True Honey Teas which sells specially designed honey infused K cups.

In addition to his role at Mason, Wolfe is also a management executive, consultant, and attorney with more than 30 years of experience helping emerging growth firms. He is the CEO and co-founder of Founders Consulting, a Washington, D.C., firm providing strategic marketing for new products, markets, and companies. One of his startup ventures, FirstGuard Technologies Corporation, was founded to commercialize patents developed at Mason.

Written by Jennifer Anzaldi on .

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