Start-up Power

Jenkins leads entrepreneurship initiative
April 1, 2011
 

Innovator: Jenkins and a student at the Pratt School of Engineering.

Innovator: Jenkins and a student at the Pratt School of Engineering.
Chris Hildreth

Former Duke trustee Kimberly Jenkins is leading a new campus initiative to promote entrepreneurship. In November, she began serving as senior adviser to the president and provost for innovation and entrepreneurship, and she hopes to transform student ideas into viable businesses and expand Duke’s entrepreneurial network.

Jenkins ’76, M.Ed. ’77, Ph.D. ’80 has extensive experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. She has worked for Microsoft and the computer company NeXT, in addition to founding two nonprofit organizations that have informed legislators about technology issues.

In a presentation to the board of trustees’ meeting in December, she laid out a plan in which entrepreneurship is broadly defined. “I think a lot of people gravitate toward an image of Mark Zuckerberg,” the founder of Facebook, she says. But entrepreneurship “is also about creating the next Teach For America.”

In the coming months, Jenkins will look to align the entrepreneurship activities that already exist, communicate those opportunities to people inside and outside the university, and begin raising funds to support the initiative.