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Howard HainesAssociate Director

    Howard is the Associate Director of the Apex Center for Entrepreneurs and spends most of his time working with student founders. In this role Howard serves students of all disciplines to help them discover their passions, to connect them to an extended support system, and to provide foundational skills to develop into entrepreneurial leaders. Howard’s own passions mirror the program and revolve around helping others find and achieve their own dreams through experiential learning and entrepreneurship so that they can improve their own lives and solve societal problems in sustainable and profitable ways.

    Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Howard was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of South Dakota where he helped develop a new Innovation and Entrepreneurship major, curriculum, and cross-campus collaborations to commercialize university technologies using project-based approaches. He has also advised or been a part of hundreds of start-ups, including several of his own, as well as assisting in the development of multiple accelerator programs in both the private and academic sectors. Before discovering his passion for entrepreneurship, Howard also worked for and consulted with small to medium sized businesses, Fortune 500 companies like American Express and Amazon, and global joint ventures culminating in over 15 years of experience in creating and delivering solutions in a variety of industries.

    Howard holds a bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in Human Resource Management from the Utah State University in Logan, UT. He also received a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from Brigham Young University. Additionally, Howard holds an Education Specialist degree (Ed.S.) in Learning Sciences and Instructional Technology from Utah State University where his research focused on discovering how novice entrepreneurs learn to become successful habitual entrepreneurs. He continues his research while hosting a podcast, Entrepreneurs’ Apprentice, where he interviews expert entrepreneurs about how they accomplish various cognitive tasks throughout the process of starting a new venture.

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    student pitching an idea