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Entrepreneurs Learn to Scale Business

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Entrepreneurs Learn to Scale Business

Tralance Addy named SEED executive director.
August 21, 2012

A new program on scaling fast-growth companies will gather 61 entrepreneurs from around the world at the Stanford Graduate School of Business Aug. 26-31. The course is the first educational program to be offered by the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED). The institute's aim is to stimulate innovation through research, education, and on-the-ground action that enables entrepreneurs, managers, and leaders to stimulate growth in developing economies. SEED's work is based on the belief that a critical route for economic growth is through the creation of new entrepreneurial ventures and by growing existing enterprises.

In cooperation with Endeavor Global, a nonprofit organization that selects, supports and mentors high-impact entrepreneurs around the world, the new Stanford Endeavor Leadership Program is designed specifically for entrepreneurs from developing economies. Endeavor selected the 61 high-impact entrepreneurs from among its global networks. The program will include representatives from a bakery in Egypt, a retailer in Mexico, and a growing electronic restaurant-ordering business based in Turkey.

The weeklong program will draw on the world-class faculty and network at the Stanford Graduate School of Business to help Endeavor entrepreneurs build growth companies in a competitive global marketplace. In addition to faculty, Silicon Valley-based business school alumni with expertise in operations will return to Stanford to coach working groups during the program. "Increased management know-how is a critical tool that empowers entrepreneurs to scale businesses and create employment opportunities in emerging economies," said Hau Lee, faculty director of SEED and the Thoma Professor of Operations, Information and Technology. "This course represents our first major interaction with on-the-ground entrepreneurs who will return to their respective countries to change people's lives by creating both jobs and products that solve problems in a sustained way."

Led by George Foster, the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the program will allow participants to develop core competencies to grow companies, present frameworks to manage growth and tools to drive a vibrant corporate culture, develop leadership skills to operate in a competitive global economy, and address the special opportunities and challenges involved in scaling global companies. "We're thrilled to be working with Stanford to provide our Endeavor Entrepreneurs with such a unique opportunity," said Endeavor cofounder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. "Access to programs like this can make the difference in helping enterprises scale and reach their high-impact potential."

While entrepreneurs contribute to program costs, the effort, including housing on the Stanford campus, is subsidized through a generous grant from SEED.

SEED Executive Director Named

Also this month, Stanford Graduate School of Business Dean Garth Saloner named Tralance Addy as SEED's first executive director. Working with faculty director Hau Lee, Addy will assume both strategic and operational leadership of SEED as the institute pursues its mission to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation in developing economies. He will also work closely with faculty members Jesper Sørensen, who leads the SEED education and dissemination area and is the Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Professor of Organizational Behavior, and Jim Patell, who leads SEED's on-the-ground area and is the Herbert Hoover Professor of Public and Private Management.

Addy brings to SEED a distinguished professional career marked by innovation and entrepreneurship in corporate and start-up environments, spanning multiple sectors. He founded and has served as chief executive of Plebys International LLC, an enterprise development company targeting underserved markets worldwide. Plebys was founded to serve as a vehicle to spur new enterprise formation and sustainable growth in developing markets. Until 2009 he also served as president and CEO of WaterHealth International Inc., the first Plebys venture, which develops and provides water purification systems and facilities; it currently provides access to affordable clean water to more than 5 million people in rural and urban communities in developing economies.]

Prior to Plebys, Addy was an international vice president at Johnson & Johnson, where during a 21-year career he also held senior executive responsibilities including worldwide president of a leading global subsidiary, and vice president of R&D and a member of the global management committee for Johnson & Johnson Medical Inc.

He earned BA and BS degrees in chemistry and engineering from Swarthmore College, and MS and PhD degrees in engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. A technology innovator, Addy is credited with a number of patents and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. He has served on many business and civic boards, including the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College and the Advisory Board of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina.

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