Entrepreneurship professors and educators are instrumental in providing opportunities and inspiration for aspiring student entrepreneurs.Their dedication, passion, and mentorship shape the entrepreneurship ecosystems in their schools and communities. We received nominations for some truly incredible educators making an impact in 2016. Here are our top 10.

Congratulations to the Top Entrepreneurship Professors of 2016:


Melissa Paulsen – University of Notre Dame


melissa_paulsen_sq_4Melissa Paulsen has been instrumental in shaping the entrepreneurship ecosystem at Notre Dame University with her lens of social entrepreneurship. She motivates her students to discover sustainable business solutions to address significant social and environmental challenges through her work at the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship and the Mendoza College of Business.

Through her passion to help set aspiring student entrepreneurs up for success within their startups and encouraging them to tackle significant global challenges, Melissa serves as a fixture and source for good within her ecosystem. 3 Day Startup congratulates Melissa on her incredible work.


Tiffanie Harrison – Round Rock High School


aaeaaqaaaaaaaakmaaaajdm5mza2mmixlwyxowutngjhzc04ntkwlwm4zdcwyjhkngzinqTiffanie Harrison represents the sole high school educator on this list. And she embodies all of the reasons why the earlier students start learning about business and entrepreneurship, the better.

Tiffanie goes above and beyond to make sure that her students are receiving as many opportunities as they can, including: working with them to secure internships and employment opportunities, exposing them to business trends, and helping them gain hands-on experience in the business world before they even get to college. We congratulate Tiffanie Harrison on her amazing commitment to her students.

Rob Adams – University of Texas at Austin


Rob AdamsRob Adams is an active investor, author, and consultant in the Management Department at the University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Management. Through his personal experience through startups and The New Venture Creation courses Rob has cultivates entrepreneurs and helps set them up for success in their ventures.

His courses have generated several startups in Austin and impacted the ecosystem not only at UT Austin, but throughout the city. Congratulations, Rob, for guiding students through the process of becoming entrepreneurs.

Mark McDermott – University of Texas at Austin


mcdermott_photo_hrMark McDermott, an Adjunct Professor and Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Texas at Austin is making big impact on campus. With his incredible experience and dedication to helping his students start companies, it’s no wonder that Mark was our most nominated professor for the year.

Mark is propelling his students to the entrepreneurial experience through his knowledge, guidance, and interactive teachings.


Alyson Francisco – Salem College


Alyson Francisco Alyson Francisco is a professor in the Business & Economics Department and Director of the Center for Women in Business at Salem College, making her a force of entrepreneurial impact both within and without the classroom.

In 2016, Alyson helped to organize the Creative Startup Accelerator in Winston Salem, served as a mentor to student entrepreneurs, hosted the TEDx W-S Women on Salem College’s campus, and sponsored students to receive programming for entrepreneurs in creative industries. Her passion for building opportunities in her entrepreneurial ecosystem is nearly unparalleled. Congratulations, Alyson, on all of your incredible work.


Sandra Spencer – Northern Alberta Institute of Technology


iqq1pkuxSandra Spencer lead the entrepreneurial initiatives at the Northern Alberta Institute for Technology (NAIT) from 2009 to 2016, starting with the Hatch Business Plan Competition and evolving the competition to a Startup program including mentoring and a pre-accelerator program. In that time, she helped bring 3 Day Startup to Canada.

Through her work she has helped to shape the entrepreneurship ecosystem at NAIT and Edmonton and greatly increase opportunities for students to grow, learn, and experiment as entrepreneurs. She is now the Growth Programs Manager with Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, running her company, Nimble Strategizing, and continues to facilitate 3DS programs when she can. We are proud to have her be a part of the 3DS family. Congratulations, Sandra!


Ida Abdalkhani – Ohio State University


Ida Abdalkhani Ida Abdalkhani, a professor of entrepreneurship at Ohio State University and the University of Michigan, and she brings years of her own incredible experience to the table and to the classroom. With three degrees, 5 years of work experience at Procter & Gamble, and her own successful business, Ida is passing on her expertise to her students and the community at large.

As a beloved professor and a board member at multiple non-profits, Ida embodies giving back after finding her own success. And through her work, she is helping to shape the entrepreneurial community around her.


Holley Murchison – Oberlin College


h-murchisonbiophotoAn entrepreneurship professor and Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Oberlin College, Holley Murchison brings a deep knowledge base to all of her work. And through her classes, she is able to create a cross-disciplinary culture that has a strong emphasis on co-creation.

A respected speaker and writer, Holley provides inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and is an open and compassionate mentor to her students. Congratulations, Holley, on your incredible work.


Hesam Panahi – Rice University


Hesam PanahiHesam Panahi, at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University, has been heavily involved with entrepreneurship on campuses for years at both Rice and the University of Houston. While at the University of Houston, Hesam founded the RED Labs Accelerator and brought 3 Day Startup to campus.

He developed a technology entrepreneurship package at Houston and Rice that takes students from idea to potential launch. Given his collaborative efforts between the two schools, Hesam has served as a driving force in entrepreneurship education in Houston.


II Luscri – Villanova University


6236964II Luscri works across the entire campus to engage students from all disciplines in entrepreneurial activity at Villanova. And this commitment led to the creation of a neutral facility for early stage ideation, the Idea Accelerator, in the university library.

During his time at Villanova, Il has greatly increased entrepreneurial engagement on campus and extended it out of the Business school into the Engineering and Nursing programs. Through his efforts and learning modules that he has developed, Il engages more than 850 students annually.

Our Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards for 2017 are now open. To nominate yourself or someone you know making waves in your entrepreneurial ecosystem, fill our this form. For more information about 3 Day Startup, contact us today