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Colorado State University’s College of Business has announced that Institute for Entrepreneurship Director Scott Shrake has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Young Professionals and Top 50 GenXYZers of 2020 by ColoradoBiz magazine.
Shrake’s innovative, zero-barriers approach to entrepreneurship, which has helped hundreds of students and community members develop business ideas and launch exciting new ventures, made him stand out from the hundreds of nominees for this prestigious honor.
Shrake, who has launched numerous new programs and initiatives since being named director of the Institute in 2018, describes entrepreneurship as opportunity recognition meets value creation. He takes an inclusive approach to entrepreneurship, encouraging people at all stages of the entrepreneurial process to visit the Institute.
“I want to enable people to be the best versions of themselves possible and start ventures that make the world a better place,” he said.
Shrake was nominated by CSU’s College of Business’s Jill Terry, assistant dean of graduate programs, who cited his zero-barriers, collaborative approach to entrepreneurship as key to breaking down silos on campus and opening entrepreneurship to everyone.
“His approach is to work with stakeholders across the public, private and educational system to create a venture development platform with a ‘zero-barriers’ approach to entrepreneurship,” Terry said in her nomination. “With this dynamic approach, Scott has been able to break down long-held barriers to bring together groups of innovators and has, in a very short time, been able to bring about change in the Institute and is a major influencer across the campus and community in this space.”
Increasing the Institute’s impact – and combatting “brain drain” in Northern Colorado – is one of Shrake’s main goals. The Institute currently works with over 50 individuals and groups per semester; the goal is to increase that number to 3,000 students and community members each year.
“We’re working to build an ecosystem of entrepreneurship across the university and the community,” he said. “I want to continue to build meaningful programs and interventions that improve lives, increase opportunities and push education in a better direction.”
To serve this growing number of aspiring entrepreneurs, Shrake and other Institute staff continually develop new programming. They have created specific programs for two of the six business areas the Institute supports and will roll out programming for the other four in 2020. In addition, Shrake is creating programming for the defense industry, restaurant accelerators and design thinking at the K-12 level.
“Scott’s ability to bring people from across campus and around the community together to create impactful ventures is unparalleled,” said College of Business Dean Beth Walker. “By emphasizing the importance of entrepreneurship for all, Scott is creating a unique space at the College of Business where everyone is welcome to share, develop and invest in ideas that will help make the world a better place. We are so proud to have him honored with this award.”
Shrake said being a finalist for the ColoradoBiz GenXYZ award is a wonderful, humbling recognition of the work the Institute is doing.
“It’s great to see people recognizing the work we’re putting into building a community of entrepreneurship in Colorado,” he said.
About the College of Business
Colorado State University’s College of Business is an AACSB-accredited institution located in Fort Collins, Colorado. Our mission is to transform lives through high-quality business education that teaches students to unite purpose and profit to create a better world. Through excellence in research, student access and success, student preparation and community engagement, the College aims to become a national leader in advancing business to address the social, environmental and economic challenges of the 21st century.
About the Institute for Entrepreneurship
The College of Business’s Institute for Entrepreneurship is a hub for innovation on campus and in the northern Colorado community. It offers free workshops for all Colorado State University students and facilitates connections with business leaders and strategic partners to validate and accelerate startups at every stage of the process, from ideation to launch.