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UVI Appoints New Kiril Sokoloff Entrepreneurship Chair

faley_timThe University of the Virgin Islands has appointed Dr. Timothy L. Faley as the Kiril Sokoloff Endowed chair in Entrepreneurship in the School of Business and as special assistant to the president for entrepreneurial initiatives. Dr. Faley comes to UVI from the University of Michigan, where he led an entrepreneurship institute now ranked second in the nation.

 “Dr. Faley brings a tremendous amount of expertise, experience and passion for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education to the institution,” said UVI President Dr. David Hall. “He brings a wealth of experience in the field of entrepreneurship in the areas of teaching, scholarship and professional service.”

Dr. Faley was appointed on Aug. 1. While at UVI, he 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.

Dr. Faley plans to develop an entrepreneurship student grant program that will guide students through the process of identifying businesses, shaping their ideas and operationalizing their businesses. He built a similar program at the University of Michigan. Dr. Faley said through the grant program 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 Dr. Faley’s goals is to expand entrepreneurship throughout the University. Students in programs other than business can enroll in UVI’s entrepreneurship minor. “The process and the skill set that an entrepreneur needs to manage the growth of a business is the same a person needs to manage their career,” said Dr. Faley. He thinks of entrepreneurship as basically six skills including: 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,” said Dr. Faley.

Before coming to UVI, Dr. Faley worked at the University of Michigan for 13 years. He served as the managing director of the Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. He was the managing director of the Wolverine Venture Fund and director of Technology Transfer and Commercialization at the College of Engineering. Dr. Faley received a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s in business administration from Northwood University. He served as chief financial officer for the Licensing Business for Dow Chemical Co. Dr. Faley holds several patents and has been involved in 17 new ventures throughout his career. His scholarly work has been published in academic journals and leading business magazines.

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.

In May 2012, four UVI students won $60,000 in the inaugural 13D Student Competition. In 2013, a second group of four UVI students were awarded $80,000, and three students in the first 13D Entrepreneurship High School Competition were awarded $1,750. The prize money is being used to support start-up businesses that the students conceived and developed as part of the competitions.