New UT Initiative Focuses on Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research

The Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research Fellows program includes UT scholars from a variety of academic disciplines.

March 15, 2023

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEI) has announced a new initiative, the ACEI Research Fellows, which aims to bridge academic research and practice related to entrepreneurship and innovation.

Appointed through the end of the 2023-24 academic year, the inaugural ACEI Research Fellows cohort includes:

The new program provides a welcome opportunity for collaboration among UT scholars from a variety of academic disciplines, Don Bruce said. “I have enjoyed interacting with various faculty and staff around the Anderson Center over the years, and will be delighted to contribute to, and learn from, these exciting new efforts.” 

Connecting Researchers and Practitioners

Housed at UT’s Haslam College of Business, the ACEI is a university-based resource dedicated to fostering a strong entrepreneurial culture throughout Tennessee and the region. As part of that mission, ACEI supports UT researchers through the Anderson Center Research Fund, partnering with academic departments throughout the university to facilitate and disseminate cutting-edge research involving entrepreneurship and innovation.

In 2022, ACEI leadership — in conjunction with the Haslam deans’ office and Department of Management and Entrepreneurship — appointed Haslam Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Melissa Cardon as the center’s research director. To better align research and practice around entrepreneurship and innovation, Cardon and ACEI executive director Lynn Youngs sought out UT faculty who are conducting academic research in these areas from a variety of perspectives and invited them to join the ACEI Research Fellows initiative.

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. With that goal in mind, the fellows will host an annual event showcasing UT’s entrepreneurship and innovation research and share the information with practitioners who can use it to address problems they face in their firms or careers. The first such event is tentatively planned for late April 2023. “This mutual engagement should help local entrepreneurs address real-world problems while also advancing the research reputation of Haslam and UT,” Cardon said.

UT ranks seventh in the world for entrepreneurship research productivity, according to the 2022 TCU Global University Entrepreneurship Research Productivity Rankings, the only researchfocused ranking of entrepreneurial programs.

Photo, L-R: Jessica Jones, Alex Miller, Joan Heminway, Brian Krumm, Myra Loveday. Not pictured: Don Bruce and David Williams.


Stacy Estep, writer/publicist,