The Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship, which opened in 2006, teams students with seasoned faculty and accomplished entrepreneurs to help them develop the knowledge, skills, and practical experience necessary to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions. The Pillsbury Institute is also a source of information on creating a hospitality business, managing a small and family-operated business, purchasing a franchise, developing a corporate venture, funding a new venture, and being an innovator.

The School of Hotel Administration offers undergraduate and graduate level entrepreneurship courses that incorporate both academic and practical components. The courses are designed to provide students with an analytical framework for pursuing an entrepreneurial venture. The institute supports the entrepreneurship curriculum through its co-curricular offerings—programs, events, and network.

The institute guides the experiential learning process by creating programs that focus on business planning. These programs help students gain experience while reinforcing learning. The best plans provide a foundation on which to grow a business—the driver of economic development and generator of innovative ideas in hospitality.

The Pillsbury Institute engages with students, faculty, alumni, entrepreneurs, and innovators—stakeholders who have a direct tie to the hospitality industry. With the support of the Advisory Board members and through the Entrepreneurs in Residence program, the institute drives outreach, guarantees programs are relevant, and embraces current trends in hospitality.