Norwegian Grant Elevates Cornell's International Entrepreneurial Efforts

Contact: Kristen Ciferri, 607.255.0179, klc43@cornell.edu 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Norwegian Grant Elevates Cornell's International Entrepreneurial Efforts 

Ithaca, NY, December 22, 2015 - Cornell's already strong efforts to encourage student entrepreneurship will be extended through a grant from Norway's Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU). The grant was obtained through the leadership of Assistant Professor Mona Anita K. Olsen, associate director of the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the School of Hotel Administration (SHA) and the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).

Cornell is one of twelve North American universities that have won SIU grants. Totaling 192,200 Norwegian kroner (about $23,000), the grant will support development of a joint course with NHH that enhances students' entrepreneurial knowledge and also addresses the needs of Norway's Seafood Innovation Cluster (SIC), which represents an essential industry in both Norway and the United States. 

"This grant is an outgrowth of a collaborative effort we made through the International Academic Partnership Program Norway (IAPP)," Olsen explained. "As a result of receiving the 2015-16 Luigi Einaudi Chair Innovation Grant, awarded by the Cornell Institute for European Studies Luigi Einaudi Chair Innovation Fund, I went to Norway to learn more about how to expand our cooperative efforts to develop student education in the two countries. Now, with this grant from SIU, we will work with NHH over the next two years to develop a global entrepreneur course for students in both Norway and the U.S." 

Olsen envisions the course as being offered in the spring 2017 semester, with students at Cornell and NHH taking the course simultaneously in an electronic classroom with experiential elements in each country. "We are focusing on the entrepreneurial prospects for the Seafood Innovation Cluster because of that industry's potential for greater development and the opportunities that SIC offers for real-life, innovative projects," Olsen said. According to the grant application, SIC represents a total of 70 industry businesses, with a revenue of $10 billion, and includes the entire seafood value chain. 

She added: "This course will add to the dozen entrepreneur courses we offer at SHA. Once we have this course up and running we will then have a model for international course design collaboration that can involve other business partners in the future from various geographic locations." 

Olsen is encouraging faculty members across Cornell to become involved in this project and future international entrepreneurial efforts. She has already been recruiting faculty fellows who will augment their curricula to include entrepreneurial aspects in their courses, through the Pillsbury Faculty Ambassador Program, which launched as a result of an earlier grant from the Coleman Foundation. She also looks forward to engaging alumni, including members of Cornell's alumni association and the Cornell Hotel Society in Norway. 

Olsen's interest in developing connections with Norway came during a Fulbright fellowship effort to encourage interaction between the U.S. and Norway. She credits a team effort through the Pillsbury Institute, the IAPP Norway at Cornell Committee, Cornell Abroad, the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and NHH for winning the grant. Olsen hopes this opens up possibilities for many opportunities for international collaboration in entrepreneurship in the future, as she commented: "Entrepreneurship is everywhere: it has no borders." 

About the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship 
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.