your mission.

We create the structure and resources necessary for students to pursue their entrepreneurial goals.

Owen is one of the preeminent business schools for entrepreneurship in the world.

The Center for Entrepreneurship at the Owen Graduate School of Management was created after the generous gift from Jack and Carolyn Long (both Owen ’83) in 2016. Our mission is to build and grow a productive entrepreneurial ecosystem conducive to creating new and innovative businesses. The center accomplishes the mission through structured programs, financial support through grants and scholarships, and network connections through alumni in Nashville, throughout the US, and across the world. There are thousands of Vanderbilt and Owen alums in the startup and venture capital space looking to help and support current students and other alumni.



The Center for Entrepreneurship is located in the offices and space attached to the lower level of the Walker Management Library at the Owen Graduate School of Management.

Stop by anytime to grab a coffee, hang out on the couches, talk through new ideas, and whiteboard the next great company.

Resources Around Campus & Nashville

The Center has many connections with local and national startups/VC firms inside and out of the Vanderbilt/Owen network. The Center works to connect each entrepreneurial student with the right person at the right time. If you have a specific startup/firm/industry/geography you are targeting, just ask and the Center to facilitate and introduction.

Check out our Nashville Entrepreneurship Ecosystem to learn more about connections in the community.

Michael Burcham, Faculty Director

Michael Burcham serves as the Faculty Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship. He is an entrepreneur, investor, teacher and healthcare strategist with over 25 years’ experience leading technology-enabled healthcare organizations.

Michael is a member of the faculty at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, where he teaches Launching New Ventures, Healthcare Innovation and Business Modeling. Michael has been teaching at Vanderbilt since 2007.

Michael most recently served as Founder and CEO of Narus Health (2015 – 2019), a healthcare solutions firm focused on innovations in care management and population heath.  Michael was the founding CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, serving in that capacity from 2010 – 2015. He served as President of ParadigmHealth from 2000-2007. Prior to ParadigmHealth, Michael was President of Theraphysics, a venture-backed, specialty rehabilitation firm he founded in 1992. He began his healthcare career at Hospital Corporation of America.

Michael graduated from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1983. He holds an MBA from Belmont University and a Doctorate in Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Burcham also serves as an Executive Partner with Shore Capital Partners, a private equity investment from with offices in Chicago and Nashville.

Stacie Pawlicki, Director

Stacie Pawlicki serves as the the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. She is an entrepreneur, ICF accredited coach, and seasoned strategic marketing executive with over 12 years of experience building and developing teams for startups and multimillion-dollar corporations.

Stacie’s most recent entrepreneurial venture is founding and serving as CEO of Nessa Leaders, a leadership coaching and culture consulting company specializing in helping startup and growth-stage companies develop their executives, managers, and teams.

Stacie previously served as the VP, Marketing for Healthcare Bluebook, a healthcare price and quality transparency provider. Before that, Stacie was VP, Marketing for InQuicker, a Software-as-a-Service online appointment scheduling provider for health systems. As an executive at that Inc. 500 startup, the team tripled its revenue before being sold to a publicly traded company.

In partnership with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Stacie co-founded Advance Nashville, the young professionals’ board where she was Co-Chair of the Capital Investment team.

Stacie is a Vanderbilt alumnus, graduating with a BA in Sociology in 2008. She also finished 1st in the Accelerator Business Immersion Program at Owen Graduate School of Management in 2009.

Advisory Board

David Owens

Dave Owens, Professor for the Practice of Management and Innovation and Faculty Director, VU Accelerator-Summer Business Institute, is a well-established authority on innovation and new product development who has lent his expertise to Fortune 500 companies and students alike.

Professor Owens has consulted for NASA, The Smithsonian, Nissan LEAF, Gibson Music, American Conservatory Theater, Alcatel, Tetra Pak, Tennessee Valley Authority, Cisco, LEGO, The Henry Ford Museum and many other organizations. He has done product design work for well-known firms, including Daimler Benz, Apple Computer, Dell Computer, Coleman Camping, Corning World Kitchen, Steelcase and IDEO Product Development. Professor Owens’ work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, London Guardian and San Jose Mercury News, as well as on NPR’s Marketplace. 

Marie Thursby

Professor Marie Thursby, Adjunct Professor of Management, is one of the foremost scholars in the field of the economics of innovation. She is an Emeritus Regents’ Professor of Strategy at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Visiting Scholar in the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH), Harvard University.

Dr. Thursby is the founding director of the internationally acclaimed program, Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Returns (TI:GER®) – a unique educational collaboration between Georgia Tech and Emory University. TI:GER teams PhD students in engineering and science with MBA and JD students in an experiential curriculum focused on the intersection of technical, legal and business issues at the heart of innovation.

About Our Donor

The Center for Entrepreneurship was created from the gift of Jack and Carolyn Long (both MBA 83’s). The goal of the gift was to “expand opportunities and education around entrepreneurship at the Owen Graduate School of Management.”

Jack is a serial entrepreneur, having started and sold numerous companies in logistics, software, and education during his successful professional career. Jack has his private pilot’s license and Jack and Carolyn spend much of their time flying all over the world, to include the North and South Poles.