Albers School of Business and Economics
Centers and Programs

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center

  • At the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center we build and nourish the entrepreneurial spirit. To us, entrepreneurship is more than a collection of courses. It's a philosophy, a mindset that inspires innovation, risk-taking, and seizing opportunities in any form of business venture. Some of our grads start their own businesses. Others use their entrepreneurial creativity in larger, established companies. Still others take their passion and skills to the nonprofit business world. Wherever our students choose to pursue their careers, they graduate with tools, skills, and insights to develop their potential.

    We're shaping leaders of the future.
    That means linking students with the business community. It also means connecting theory with practice: Action-oriented instruction. Applied learning. Hands-on experiences. Business leaders, community supporters, and alumni join us as key resources in our programs. They contribute as advisors. They serve as mentors. They connect with our students through internships, networking, business plan competitions, and guest lecturing. It's part of our approach to creating a real-world environment.

    We view education as an investment.
    Students spend considerable time and money to pursue opportunities here. Our friends and supporters in the community commit valuable energy and resources, too. Bottom line: We're determined to provide value to all our stakeholders. Whether it's a "New Ventures" class, a CEO mentoring a student, a student providing consulting for a community clinic, we put emphasis on useful, meaningful activity.

    Nationally Recognized

    U.S. News and World Reports "America's Best Graduate Schools 2011" rankings place Albers Innovation & Entrepreneurship program at 26th in the Top 30. The Albers MBA program was ranked 22nd in the nation among Executive MBA programs in the same issue.

    Our Heritage

    Kent Johnson & Family
    Kent Johnson is an SU trustee and major supporter of the Center. It was through a generous gift from Kent that we were able to create the Lawrence K. Johnson Endowed Chair for Entrepreneurship in the Albers School of Business & Economics.


    The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center was founded in 1990. It is supported by tax-deductible donations from past clients, advisory board members, faculty, alumni, mentors, friends of Albers School of Business and Economics, corporate sponsors, and a significant grant from the Herbert B. Jones Foundation.

    A huge thanks to the 2013 sponsors below and to our Center's Advisory Board members:

    Venture Supporters ($50,000 and over)
    Bill Monkman/Aeries Industries LLC

    Angel Supporters ($25,000 and over)

    Herbert B. Jones Foundation

    Investor Supporters ($10,000 and over)
    May McCarthy/Bizzultz

    Champion Supporters ($5,000 and over)

    MCM, John Meisenbach

    Friend Supporters ($2,500 and over)

    Elgin & Elaine Baylor
    Ron Hosogi
    Robin Shapiro
    Ruth Tressel
    Kent Johnson
    Jim Fitzsimmons
    Adrian Smith/Ignition Partners
    Don Leuthold
    Randy Massengale
    Dave Van Patten
    Chuck Roxin
    Andrew Klein
    John Wheeler
    Bill Chandler
    Columbia Tower Club

    StartUp Supporters ($1,000 and over)

    Paul and Sharon Ramey
    Paul Bialek

    Sustaining support for entrepreneurship chair by Lawrence K. Johnson endowment.

    Other Supporters

    • Kurt Wedgwood/IBM
    • Maria O D'Aniello/Celebrity Cake Studio
    • Candy Lee
    • Patricia ("Tish") Johnson
    • Rhea Wallace 
    • Alan Portugal
    • Eli and Amber Moreno (Surge Tacoma)
    • Emily Marshall Carrion
    • Marie Legaz Whitley
    • Ben Derby
    • Jon Hauser/Mental Health Data Svcs

    Special Thanks to:
    2014 Coaches and Volunteers