The Anderson Center’s research goals are to facilitate and disseminate cutting-edge academic research on issues concerning entrepreneurship and innovation.

To achieve these goals, the Anderson Center supports UT researchers through the Anderson Center Research Fund and partners with academic departments to promote research about entrepreneurship and innovation.

#7 in Entrepreneurship Research Productivity

The University of Tennessee is proudly ranked #7 in Entrepreneurship Research Productivity achieved by our five renowned Department of Management & Entrepreneurship research faculty members.

Universities around the world are continually conducting research that impacts the future of business innovation. Launched in 2009 by the Neeley School of Business, the TCU Global University Entrepreneurship Research Productivity Rankings track research articles in entrepreneurship journals according to authorship and university affiliation. The list is the only research-focused ranking of entrepreneurial programs.

Areas of Research

UTK faculty and PhD students conduct world-class research to develop solutions and actionable knowledge concerning problems faced by entrepreneurs and innovators every day in order to provide guidance for current entrepreneurs and to prepare the next generation. Our research builds a foundation of knowledge that informs today’s classrooms so that students can improve their ability to start, run, and generate value from a new company.

ACEI Research and Teaching Fellows

The Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fellows Program is an initiative that aims to bridge academic research and practice related to entrepreneurship and innovation. There are two tracks — research fellows and teaching fellows — that invite University of Tennessee, Knoxville, faculty members to showcase innovative research and classroom work related to entrepreneurship.

Led by Melissa Cardon, ACEI research director, the program aims to foster dialogue between academics and practitioners about the challenges entrepreneurs face and how researchers can better understand, study and help to alleviate those challenges.

Anderson Center Research Fund

The Anderson Center Research Fund was formed with the objective of advancing the quality and quantity of UT-generated research on entrepreneurship and innovation. Ultimately, this work should inform the research community as well as help promote entrepreneurial success and community investment in appropriate entrepreneurship-oriented support, infrastructure and startups.

The Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is currently seeking grant proposals for one to three academic research projects to fund starting in AY 2025 that align with the ACEI research goals. Each funded project will receive up to $12,500 in total funding. Applications must be submitted by March 22, 2024.


In 2023, the Haslam College of Business hosted the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC). Babson College established the conference to provide a dynamic venue where academics and real-world practitioners, through spirited dialogue, could link theory and practice. Each year, the event attracts more than 350 entrepreneurial scholars who come to hear the presentation of more than 220 papers.

The 44th BCERC will be held at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, and some of our ACEI fellows will be attending.