EIX Conference 2016

The 3rd Annual Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange editors conference was held September 9 and 10, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, University of St. Thomas. With a strong foundation in place and the momentum of several ongoing campaigns -- such as EIX in Class -- we talked about our growth and activities in the context of what we can do overall to advance and promote entrepreneurship education.

During our information sharing and proceedings, Dick Schulze joined us to discuss the vision for EIX and entrepreneurship, while also recognizing outstanding entrepreneurship teaching with the first annual Schulze Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year awards.

  • Heidi Neck, a Professor at Babson College (Watch Neck's presentation here.)
  • Michael Morris, an Academic Director at the University of Florida (Watch Morris's presentation here.)

One terrific outcome from the conference was a wave of new learning resources and videos, including:

EIX Conference 2015

Our second annual EIX Conference was again held in Minneapolis, MN in mid September. The theme of this intensive, thought-filled meeting was to continue honing and shaping the eiexchange.com website and complementary programs being supported by the Schulze Foundation. While the website continues to grow, be populated with more excellent content, and reach more students, educators, and practitioners, the Schulze Professorship awards illustrate the commitment Dick Schulze is making to benefitting entrepreneurship education in the US in the long-term.

Meet the EIX editors and supporters in attendance.
The question was "Tell us about something interesting
you are working on in the field of entrepreneurship"...

Videos are listed in alphabetical order by first name 

EIX Conference 2014

EIX Conference

The Inaugural EIX conference was held at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship in Minneapolis August 14-15, 2014. It was a wonderful opportunity for members of the EIX editorial board to start the teamwork needed to succeed. It was also an opportunity to express our appreciation to Dick Schulze for his philanthropic gesture to support an innovative social media based platform to advance entrepreneurship.

Below are some visual highlights of the conference.

Jim Wetherbe editor-in-Chief of EIX provided the welcome and introduction to the conference.

This was followed by a warm welcome from Dick Schulze Founder of Best Buy and the philanthropist behind EIX. He provided a compelling vision of what he would like EIX to be to the entrepreneurial community and the importance of increasing entrepreneurial success through EIX.

President Julie Sullivan of St. Thomas University provided a special welcome and expressed her commitment to entrepreneurship teaching and research as a campus wide resource to students of all majors. She shared her gratitude to Dick Schulze for having the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at St. Thomas.

David Deeds the Sr. Editor of EIX added his welcome and facilitated the introduction of distinguished members of the EIX Editorial Board.

We then had the opportunity to hear from members of the EIX editorial board as each explained their involvement in entrepreneurship and their motivation to be involved with EIX. For convenient access and reference the authors introductions are arranged in alphabetical order.

To set the stage for the working conference, Jim Wetherbe provided some history and context of how EIX came to be. His presentation is organized and segmented into Introduction, Historical Perspective on Information Technology, and Thought Leadership Platforms.

  1. Introduction
  2. Historical Perspective on Information Technology Relevant to EIX
  3. Creating and Disseminating Thought Leadership with EIX

After Wetherbe’s presentation the remainder of the conference consisted of engaging editors in open discussions via breakout and general sessions. Through these sessions, we achieved feedback to help move EIX forward for the January launch. Key points and actions arrived at are discussed below.

Results of Editor Breakout and Group Discussions

EIX will become the ‘go to’ source for knowledge and information about entrepreneurship. In order to achieve this we have to remember that “Whatever our customers need, that’s where we need to go” (Dick Schulze – Inaugural EIX Conference)

EIX is not just another online journal with PDF downloads of articles. Rather, it is a social media thought leadership platform that rapidly provides content in a variety of formats that is user friendly, facilitates online interaction and bridges the gaps among entrepreneurs, students and faculty. EIX editors’ objective is to turnaround commentary reviews in a couple of days and full articles within two weeks which compliments the ability to post articles online when ready.

To aggressively move EIX forward for January launch, the following nine initiatives and actions were derived from the EIX editors’ breakout and joint discussions:


New Initiatives Actions  

  1. To facilitate accessibility and applicability to theory and research articles, EIX will add a new feature that provides Executive Summaries of each article that highlights why the research was undertaken, what are the key findings, and what are the useful applications to entrepreneurs. 
  2. To provide answers to common entrepreneur questions, EIX will develop a EIX FAQs data base that includes FAQ’s as supplied by editors and provide different perspectives on the answers through a variety of sources including printed and video responses from several experts including entrepreneurs and faculty. 
  3. Besides providing high quality original content, EIX wants to facilitate access to new learning resources wherever they might be available. To achieve this, EIX will offer a new learning resource entitled Editors Picks which will offer links to their favorite learning resources including classic articles, interviews, lectures, tutorials, and cases. Links will include the recommending editor (s), brief summary of the resource, and access links to the original sources of that material. 
  4. To take advantage of the top, classic books, articles and cases published over the past 30 years, EIX will offer a new learning resource entitled Entrepreneurship Classics. To achieve classic status, an article or case must be endorsed by three editors. Titles of classics will be provided as well as a summary of (research translation) as well as a link to the resources if available. 
  5. So we can build a library of entrepreneur interviews, editors are encouraged to provide video interviews of entrepreneurs within their network of contacts. Production cost of approved interviews video support will be covered by EIX. 
  6. 6.To create awareness of exciting new entrepreneurship research regardless of where published, EIX Editors will look for interesting new research articles that have practical implications and reach out to the authors and ask for or offer to provide EIX Commentaries.
  7. To allow more flexibility to Schulze Award winning authors, they will be able to accept the award as a research grant or a scholarship to be gifted to an institution of their choice. 
  8. Videos of business ideas will be accepted and can be password protected until funding is satisfactorily received. We will work towards creating a student video proposal competition for Spring.
  9. So that EIX is a full resource for January launch, besides an article of their own, each editor committed to recruiting and/or providing content contributions. Contributions can include additional articles from the editor, recruited articles from colleagues, Editor Pick links, and interviews of entrepreneurs.

The inaugural EIX conference was an intense, stimulating event that set the stage for the January launch and future EIX conferences. In conclusion, nobody expressed better the sentiments shared by those attending the inaugural EIX conference then a message Dick Schulze provided post conference:  

Before the vivid remembrance of this past week’s first National conference for the introduction of EIX begins to fade a bit, I wanted to summarize my response to the theme and question of just what is EIX and what do we want it to do for us.  

First and foremost this is intended to be a comprehensive vehicle directed at the world of Entrepreneurship, it’s a new start up focused on entrepreneurs, Students, Family business owners and small business owners everywhere. It is also intended to be a vehicle for Thought Leaders, Faculty and researchers everywhere to share their views on this important subject.  Without this high quality content and other evidence of what it takes to succeed in building a successful business, no one would take the representation seriously. We want to excite, inform and encourage readership, review and engagement with practitioners and authors. We are all aligned around a win/win strategy that provides exposure, credit and engagement to the content providers and a volume of support for ways Entrepreneurs can think of how best to manage and build their businesses. The Board assembled projects enormous credibility for the site. I would hope we can attract the best and brightest of all who care and relate to and use the site. 

I believe it is incumbent on us throughout the ranks to provide a meaningful differentiation from alternative offerings through a variety of publications, stories, interviews, curriculum and engagement from all involved. Innovation will be the key differentiators to enriching the site. More new and meaningful points of view and new and exciting ways to excite the user will encourage all to go to EIX first because we do more for all involved.  The personal fingertips of many are on the first offering and as more get involved it will be a rich triumph for everyone.

Our Families role in all of this is to expand the economic outcome for all involved and most especially the economy of the United States who need more and more of this market stimulation to build successful outcomes.  Another way to think of it is we need to improve on the success ratio of new startups here in the US. We are not in it for profit but only reward for making a difference in the many lives touched by this endeavor.

Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this debut.  A small engaged staff of four who are excited about what it can do and what it can become. 

Bravo for the first salvo...

Dick Schulze