Center Stage with Rudy Lamone, Founder of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

At 80 years old, Rudy Lamone is still an active member of the Dingman Center team. Keep reading for Rudy’s reflection on his years with the Dingman Center as its founder and the Smith School of Business as dean for 20 years.

What keeps you interested in the Dingman Center at your age?
Students. My young entrepreneurs energize me all the time.

What has been your greatest accomplishment during your career?
The Dingman Center is my favorite accomplishment. Secondly, starting the Dingman Center academic program, and together with Charlie Heller, former director of the Dingman Center, helping to establish the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers. We started with about 30 schools attending the first conference. Today, the GCEC has over 220 colleges and universities worldwide as members.

Do you have any regrets?
My greatest regret is not being able to start a school for entrepreneurship in Baltimore years and years ago. I wanted very much to have a presence in Baltimore and my idea for a school for entrepreneurship was a way I felt we could get approval to start a program. For a number of reasons, mostly political, we were not able to get into the Baltimore marketplace. That has now changed as we have a physical presence with our Smith School campus at the University of Maryland BioPark which opened a few years ago.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?
Be passionate in what you believe to be a great entrepreneurial opportunity. Do what you have to do to make your dream come true.

What is your idea for the future of entrepreneurship and innovation on campus?
I am excited about the proposed new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship because I believe it will open up significant new pathways to explore ideas in entrepreneurship and innovation. The campus-wide center will open enumerable ways for students to pursue entrepreneurial dreams.

Dr. Rudolph P. Lamone is the Founder and member of the Board of Advisors of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and a Professor Emeritus at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. From 1973 to 1992, Dr. Lamone served as Dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business and as the first chair of the Program in Entrepreneurship. He is co-founder of the National Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers and a founding member of the National Consortium for Life Science Entrepreneurship Programs.In 1996, Dr. Lamone was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young for his work in support of entrepreneurship. In 1998, Dr. Lamone was selected to receive the President’s Medal at the University of Maryland. In 1999, Dr. Lamone co-founded DirectGene, a biotechnology company that has developed gene therapies directed toward the treatment of metastatic prostate and breast cancer. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Dr. Lamone received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the business school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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