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College Welcomes New Engineering Entrepreneurship Director

Dr. Lauri Olivier
Dr. Lauri Olivier

Dr. Lauri Olivier has joined Villanova University College of Engineering as its new Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Assistant Professor of the Practice. Having most recently led the entrepreneurship program and Snyder Idea Lab in the College of Business Management at Lynn University in Florida, Dr. Olivier possesses more than 20 years’ experience in teaching, innovation management, business development and entrepreneurship. An engineer at heart, she earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati and her PhD in biomedical engineering from Duke University. She also holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Among Dr. Olivier’s impressive accomplishments are

  • Global success in university student and faculty innovation spinout into startup and corporate ventures spanning both high tech and life sciences
  • Receipt of several million dollars in grants and awards from state, federal and global foundations for technology innovation and small business development
  • Development of Florida’s first statewide data analytics/entrepreneurship minor

Dr. Olivier also founded and served as managing partner of Innovate Worldwide LLC, a global tech-based innovation consulting firm for industry and academia.

Asked about her passion for the field, Dr. Olivier says: “I believe entrepreneurship has the power to fundamentally change the way we live and work. As an educational discipline entrepreneurship enables students to be more creative, more compassionate, and more empowered citizens.”

The entrepreneurial student experience under Dr. Olivier’s leadership involves:

  • Learning and leveraging creativity through design thinking and the innovation process
  • Building physical prototypes and MVP's (minimum valuable products)
  • Testing value propositions through customer discovery
  • Forming lean ventures to explore business models

Introducing Dr. Olivier, Interim Dean Dr. Randy Weinstein said: “Lauri’s extensive experience with entrepreneurship and innovation is impressive, but her passion and creativity as an educator and academic program developer is an asset we are very excited and privileged to have as part of our team here at the College.”