Study Leadership and Advisors

Dr. Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

Professor of Management & Organizations, University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

Dr. Sanchez-Burks is an award winning scholar and executive educator who designs, directs and delivers executive leadership and innovation development programs in more than 20 countries around the world.

Jeffrey works in diverse industries including financial services, arts & entertainment, government, manufacturing, and medicine. Through his expertise in strategic growth and innovation, he develops others to lead organizational change, navigate strategic conversations and deploy design thinking principles to achieve extraordinary results.

Jeffrey has served as the Faculty Director of the Office of Action-Based Learning and has served as the Director of the Executive MBA Leadership Development Program at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business (2013-2017). He is also the Faculty Director of custom designed executive education leadership programs for Fortune 100 companies.

Broadly, his research centers on topics that inform how to develop innovative solutions, bridge cultural divides and manage the emotional tenor and tempo of organizations. Jeffrey is a Co-Principal Investigator for the Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurial Mentoring Research project.  Jeffrey has presented in the TEDx series, and his research has been covered in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Harvard Business Review and numerous distinguished academic journals.  He holds a PhD from the University of Michigan.

Learn more about Jeffrey and connect with him.

Dr. David Brophy

Professor of Finance, Director of the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity, University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

Dr. Brophy’s research focuses on entrepreneurship and pricing of private equity and initial public offerings of common stock and characteristics of the venture capital market.

David is a Co-Principal Investigator for the Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurial Mentoring Research project.  David founded the center in 1994 with a specialized focus on entrepreneurial finance and investment.  The Center offers research, teaching and practitioner programs to encourage the channeling of equity capital to build companies and to harvest and recycle capital in emerging fields. The Center oversees the finance and investment component of entrepreneurial studies at the Ross School of Business. CVP’s initiatives include connecting the School’s entrepreneurial network to the financial community and industry mentors through its CVP Venture Academy, FTC Practicum, and Michigan Growth Capital Symposium. The Center contributes to the full spectrum of entrepreneurial education and programs administered through the School’s Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.  David holds a PhD from Ohio State University.

Learn more about David and connect with him.

Thomas Jensen

Executive Director, Entrepreneur Futures Network

Thomas Jensen is passionate about helping young innovators and entrepreneurs realize their hopes and dreams through mentoring. He founded Entrepreneur Futures Network because he believes current and future generations of young entrepreneurs and innovators will help solve global problems that seem intractable.  EFN provides managed mentor-based programs for universities and other organizations, innovation mentoring and coaching training, and runs iCatalysts  EFN’s accelerator to bridge university entrepreneurs to commercial life.

Thomas has 30 years of global experience in business and non-profit creation and operations, teaching, and consulting in the fields of technology, environment, sustainability, energy and entrepreneurship.

Thomas launched venture backed start-ups, founded EFN, a non-profit that partners with universities  and accelerator and companies worldwide to help develop entrepreneurs and mentors. He also led the Global Sustainable Solutions Practice at SAIC (Fortune 500 company science and technology company) and founded two nationally recognized public-private sustainability partnerships.

Thomas is a Co-Principal Investigator for the Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurial Mentoring Research project. He is leading implementation of the Kauffman Foundation study’s recommendations. He is also leading a five-year grant to strengthen the clean tech entrepreneurial ecosystem in California.

He has taught and lectured at the UC Berkeley and Columbia University Business Schools and at Stanford University.  Thomas advised the U.S Senate Appropriations Committee on environmental issues.  He has authored several books including co-authoring Sustainable Communities. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and spoke at international conferences convened by the White House and other prestigious organizations.    Thomas holds a BA in Economics from UCLA and a MA in Public Policy from the Claremont Colleges.

Contact Thomas to learn more about resources to help implement the recommendations of this mentoring study.

Dr. Melanie Milovac

Assistant Professor, INSEAD, Singapore

Melanie Milovac’s research focuses broadly on how people evaluate entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial teams and their creative ideas for new businesses. She is a Co-Principal Investigator for the Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurial Mentoring Research project. Her research also examines how framings of performance narratives influence people’s forecasts of others’ future performance. Melanie’s studies have identified implicit affect theories that guide judges’ forecasts about the performance of entrepreneurs. These implicit theories are often in conflict with espoused beliefs about the ideal entrepreneurial affect while developing their venture. This research was supported by a research grant from NESTA.  Her work on diverse entrepreneurial teams has shown complex relationships in how people perceive and think about the ideal team composition in terms of gender and expertise. Melanie holds a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Cambridge.

Learn more about Melanie and connect with her.

Dr. Evgeny Kagan

Assistant Professor, John Hopkins University

Evgeny Kagan’s research examines operational questions in innovation, product development and entrepreneurship. These include incentive design and contracting in startup teams, scheduling and planning product development as well as entrepreneurial market identification. These are questions for which the existing entrepreneurship, economics or operations management literature offers little guidance.

Evgeny is passionate about entrepreneurial networks and ecosystems, but believes that the conventional wisdom derived from entrepreneurial “best practices” is too often unchecked. Indeed, entrepreneurial ventures now have access to an array of management resources and startup advice, much of which have not been validated by data. His research puts some of these anecdotes to a more rigorous test and helps separate facts from opinions.

Evgeny has been invited to present this work at many selective conferences and universities and won several research awards. He is a co-author on a report commissioned by the Kauffman foundation studying entrepreneurial mentoring. Kagan earned his Ph.D. in Operations Management from the University of Michigan.

Learn more about Evgeny and connect with him.

We are grateful to several people from the academic, practitioner and science communities who helped guide the study, review the survey instruments, and engage participants.

Brad Bernthal – Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School

Brad Burke – Managing Director, Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship

Cynthia Franklin – Director of Entrepreneurship, W. R. Berkley Innovation Labs at NYU Stern

Chinonye Nnakwe – Program Manager, National Science Foundation

Ravi Thomas – Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

Ted Serbinski, Managing Director, Techstars Mobility

Mary Spaeth – Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin

Joel Weinstein  –  Accelerator Executive, Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT)

Po Chi Wu – Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley