OUR Clemson; Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Hannon named founding director of Brook T. Smith Launchpad


John M. Hannon, currently the director of Clemson’s Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, has been named the founding director of the recently created Brook T. Smith Launchpad. 

The Brook T. Smith Launchpad is a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to help students, faculty, staff and alumni from across all disciplines succeed in constructing maintainable and expandable for-profit, nonprofit and social entrepreneurial ventures. By providing a range of support programs and resources, including workspace, networking, educational opportunities, mentoring and training, the Brook T. Smith Launchpad will serve as Clemson’s entrepreneurship hub and one-stop-shop — from ideation to execution.

“Dr. Hannon’s expertise in developing early-growth businesses and startups, coupled with his years of experience in both industry and academia, positions the Brook T. Smith Launchpad for tremendous success,” said President Jim Clements. “We are also incredibly grateful for the expertise of Brook T. Smith and extend our deepest thanks to both he and Pam for investing in this vision.” 

Hannon has served as director of the Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership and as a senior lecturer in the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business since 2015. He previously served as associate professor and director of entrepreneurship at Niagara University and the University at Buffalo and was associate professor at Purdue’s Krannert School of Management. Hannon received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1992, following a decade of full-time industry experience, and has taught in the United States, Japan, China, Taiwan, Russia, Korea and Singapore. 

“Clemson has a long and rich tradition of naturally creating world changing entrepreneurs. I am overflowing with optimism and excitement about taking everything everyone has built thus far to the next level. The time is now for everyone involved to join forces and carry Clemson Entrepreneurship to a position of national prominence. We won’t be a well-kept secret much longer,” said Hannon.

Located in Downtown Clemson, the 8,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Launchpad is scheduled to open this fall. It will support interdisciplinary collaboration and bring on-campus organizations, entrepreneurial alumni and funding sources together, while cultivating entrepreneurial thinking, ethical leadership skills and inventive research that will equip students to drive innovation and impact global businesses.

The Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, along with its focus on educational, research, service programs, and career enhancement opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs, will become part of the Brook T. Smith Launchpad as Clemson expands and coordinates its efforts around entrepreneurship.

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