Industry Update
Press Release24 July 2014

Cornell's Pillsbury Institute Wins Coleman Foundation Entrepreneurship Fellows Program Grant

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The Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at Cornell University will expand its programs in entrepreneurial studies, thanks to a grant from the Coleman Foundation Faculty Entrepreneurship Fellows Program. Supplemented by support from the School of Hotel Administration, the grant focuses on modifying existing courses to incorporate core entrepreneurship skills in disciplines across the university. The Coleman Foundation's goal in creating the program is to inspire students to learn the skills involved in self-employment. Mona Anita K. Olsen, who is the assistant academic director of the Pillsbury Institute at the School of Hotel Administration, will be the program's project director for Cornell University.

"Our goal is to make a difference by encouraging cross-disciplinary faculty collaboration to spread the skills of self-employment beyond the core business disciplines," said Olsen, who is also a visiting assistant professor at the school. "With this grant we will recruit Fellows into a community of practice who will augment their curricula to include entrepreneurial skills or entrepreneurial learning opportunities into course design. The Fellows will engage in critical collaborative inquiry with the aim to increase the entrepreneurial exposure of students in the classrooms to encourage further participation in experiential learning and engagement opportunities with the entrepreneurship community at Cornell."

The entire 2014-2015 class of 120 faculty members will meet in August at the Fellows Summit in Illinois. Past fellows have been in such disciplines as web design, architecture and design, print making, and spirituality, which led to a course called "Spirituality and Entrepreneurship." In addition to the focus on self-employment, a common thread in the programs' coursework was encouraging students' and faculty members' creativity.

Cornell is one of 19 colleges and universities to be part of Coleman's 2013-2014 Class, and is one of just three institutions receiving funding for the first time. Over the six years of the program, the Coleman Foundation has committed over $2 million to fellowships and campus support grants and an additional amount nearing $800,000 for related program support.

Based in Chicago, the Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grant maker that primarily focuses its activities in the Midwestern United States. Established in 1951 by the entrepreneurial proprietors of Fannie May Candies, Dorothy W. and J.D. Stetson Coleman, the foundation began its full operation in 1981 with core programs in three main areas of concern: cancer care, developmental disabilities, and entrepreneurship education.

About The Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship

Founded in 2006 with a generous gift from Leland Pillsbury '69 and his wife, Mary Pillsbury, the Pillsbury Institute provides support for seasoned faculty and proven entrepreneurs to help students envision their dreams, engage with others, and execute with excellence. The institute guides students in the study of entrepreneurship and innovation, connects them with successful hospitality entrepreneurs and innovators, and gives them practical experience to help them link classroom theory to real-world practice. The Pillsbury Institute is also a source of information about forming new hospitality businesses, managing small and family-run businesses, franchising, corporate venturing, new venture funding, and innovation.

Kristen Ciferri
Phone: 607.255.0179
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