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Lewis Sheats Has New Role in Campus-wide Entrepreneurship Programs

Photo of Lewis Sheats
Lewis Sheats

Lewis Sheats, director of the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic launched in January 2015 by Poole College of Management, takes on an expanded administrative and academic role supporting the university’s efforts in entrepreneurship education, research and outreach – which enjoy growing private support.

Lewis Sheats, director of the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic launched in January 2015 by the North Carolina State University Poole College of Management, has an expanded administrative and academic role supporting entrepreneurship education, research and outreach at NC State.

Sheats, a member of the Poole College of Management’s Department of Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship faculty, now has three titles: assistant vice provost for entrepreneurship at NC State University, executive director of the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic based in Poole College, and associate professor of practice in Poole College. His expanded role, which places him on the NC State Entrepreneurship leadership team, was approved by the North Carolina Board of Governors at its June 2, 2017 meeting.

Campus-wide Alliance Model of Entrepreneurship

Reporting to both Tom Miller, senior vice provost for academic outreach at NC State, and Annette L. Ranft, Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Chair and dean of the Poole College of Management, Sheats is serving the university in building an alliance model of entrepreneurship at NC State, including the integration of Poole College’s entrepreneurship activities with those of the NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative based in the Office of the Provost. He also serves as liaison with the Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN).

While continuing to provide leadership for the Entrepreneurship Clinic, Sheats also will work with the entrepreneurship community on and off campus to promote consistency of course offerings and employment of graduates in new ventures and entrepreneurial units within larger firms. Sheats also will coordinate with research faculty regarding data gathering and experimental protocols for entrepreneurship research.

“We are pleased that under the direction of Lewis, the Entrepreneurship Clinic has grown and has become an important vehicle helping to drive entrepreneurship education, outreach and research across campus,” Ranft said.

Entrepreneurship Education in Poole College

Since joining the Poole College faculty in 2003, Sheats has championed the college’s entrepreneurship education program and helped grow it from a small selection of courses to a robust concentration that includes classes ranging in scope from finance to business planning to law, as well as enabling students to engage with new ventures through the Entrepreneurship Clinic.

This focus on undergraduate entrepreneurship education complements the college’s graduate Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization concentration in the Jenkins MBA program. Both the undergraduate and graduate programs are open to students across campus who seek a concentration or minor in entrepreneurship, with a focus on applied learning that enables students to put into practice what they learn in the classroom, for their own ventures or by working with other startups.

In January 2015, the Poole College of Management launched the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic with Sheats as director, providing a channel for NC State students to work with entrepreneurs on targeted projects. The Clinic also provides opportunities for Poole College entrepreneurship faculty to gather data for research. The Quarterly Outlook of Triangle Entrepreneurs is one of their ongoing research projects.

Sheats will continue to manage the NC State Andrews Launch Accelerator and Acceleration Fund, which was established in 2016 to increase the propensity of budding NC State student and recent alumni entrepreneurs to grow their new ventures through equity-free grants.

“Lewis has been a tireless innovator and advocate for entrepreneurship education in the Poole College of Management for many years. I’m excited to have his role expanded to include campus-wide responsibilities through which he can have an even greater impact in building NC State’s entrepreneurial culture and programs,” Miller said.