Some Background
on the

Quinnipiac University Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Institute (QUESBMI)


Some Background.  When I first got to Quinnipiac University, things were in a constant state of growth.  Much of the growth was being directed towards small business and entrepreneurial sorts of efforts.  QU had hired a guy, Matt Smith, who had been quite successful in his own entrepreneurial ventures to head an institute.  He worked in conjunction with a new faculty hire, Dale Jasinski, that had more developed academic credentials in entrepreneurship and small business. 

Dale Jasinski had had his own small business relating to computers in the San Francisco Bay area.  He eventually sold the successful business and decided to go back to school at the University of Colorado to get his Ph.D. and become a professor.

The director of the institute had developed two different small businesses relating to health care.  He eventually sold both of them and seemed to be comfortable using his temporary position as director of QUESBMI as some steady income as he developed his own ideas for another start-up or two.  This sort of experience really helped give the institute its own flavor that was quite different from many academic entrepreneurship and small business institutes.  He had quite an understanding of getting venture capitalists involved in the entire process.  Sometimes this was frustrating for many of the students looking to start their own businesses largely because they had small business ideas that weren't all that adaptable to involving venture capitalists.  This often happened for the IT students that were successfully starting their own businesses.  There was no real reason for them to involve venture capitalists.  But there were also plenty of other potential startups that were much more designed around the concepts of needing venture capitalists involved.

The institute had a graduate assistant, Matt Frese, that was doing a lot of the work.  One of his tasks was to develop a database so that QUESBMI and those connected with it could collect information on things such as

  • faculty interests and expertise relating to QUESBMI
  • outside businesses and their interests and expertise relating to QUESBMI
    • this included pre-existing businesses
    • this included potential start-ups
    • this also included potential investors
  • student interests and expertise relating to QUESBMI
    • this eventually also included their families since many of these students had family members who were also motivated in these ways
  • eventually the institute also started having memberships with fees that needed to be tracked
    • students, their immediate families and faculty got in free
    • outside businesses paid a nominal annual fee