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The Entrepreneurship Research Collaborative is a working group of Assistant and Associate Professors as well as Ph.D students from departments and colleges across Virginia Tech, working together for the benefit of high quality research related to innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Research Collaborative pursues interdisciplinary research and publishes that research in the elite academic journals of various fields within the field of business. All Collaborative faculty have recently published on entrepreneurship or innovation related topics in the most elite business and entrepreneurship academic journals, or have journal article submissions under review or under preparation for elite journals in the past year.


Head and shoulders portrait photo of David Townsend

David Townsend

  • Academic Director, Apex Center for Entrepreneurs
  • Co-Chair, PERC Research Committee
  • Assistant Professor / Union Junior Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship, Department of Management
  • Ph.D., Strategy & Entrepreneurship, University of Oklahoma

Dr. Townsend’s research builds on theories of human agency to explore the acquisition and use of resources — financial, technological, reputational, social, and managerial — and their impact on the survival and performance of technology-based and social ventures. He has 17 published publications to date, including papers in the most recognized scholarly journals in that area. His work has been referenced in the popular press, including Business Week.

Headshot of Richard Hunt, assistant professor in Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business

Rick Hunt

  • Co-Chair, PERC Research Committee
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Management
  • Ph.D., Strategy and Entrepreneurship, University of Colorado

Hunt’s research examines the links among entrepreneurship, strategy and innovation, including new sector formation, market entry and early-stage operational behavior. Among his many professional honors are the:

  • Best Paper Prize at the Sustainability, Ethics and Entrepreneurship Conference (2014)
  • Best Published Article on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, awarded by Emerald Group Publications (2014)
  • Ronald B. Shuman Best Ph.D. Paper Award in the management history division of the Academy of Management (2013)
  • Sumantra Ghoshal Research and Practice Award in the academy’s business policy and strategy division (2012)

Doctoral Students

headshot of Alex Naar

Alex Naar

  • Ph.D candidate, Department of Management
  • Interests: Social Entrepreneurship

Alex is a Ph.D student with a focus in social entrepreneurship. Currently, he is doing research in innovation and entrepreneurship and seeks to present his findings at academic conferences. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, he worked for three years as the Director of Outreach at the Center for Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University. He holds a MBA from East Carolina University and a B.A. from the University of Colorado in Environmental Studies.

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