Nav: Home

Rice researcher awarded $1.5 million to study effects of entrepreneurship education

January 06, 2016

HOUSTON - (Jan. 6, 2016) - A leading researcher at Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business has received a $1.5 million grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to study the effects of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial success. The five-year project will work with leading startup support organizations in the United States to track the outcomes of a group of startups receiving a free, concentrated entrepreneurship curriculum.

"Many resources are thought to feed into entrepreneurial success, including technical knowledge, business acumen, professional and entrepreneurial networks and market conditions," said Yael Hochberg, the Ralph S. O'Connor Associate Professor of Finance and Entrepreneurship at the Jones School. "However, very little evidence exists to support the notion that business acumen and education accelerate startup success. We believe our study will help develop sharp inferences that will contribute to our current understanding of factors contributing to entrepreneurial success."

Hochberg, who is considered one of the foremost experts on accelerator programs and serves as managing director of the annual Seed Accelerator Rankings Project, is the grant's principal investigator. This month she received the 2016 Ewing Marion Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship. The medal, which includes a $50,000 prize, is awarded annually to recognize a scholar early in his or her career as an associate or full professor whose research has made a significant contribution to entrepreneurship. Prior recipients of this award are at some of the most highly regarded universities in the U.S.

"The Kauffman Foundation is widely recognized as the leading independent philanthropic foundation supporting entrepreneurship research and education," said Jones School Dean Bill Glick. "Its award for Yael Hochberg and financial support for this research provide further validation of the impact and prominence of Rice's scholarship in entrepreneurship, and we are very grateful to the foundation."

The last decade has seen the proliferation of new types of programs, such as accelerators (fixed-term, cohort-based programs with an educational and mentorship component that culminate in a pitch event), and the re-emergence and growth of incubators and entrepreneurship and innovation-focused co-working facilities, Hochberg said. These approaches have been adopted not only by private investors, but also by regional development agencies and policymakers and by corporations around the world.

"Our research agenda aims to explore these new institutions and their features, and to answer a number of fundamental questions about their nature and efficacy," Hochberg said.

"We expect the results of our study to be of considerable interest to many groups, including accelerators, incubators, local governments considering entrepreneurship education programs and educational institutions," she said.

"Professor Hochberg's approach goes well beyond the standard at most universities today," said Rice University Provost Marie Lynn Miranda. "While many are offering activities around entrepreneurship, Yael is establishing the evidence basis for what actually works in activating the entrepreneurial capabilities of students - and in so doing, building a more robust program for students."

Other key team members of the grant's research team are Eric Floyd, an assistant professor of accounting at the Jones School, and Daniel Fehder, a Ph.D. student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management.

Hochberg is also head of the Rice Entrepreneurship Initiative, a cross-disciplinary initiative to provide students from across the university with skills and knowledge to succeed in a world where entrepreneurial capabilities are increasingly critical for meaningful and influential careers.

Based in Kansas City, Mo., the Kauffman Foundation provides educational resources for U.S. entrepreneurs, works to accelerate metro-area entrepreneurship hubs and helps supporting organizations that assist entrepreneurs. The foundation also works to advance entrepreneurship by providing research-based knowledge to entrepreneurs, policymakers and others. In addition, it aims to foster economic independence by advancing youth educational achievement.
For more information, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at 713-348-6775 or

Follow the Jones Graduate School of Business via Twitter @RiceMBA.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related materials:

New York Times article highlighting the Rice Entrepreneurship Initiative:

Jones Graduate School of Business:

Rice University

Related Education Articles:

Education a top priority
Various studies have revealed that a majority of Western European populations support increased investment in education.
Dementia on the downslide, especially among people with more education
In a hopeful sign for the health of the nation's brains, the percentage of American seniors with dementia is dropping, a new study finds.
A vision for revamping neuroscience education
The expanding scope and growing number of tools used for neuroscience is moving beyond what is taught in traditional graduate programs, say leaders in American neuroscience education, funding, and policy.
Scientific education through films?
Magic swords, wands, cauldrons and cloaks of invisibility do not exist in reality.
What should be the role of computer games in education?
Game advocates are calling for a sweeping transformation of conventional education to replace traditional curricula with game-based instruction.
More Education News and Education Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...