The University of the Virgin Islands announced Thursday it has appointed Timothy L. Faley as the Kiril Sokoloff endowed chair in entrepreneurship in the School of Business. Faley will also serve as special assistant to the president for entrepreneurial initiatives.
Faley comes to UVI from the University of Michigan, where he led an entrepreneurship institute now ranked second in the nation, according to the announcement. Faley was appointed Aug. 1.
“Faley brings a tremendous amount of expertise, experience and passion for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education to the institution," said UVI President David Hall. “He brings a wealth of experience in the field of entrepreneurship in the areas of teaching, scholarship and professional service.”
While at UVI, Faley will continue to develop the Center for Entrepreneurship, have oversight of the 13D Entrepreneurship Student Competition, teach courses for UVI’s minor in entrepreneurism, and cultivate and promote entrepreneurship throughout the university and the territory.
Faley plans to develop an entrepreneurship student grant program that will guide students through the process of identifying businesses, shaping their ideas and the making their businesses operational. He built a similar program at the University of Michigan, the announcement said.
Through the grant program, Faley said students will have an opportunity to explore business ideas and have the time they need to develop viable businesses. The grant program will complement the 13D Competition in that the student teams will be better equipped to start their businesses.
One of Faley’s goals is to expand entrepreneurship throughout the university. Students in programs other than business will be able to enroll in UVI’s entrepreneurship minor.
“The skill set that an entrepreneur needs to manage the growth of a business is the same a person needs to manage their career," Faley said.
He said he thinks of entrepreneurship as basically six skills: identifying an opportunity, shaping that opportunity into a business structure, understanding the feasibility of that business, operating the business, resourcing it and managing its growth.
“You can use those skills in virtually any job that you take,” Faley said.
Before coming to UVI, Faley worked at the University of Michigan for 13 years. He served as managing director of the Samuel Ell and Robert Laurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, was managing director of the Wolverine Venture Fund and director of Technology Transfer and Commercialization at the College of Engineering.
Faley received a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in business administration from Northwood University. He holds several patents and has been involved in 17 new ventures throughout his career.
The Sokoloff Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship was made possible by a $5 million gift from investment strategist and entrepreneur Kiril Sokoloff in May 2011. Sokoloff, the founder of 13D Research, pledged $1 million annually to UVI over a period of five years.