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Dean Blount's Blog

A KIEI to our Future
April 6, 2012

  KIEI to our Future

Since announcing Linda Darragh’s appointment as Executive Director of the Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice and the Heizer Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital last week, Kellogg has been abuzz with energy. In the wake of this news, I’ve received many questions about Kellogg’s renewed focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, what our goals are and why this matters.

What is the KIEI?

Let me start by sharing additional background around the Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI, pronounced “key”). KIEI is one of the four “impact areas” originating from our strategic plan, Envision Kellogg, which was announced in February. At Kellogg, we see innovation and entrepreneurship as transcending the status quo – creating new ideas, new products, new ways of organizing and new ways of producing goods and services. The capacity for innovation is humankind’s greatest asset and the ultimate source of value creation in the marketplace. Finding and nurturing good ideas is central to dynamic leadership in this century, and KIEI will be central to Kellogg’s success.

What’s our goal?

The purpose of creating KIEI is to organize, focus and execute our innovation agenda. We have a tremendous number of assets to bring to bear at Kellogg and throughout Northwestern in innovation and entrepreneurship. Through KIEI, we will better coordinate and synthesize our many resources with the purpose of equipping students to become thought leaders and outstanding problem solvers. We will also focus on creating new intellectual property and market opportunities through the research and commercialization of ideas.

Under the KIEI umbrella, we are combining the resources of four other established centers within Kellogg in addition to the Levy Institute and Heizer Center. These include the Segal Design Institute, the Center for Family Enterprises, the Center for Research in Technology and Innovation and Social Enterprise at Kellogg.

How will we achieve success?

We will focus on three areas:

  • Establishing a curriculum that teaches innovation and entrepreneurship from an integrated perspective and includes a focus on three areas: corporate innovation,
    mid-cap growth and new venture creation
  • Building an ecosystem within and around Kellogg that links innovators and entrepreneurs to each other
  • Developing and publishing research and other forms of intellectual property around promising areas at Kellogg and Northwestern

What’s next?

Beyond our strategic assessment, which included a marketplace analysis and an assessment of Kellogg’s assets, we have been focusing on bringing in the right people to lead this effort, drawing from our talented faculty pool as well as recruiting key leaders such as Linda. We are now entering into our second phase, examining the KIEI structure and operating principles, as well as assessing our current innovation and entrepreneurial curriculum.


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