Las Vegas has always embodied an entrepreneurial spirit and now with $4 million in pledged gifts UNLV’s Lee Business School will further demonstrate that spirit through expansion of its Center for Entrepreneurship (Center).
A lead pledge of $3 million from Dennis Troesh and $1 million donation from the Charles Koch Foundation allows the school to further its efforts to conduct, teach, and share research on entrepreneurship and innovation.
“The mission of Lee Business School is to cultivate leaders who transform business,” said Brent Hathaway, dean of Lee Business School. “These gifts will greatly expand the capacity of the current center and further the vision of the school, benefiting students and the community for decades to come.”
The Center partners students with entrepreneurs and leaders in the business community through the Rebel Venture Fund to learn about due diligence, investments, negotiations and closing deals. The Center facilitates and collaborates on competitions that foster entrepreneurship and business activity, including the Southern Nevada Business Plan Competition and the Governor’s Cup and Tri-State Award. The Center and the UNLV College of Engineering recently were selected as a National Science Foundation I-Corps site to serve as a business incubator for projects involving undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni.
The gifts will enable the interdisciplinary center to expand its activities, which furthers UNLV’s mission to serve a growing and diverse region. Such activities include developing and supporting human capital and economic diversification in Nevada—all key elements of UNLV’s Top Tier initiative.
Over the course of the five-year funding plan, the center will recruit a director of research, tenure-track professors, graduate research fellows and a program coordinator. It also will bring new guest speakers to campus, support student case competitions, host conferences, to benefit students, faculty, and community.
“As a businessman, I recognize UNLV’s Lee Business School as a significant resource in Southern Nevada,” said Dennis Troesh. “Businesses must innovate to stay competitive, and the Center for Entrepreneurship offers the industry vital research and business development services to stay ahead of trends, and it is training professionals who will be equipped to lead the workforce of tomorrow.”
This combined pledge promises to be one of the largest gifts to Lee Business School, second only to the $15 million contribution from the Lee family, the school’s namesakes. In honor of Dennis Troesh’s generous gift, as well as his work in industry and contributions to the community, the Center for Entrepreneurship will be submitted to the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents for renaming to the Troesh Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.