2015 2 Column Inner

UC Center for Entrepreneurship Profile

University of Cincinnati

Center for Entrepreneurship & Commercialization

Thomas Dalziel, PhD, Executive Director

Founded in 1997, the CEC’s vision and mission is to provide a state-of-the-art entrepreneurship curriculum and research base not only for potential student entrepreneurs and scholars, but also for people in the many organizations that interact with small, entrepreneurial and family owned businesses on a daily basis.  The CEC seeks collaborative efforts between students and faculty from across the University to remove barriers and create gateways to entrepreneurism. The University of Cincinnati has been ranked as having one of the top Entrepreneurship programs in the United States by Entrepreneur Magazine, the Princeton Review, and Success Magazine.



Thomas Dalziel, PhD, executive director (Startups, International Entrepreneurship, Commercialization, and Corporate Entrepreneurship). Faculty include: Sidney L. Barton (family business); T, Rajan Kamath (competitive advantage), Charles H. Matthews, (entrepreneurship, e-commerce, international), Ilse Hawkins and Peter Burell, (legal aspects of entrepreneurship), Ralph Brueggemann (Innovation & Entrepreneurship), Ron Meyers and Mike Neugent (New Venture Finance), and Trevor Stansbury (Corporate Entrepreneurship).  The Entrepreneurship Center works in concert with a 14-member advisory board, including venture capitalists, technology executives, entrepreneurs, consultants, accountants, and attorneys.

Courses Offered to Undergraduate Students (Entrepreneurship Major, Minor & Certificate)

Students must complete six (6) courses in the Entrepreneurship/Family Business major. 4008 New Venture Finance; 4035 Legal Aspects of Entrepreneurship; 5070 Entrepreneurship; 5098 Capstone in Family Business/ Entrepreneurship; and two electives, choosing from 4001 Intro to Innovation; 4010 Mgmt. of Closely Held Firms; 4060 Fin. Mgmt. in Privately Held Firms; 5001 Corporate Entrepreneurship; 6076 Not-for-Profit Accounting; 5000 Intro to Direct Marketing; 5099 Guided Study in Entrepreneurship; and 5093 Special Topics in Entrepreneurship & Family Business.

Courses Offered to Graduate Students (Concentration/Certificate)

At the MBA level, students have the opportunity to take a number of courses in the one-year full-time or three-year part-time programs. Graduate courses listed in the catalog, include: 7005 Entrepreneurship: New Venture Creation; 7015 Entrepreneurship and E-Commerce; 7025 Global Entrepreneurship; and 7035 Family Business.  In addition, students have the opportunity to conduct faculty-guided, student-based field case studies in 7012 Strategic Management, 7082 Special Topics, and 7095 Marketing.  In addition, several doctoral students have completed dissertations focused on small and medium sized enterprises.

The UC MBA New Venture Business Plan Competition provides an internal forum while the UC Spirit of Enterprise Graduate Business Plan Competition (intercollegiate) provides an external forum for students to “road test” their venture concepts.  The Bearcat Bridge Fund provides seed capital for new student ventures and the Bearcat Launch Pad is a strategic alliance with local companies and organizations to provide low-cost office space for student and faculty ventures.

Student Startups and Successes

Robert Ratterman and Christopher Downie, (both BBA ’95), founders of Up4Sale.com , sold to Ebay in 2001; Chris Downie, founder SparkPeople in 2001; Fesum Ogbazion ( ‘96), started Instant Refund Tax Service while still a student in 1993, grew to 26 stores in the Midwest and sold business to Jackson-Hewitt for $3.0 million three years later; David Behrman (MBA ‘93), started Deck Techs, a full service deck treatment and product line. UC teams successfully compete in numerous business plan competitions including U. of Manitoba's, Stuart Clark Venture Challenge, and others.  In 2002 and 2006, UC teams made the finals of the MBA Jungle Business Plan Challenge in New York and San Francisco.  A collaborative effort between Business and Engineering students was launched in 2000, and the Progressive Cooling Solutions team competed in the 2006 MOOT Corp Competition taking Best Technology Award in its division. Over a dozen additional new student ventures have started in the past five years due in part to funding from the Bearcat Bridge Fund including: Pooja Kadambi, (BME ’11 MSE ’12), Ron Meyers, (MBA ’10, MS ACCT ’13), Joe Lovelace (CEAS ’11), Aaron Kurosu (DAAP ’11), co-founders of Ischiban Neural Engineering Systems; Joshua Rudd (BBA ’12), Piola Shoes; Niraj Kapadia (DAAP ’11), vMouse; Philip Gettinger and Amro Kamel, (both BME ’09), Diabetitec LLC; Donn Strohofer (MBA ’04) Sencina LLC; Ahmed Shuja (PhD CEAS ’06), Progressive Cooling Solutions; Jennifer Pham (MBA ’01) and Doug Hott (MBA ’04), apartmentfrog.com; and Darrin (MBA ’04) and Peggy Murriner, BabysitEase.com, to name a few.


Center research focuses on enhancing our understanding of entrepreneurial career choice, new ventures, emerging markets, and practical suggestions to enhance firm survivability once launched.  UC is one of the founding members of the Entrepreneurship Research Consortium (ERC) Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) dedicated to a longitudinal examination of new venture creation from nascency. 


Our faculty publish in a variety of reputable entrepreneurship and management journals such as:

  • Academy of Management Review
  • Corporate Governance, An International Review
  • Entrepreneurship & Regional Development
  • Strategic Management Journal
  • Journal of Family Business Strategy
  • Journal of Management Studies
  • Journal of Small Business Management
  • Journal of Small Business Strategy
  • Small Business Economics

Outreach Activities

The Center’s activities include: (1) an award winning faculty-guided, student-based field case study program which provides consulting services for local businesses (Small Business InstituteÒ Program), (2) the Young Entrepreneurs Seminar (YES), a day-long event for high school seniors to meet and exchange ideas with local entrepreneurs, (3) the UC MBA New Venture Competition (internal) and the UC Spirit of Enterprise MBA Business Plan Competition (invitational), (4) CEO Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, and (5) the Cecil Boatright Business Plan Case Competition for best Field Case of the Year.  The University is also affiliated with the Hamilton County Business Development Center incubator. 

Future Directions

The UC Center for Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (CEC) is actively engaged in continuing collaborative efforts across campus, including Engineering, Medicine, Law, and Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning in order to advance the role of technology and entrepreneurship across the campus.  Recent initiatives include: UC|3 A new certificate program in Innovation Transformation – Create, Commercialize, Change! A new major in Commercial Music Production (CMP) in cooperation with the UC College Conservatory of Music (CCM) requiring an Entrepreneurship Minor; and Innov8 for Health, creating innovative ideas for Health Care Transitions and building ventures.

More Information

Thomas Dalziel, PhD, Executive Director, UC Center for Entrepreneurship & Commercialization, Carl H. Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati, 504 Lindner Hall, Cincinnati, OH  45221-0165.  Phone: 513-556-7176; fax: 513-556-5499; email: ecenter@uc.edu; web site: www.ecenter.uc.edu