Linda Darragh's professional and volunteer experience has focused on enhancing entrepreneurship in Chicago for three decades. Two key areas of interest have been early stage financing and teaching.
As the Larry Levy Executive Director of the Kellogg Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, Ms. Darragh oversees one of four strategic initiatives at Kellogg. In this capacity, Darragh has updated and enhanced the curriculum, expanded the faculty and increased engagement opportunities for students and alumni. Darragh also teaches the Growth Straetgy Practicum (capstone) course for the Executive MBA program as well as the GIM course 'Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Emerging Markets'.
As Vice President of the Women's Business Development Center, she piloted innovative lending programs that created collaborations with foundations, banks and all levels of government. Ms. Darragh also organized Springboard: Mid-West, a nationally recognized investor forum for women entrepreneurs, in 2001 and 2003. The forums raised more than $85 million for participants. Another outcome of Springboard was the establishment of the Ceres Venture Fund in which she is an investor.
In 1999, Ms. Darragh started as an adjunct professor at Kellogg where she taught 'Women and Entrepreneurship' and then '462: Entrepreneurship and New Venture Formation'. She later became Assistant Director of Entrepreneurship.
In 2006, Ms. Darragh became the Director of Entrepreneurial Programs at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Ms. Darragh's accomplishments included organizing global alumni entrepreneurship immersion trips to India and China, launching the Global New Venture Challenge. She taught the New Venture Lab and Social Entrepreneurship Lab courses and was also a coach for the New Venture Challenge and the Social Venture Challenge.
Ms. Darragh is also active in impact investing. In collaboration with Professor Jamie Jones, she organized an 'Impact Investing' conference in 2011 and then launched Impact Engine, an accelerator for for-profit social ventures. She is now on the investment committee of the Impact Engine Fund I.
Ms. Darragh is an active member of the Chicago entrepreneurial community. She has been a long-time board member of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center/1871.
In her free time, Ms. Darragh will be on the golf course, tennis or paddle tennis court, skiing or in her garden.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
INTL-473 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Emerging Markets
The purpose of this course is to understand the impact of history, culture, politics and economics on the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Class sessions explore various frameworks that evaluate global entrepreneurship as well the importance of various stakeholders and factors that foster successful ecosystems – universities, accelerator/incubators, venture capital, banks, labor laws, intellectual property rights, etc. This year, students will research the ecosystems in Peru and Colombia.
EMBA Capstone Course
The purpose of this experiential learning course is to provide EMBA students an opportunity to apply their Kellogg knowledge and experience. Students work with local growth stage companies. Students interview key stakeholders, analyze company data and then develop a strategic plan focused on a specific issue.
Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) is an international experiential learning course designed to provide students with an introduction to the unique business opportunities, management practices and market dynamics of a specific region or global industry. The course combines in-class lectures, reading discussions and case studies during the winter quarter with ten days of international field research over spring break. Immersed in the culture and language of their host countries, students will have the opportunity to meet with local business and government leaders, conduct interviews and collect data for their group research projects, and experience some of the unique social and cultural facets of the region. Final presentations and written research reports are due in spring quarter after completion of the overseas portion of the class. Each class section is taught by a faculty member with deep knowledge of the region or industry and supported by an advisor from the Kellogg staff who assists students in planning the field experience. Students are financially responsible for their travel costs, and financial aid is available to those who qualify.