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Innovation and Entrepreneurship

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School professor honored with entrepreneurship award

The Deshpande Foundation recognized Ted Zoller with the Outstanding Contributions to Advancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education Award for extraordinary achievements in entrepreneurship.

Ted Zoller
Ted Zoller in the Kenan Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School professor Ted Zoller received a high honor at the seventh annual Deshpande Symposium for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on June 13, in Lowell, Massachusetts.

The Deshpande Foundation’s “Deshpande Symposium Awards” recognized Zoller with the Outstanding Contributions to Advancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education Award for extraordinary achievements in entrepreneurship.

“The well-deserved recognition of Ted Zoller by this prestigious Deshpande Symposium award speaks to his ability to combine excellence in research, teaching and leadership at organizations that stand at the forefront of shaping entrepreneurial theory and practice within the University and beyond,” said Judith Cone, vice chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development. “Ted is respected by his faculty colleagues, loved by his students and appreciated by the many entrepreneurs for whom he’s rolled up his sleeves and served as a mentor as they turn their ideas into realities.”

Zoller is the T.W. Lewis Clinical Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and the director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. He also oversees Launch Chapel Hill — a venture lab that supports Carolina startups that are moving to the marketplace — and is a senior adviser to the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

“Making entrepreneurship an integral part of the student, faculty and alumni experience is a priority not just for myself, but for my colleagues at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,” said Zoller. “I am delighted with the results we’ve achieved through our Learn-Launch-Lead program model. This model allow us to frame a cutting-edge curricula and co-curricula, build an entrepreneurial economy through the Launch Chapel Hill business accelerator and Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, create more spin-out companies with the Startup-UNC course, develop the next generation of leaders with the Entrepreneurs Genome Project, and mentor students through the Adams Apprenticeship.

“It is a privilege to be part of this distinctive culture in Chapel Hill and at UNC-Chapel Hill where we are forging a new model for university-led entrepreneurship.”

The Deshpande Foundation encourages the use of entrepreneurship and innovation as catalysts for sustainable change in the United States, India and Canada. Each year more than 300 attendees from nearly a hundred different colleges, universities and institutions come together to network, share and learn from each other.

Other Deshpande Symposium Awards recognized programs that accelerate innovative research into commercialization; institutions that encourage student entrepreneurship; innovative educational courses and programs to foster entrepreneurship education; and institutions that demonstrate overall excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Once again, the Deshpande Symposium Awards have drawn strong interest from the academic community, which presented the best kind of challenge to the distinguished academic leaders who comprised the award selection committee,” said Raj Melville, executive director of the Deshpande Foundation. “The finalists in each category represent outstanding examples in advancing entrepreneurship in their category and excellent role models for their peer institutions.”

In 2015, Cone was recognized by the Deshpande Foundation with the Outstanding Contributions to Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education Award. That same year, UNC-Chapel Hill received the foundation’s Entrepreneurial University Award for Excellence in Student Engagement and Curriculum Innovation.