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L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

About the Center

The L. William Crotty Center supports UD's distinctive approach to entrepreneurial education that aligns with the university’s effort to educate for practical wisdom. An effort to provide experiences in and out of the classroom where students can become skilled entrepreneurs, and where we teach and learn at the intersections of profit and purpose. This is done through experiential learning programs, transdisciplinary opportunities, and community engagement. UD students participate in every facet of entrepreneurship in for profit and mission-based ventures including starting and running a university funded micro-company before graduation. The vision of the Center is to be an incubator for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

In addition, students participate in learning at the intersections of profit and purpose through a nationally recognized student-run business, a student-run consulting firm, a micro-loan fund for underrepresented entrepreneurs or a pre-seed angel fund. Students have opportunities to experience the intersections in a transdisciplinary environment, where students from every academic unit participate. The effort to educate for practical wisdom is not confined by the campus borders, it extends into the community. UD anchors a regional hub for startups and is creating a neighborhood incubator for underrepresented entrepreneurs. Students are engaged in this effort through consulting and supporting startups, funding these startups and working side-by-side with them. UD students are not just witnessing entrepreneurship from a desk in the classroom, they are immersed in entrepreneurial activity both on campus and in the community every day.

A few of our most prominent entrepreneur alumni include:

Allison Robinson '09

Founder and CEO of The Mom Project

The Mom Project (Chicago, IL) is a digital marketplace and community for professionally accomplished women. It provides women with real work opportunities that allows them to balance their personal goals. The Mom Project was the winner of the 2016 Chicago Innovation Awards and has been featured in national media including, CNN, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, Yahoo and The Chicago Tribune. In 2018, The Mom Project raised $2.6 million in their seed round and the site now has 500 corporate clients and 30,000 users.

Stephen Harman '08

Co-Founder of Fusian Inc.

Fusian (Dayton, OH) is a fast casual and affordable sushi restaurant that was founded in 2010 and has grown to 12 locations in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo. Named in 2017 to QSR Magazine’s top 40 restaurant chains, Fusian has been recognized as one of the fastest growing, and perhaps the next “big thing” in the fast-casual food segment. The chain expects to continue its growth in 2018 where several Cleveland area stores are planned.

Jon Dekar '11

Co-Founder and CEO of OBI Robot

Based on experiences with his grandfather, Jon had a goal restoring dignity to those who cannot feed themselves for various reasons. John’s Obi Robot is designed to help mobility impaired people feed themselves. Jon is the winner of the 2017 Soin Innovation Award. Obi was the winner of the 2016 R&D Awards in the category of Mechanical/Materials and has been featured on CNBC, NPR, CNet and Yahoo.

Addison Hoover '09

Docent Health

A thought-leader in consumer experience technologies and design, over the past ten years Addison has worked on a multitude of projects spanning numerous industries, leveraging his expertise in consumer transaction technology, experience and service design, sales, marketing, and user research. Addison is regularly asked to write and speak on various multi-industry megatrends, and to translate both visionary and practical ideas into action with leaders in retail, banking, hospitality, and healthcare.

Andy Hill '12

Founder, Stand4 and Atlis

Stand4 is a mobile app that is designed to connect individuals, charities, and corporations. At launch, Stand4 already had 5,000 users, 22 employees, and had raised $500,000 in seed investment. Andy is a contributing writer to Entrepreneur Magazine and was a finalist on CNBC’s Shark Tank.


L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

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31 S. Main Street
Dayton, Ohio 45402