Paul Earle
Paul Earle Jr.

Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Print Overview

Paul W. Earle, Jr. is a brand and innovation professional, entrepreneur, intrapreneur and lecturer with significant experience in design, the development of new products and services, new venture formation, intellectual property licensing, marketing communications of all kinds and traditional brand management and strategy.

At present, Paul is Principal of Paul Earle & Co., a new, modern innovation consultancy and venture platform that helps leading corporations convert Mind Into Matter. He is also a faculty member at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, where he co-teaches the popular Corporate Innovation and New Ventures class, an intensive immersion that pairs student teams with top corporate partners such as McDonald's, Visa, Procter & Gamble, United Airlines and Hyatt. Paul also created and hosts "Origin Stories of Innovation," a podcast interview series on innovation leadership, and has published numerous written works.

Prior to launching his latest enterprise, Paul was Executive Director of Farmhouse, the innovation and new venture center of the global creative agency Leo Burnett. Founded by Paul in partnership with Leo Burnett management in 2011 and operating successfully through 2016, Farmhouse developed new brands, new product and service concepts, and other new kinds of designed experiences for premier clients such as Procter & Gamble, McDonald's, Kellogg's, Allstate, E&J Gallo and others. While at Burnett, Paul also co-authored the strategy that led to "Publicis90," an open innovation platform (the first of its kind in the big agency world) that to date has been the repository for more than 3,000 innovation ideas throughout the global network of parent company Publicis Groupe, as well as external startups and academic research centers.

On his own, prior to joining Burnett, amongst other adventures, Paul was part of the founding team that created and launched ANGEL'S ENVY, a whiskey brand that achieved near instant success and would ultimately be acquired by Bacardi in 2015.

From 2001 to 2009, Paul served as Founder and President of River West Brands LLC, a dormant brand acquisition and redevelopment company that later became part of Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC). River West acquired and relaunched well-known but distressed brand properties such as COLECO toys, BRIM coffee, EAGLE snacks, NUPRIN analgesics, SALON SELECTIVES hair care, and a number of other icons. Paul and his work earned feature-length profiles in the New York Times, NBC's Today Show, NPR, BBC and other prominent media.

Earlier, Paul worked in brand management at Kraft Foods Inc., and at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, for mainly the General Mills and Johnson & Johnson clients.

Paul holds a BA from Hamilton College and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two sons.

Print Vita
MBA, 1999, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
BA, 1993, Hamilton College

Other Professional Experience
Account Management, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, 1993-1997
President, River West Brands, 2001-2011
Brand Management, Kraft Foods, 1998-2000
Executive Director, Farmhouse, Leo Burnett, 2012-present

Print Research

Print Teaching
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Field Study (KIEI-498-0)
Field Studies include those opportunities outside of the regular curriculum in which a student is working with an outside company or non-profit organization to address a real-world business challenge for course credit under the oversight of a faculty member.

Corporate Innovation and New Ventures (KIEI-903-0)

The terms "entrepreneurship" and "innovation" often evoke images of a startup in a garage. But what about the game-changing innovation generated by large, established corporations? Now more than ever, large organizations are focusing on innovation as the key to their growth and prosperity. In some instances, it is critical for their very survival. These companies are investing in systems and processes to accelerate the pace of innovation, but need their people to step up in order to win in a competitive marketplace.

This course addresses the emerging practice of "corporate entrepreneurship," also called "intrapreneurship," broadly defined as the application of entrepreneurial capabilities to the development of new ventures within an existing firm. In 2014 the course was redesigned with enhanced student-experience goals, that would 1) create a more experiential-learning ecosystem, taking students out of the classroom into the realities of the boardroom, 2) curate a unique curriculum through impactful sessions and connections with top executives from multi-national corporations, and 3) consider the entrepreneurial movement as an opportunity and tool to drive innovation and growth in and around large enterprises.

With a unique focus on exploring and learning from real companies with real problems, classes provide highly immersive learning opportunities, putting students right in the middle of the innovation arms race. By working directly with companies, students are able to roll up their sleeves and sample traditional and entrepreneurial innovation techniques from the perspective of impacting corporate strategy, market-facing initiatives, corporate venturing, startup partnering and new product development.

Student teams work with a Sponsoring Partner for the quarter, and are tasked with the creation of innovative ideas around their growth challenge areas, which are presented to the class by the company's executives. Teams are further tasked with targeting, developing, evaluating, vetting and refining their top idea through a concept development process, culminating in a final project deliverable and formal presentation to company's leadership team. Previous KIEI-903 Sponsoring Partners have included McDonald's Corporation, United Healthcare and Procter & Gamble.

In addition to the primary team project, students are also exposed to corporate and entrepreneurial innovation processes at a range of multi-national headquarter and corporate innovation center locations, startups, incubators and accelerators. Many classes are held on site, at KIEI-903 Organization Partner locations, where students interact with management, through thematic discussions, debates and workshops, about the current market opportunities and growth challenges they are pursuing. Organization Partners, where classes have been previously held include United Airlines, Whirlpool, PepsiCo, Accenture, Leo Burnett, Target, AKTA, TechNexus and1871.

All readings will be included in the course pack. Current details and updates about the class experience can be reviewed here.