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’s) in fall 2016 (press release). 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 networks 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.

About Michael

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 teaches Healthcare Innovation and Launching New Ventures in the Owen Graduate School of Management. Michael currently serves as CEO of Narus Health, an organization focused on disrupting the care management experience for patients and families facing serious medical illness. Most recently, Michael was the founding President and CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, serving in that capacity from 2010-2015. His work helped drive Nashville’s entrepreneurial growth and was honored by President Obama as a “Champion of Change” for his mentoring of young entrepreneurs in 2012. Michael served as the Co-Chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 2014-2016.

From 2000-2007, Michael served as President of ParadigmHealth. ParadigmHealth specialized in the management of clinically complex patients and was sold to Alere in 2007. Previously, Michael was President and Founder of Theraphysics, a venture-backed, specialty rehabilitation firm. Theraphysics was acquired by Beverly Enterprises in 1998.. Michael began his career in healthcare in 1983 after graduating from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Michael also holds an MBA from Belmont University and a Doctorate in Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina.


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.