On April 5, 2006, the Smith School’s
Dingman Center for
Entrepreneurship will celebrate 20 years of fostering entrepreneurship
in the region. The Dingman Center was started in 1986 with a
gift from Michael Dingman, founder of Signal Corporation (later
Allied Signal), under the auspices of Dean Rudy Lamone. Lamone
had two goals for the center: to build an academic program for
MBAs focusing on entrepreneurship, and to build an outreach
program that fostered entrepreneurship in the Washington, D.C.,
Hundreds of hopeful
entrepreneurs have gotten a jump-start from the Dingman
Center, which provides everything from timely advice
to seed money. The center served as an early model for
similar entrepreneurship centers later launched at business
schools around the nation.
The Dingman Center was one of the first entrepreneurship
centers in the nation, and its services became the model for
regional entrepreneurship groups like Netpreneur, the Washington
Board of Trade, and many area tech councils. It provided important
resources and advice for many nascent businesses in the Washington
area, particularly in the information technology industry. The
center launched the National Consortium of Entrepreneurship
Centers, a collection of university entrepreneurship centers
which now has more than 250 members nationwide. The Dingman
Center helped create a climate of support for entrepreneurship
in the region.
Twenty years later, the center now focuses on incubating
student-formed companies, and has been instrumental in the launch
of North Star Games, Hook & Ladder Brewing Company, SHOP D.C.,
and Arcxis Biotechnologies—all enterprises started by Smith
students. The Dingman Center hopes some of these businesses
will go on to imitate the phenomenal success of another Smith
alumnus, Kevin Plank ’96, founder of Under Armour sports
apparel. “The next Kevin Planks are on campus today,” says Asher
Epstein, director of the Dingman Center. “We want to find them
and give them the help they need to develop their businesses.”
The Dingman Center is focused on very early stage entrepreneurs.
This is the time when a fledgling company most needs assistance,
and reaps the most benefits from great advice and ready capital.
“Eighty percent of companies start with less than $10,000 in
capital, so a very small investment in a promising company or
technology has the potential to yield very big rewards,” says
of the foremost financial theorists in the world, Albert “Pete”
Kyle, will join the Smith School as the Charles E. Smith Chair
in Finance in July 2006. He is best known for creating the
“Kyle Model,” which provides a foundation for the modern theory
of market microstructure, a subfield of finance dealing with
the process of price formation in financial markets.
ability to attract a scholar of Pete’s stature says a great
deal about the high quality of the Smith School and its finance
department,” said Howard Frank, dean of the Robert H. Smith
School of Business. “Dr. Kyle has had an extraordinary career
and impact on both the canon of finance research and on a generation
of emerging scholars.”
Beyond his seminal contributions to the theory of information
and financial markets, Kyle’s research has had a pervasive impact
in areas such as asset pricing, investments, corporate finance
and financial institutions. Kyle’s impact has also been extended
beyond the stock market, and is reflected in markets for derivates,
bonds, and global trading mechanisms, with policy implications
for exchange design and market regulation.
Kyle joins the Smith School after serving as professor of
finance at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
He received his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago
in 1981. He also held appointments at Princeton University and
the University of California at Berkeley, where he was tenured.