Ian C. MacMillan

Ian C. MacMillan is the Academic Director of the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center and Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Entrepreneurial Management. He also taught at Columbia University, Northwestern University and NYU. He received his BSc (Chemical Engineering) . from the University of Witwatersrand, and his Master’s and Doctorate in Management from the University of South Africa.

Prior to joining the academic world, Mac was a chemical engineer, and gained experience in gold and uranium mines, chemical and explosives factories, oil refineries, soap and food manufacturers, and the South African Atomic Energy Board. He has been a director of companies in the travel, import/export and pharmaceutical businesses in the USA, South Africa, Canada, Hong Kong, and Japan. Mac has extensive consulting experience, having worked with such companies as Microsoft, Air Products, DuPont, General Electric, GTE, IBM, Citibank, Chubb & Son, American Re-Insurance, Texas Instruments, Novell, Westcon, Fluor Daniel, Seagate Technologies, Matsushita/Panasonic (Japan), Olympus (Japan), L.G.Chem (Korea), KPMG (UK) and Commercial Union General Insurance (UK).

Mac has published articles and books on new ventures, innovation organizational politics and strategy formulation. His articles have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, The Sloan Management Review, The Journal of Business Venturing, and others. He is co-author of the best-selling books Corporate Venturing, The Entrepreneurial Mindset, which focuses on how managers and entrepreneurs can create a continuous stream of growth opportunities for their firms, MarketBusters, which focuses on strategies firms can use to dramatically change their existing businesses, Unlocking Opportunities for Growth, which provides guidelines for selecting, valuing and pursuing highly uncertain but high potential growth opportunities, and Discovery Driven Growth which focuses on how to use incremental, game-changing and radical innovation to grow the value of the company.

Ron Pierantozzi

Ron Pierantozzi is currently a partner in Cameron and Associates, LLC, an innovation consulting firm in Philadelphia.  He works with both large organizations and small start up companies on growth strategies and technology innovation.  He is the former CEO of PPT Research, a materials technology company in Allentown, PA. He retired from the management ranks of Air Products & Chemicals, Inc, where he served in a variety of technology and business leadership positions over a 28 year career. Ron previously served as Air Product’s Director, New Business Development, which focused on new venture creation and technology transfer. This involved a wide range of duties that included identifying and commercializing new technologies, forming and incubating new technology-based ventures, managing external partnerships and forming market alliances, and investing in both early and late stage companies working through high profile VCs. Ron continues to work closely with VCs in the advanced materials and machine-to-machine sectors, where he provides expertise in market strategy and business valuation.

Ron also served as Director of Technology with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. in both the gas separations area and industrial chemicals. Ron is an inventor/co-inventor, and holds of 32 U.S. patents and authored 16 publications. His most recent publications “Implementing a Learning Plan to Counter Project Uncertainty” with Mark Rice and Gina O’Connor was published in Sloan Management Review, January 2008 and in December 2009 the Harvard Business Review article, titled “Create Three Distinct Career Paths for Innovators” with Gina O’Connor and Andrew Corbett was published. Ron is a lecturer at Wharton Business School, where he teaches classes on innovation and entrepreneurship. He is also a member of the faculty for the program on Corporate Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Danish Technical University, where he conducts a seminar on developing business plans for the global enterprise. He was an executive in Residence at RPI’s Lally School of Technology Management for the 2007-2008 academic year. He currently serves on the board of directors of Primet Precision Materials, Inc. and the board of advisors of Powergetcis, Inc.

Ron received his B.S. in Chemistry from Temple University and his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University.

Alexander B. van Putten

Alex van Putten brings both entrepreneurial and corporate experience to his consulting practice and teaching at Wharton. He is a principal of Cameron & Associates LLC where he has advised companies such as Automatic Data Processing, Seagate Technology, Royal Dutch Shell, Air Products and Chemicals, DuPont, SCG, and Boeing on issues relating to innovation. Mr. van Putten is an adjunct faculty member at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he has been teaching graduate students since 1993. He is actively involved with executive education programs at Wharton, Duke CE, and Melbourne Business School where he lectures on issues surrounding innovation, corporate entrepreneurship and strategic growth.

Prior to teaching at Wharton Mr. van Putten was in business for 20 years. He was a general partner in Norton & Co. a substantial arbitrage partnership and he has been an advisor, investor, and board member of several technology ventures. He gained senior level corporate experience as a division manager at Chrysler Capital Corporation where he was responsible for a significant investment portfolio. Earlier he worked in the investment departments of Bankers Trust and Safeguard Insurance Companies.

Mr. van Putten studied at Boston University, Columbia University, the Wharton School, and is a DBA candidate at Edinburgh Business School. He is the co-author with Ian MacMillan and Rita Gunther McGrath of “Global Gamesmanship: Competing in Multiple Markets” Harvard Business Review May 2003; “How to Make Real Options Really Work” written with Ian C. MacMillan, Harvard Business Review December 2004; “Using Real Options Discipline for Highly Uncertain Technology Investments” co-authored with Ian MacMillan and Rita McGrath published in Research-Technology Management Journal of the Industrial Research Institute, January-February 2006; and a book entitled Unlocking Opportunities for Growth co-authored with Ian C. MacMillan for Wharton/Pearson Publishing.

Rita Gunther Mcgrath

Rita Gunther McGrath, a Professor at Columbia Business School in New York City, is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on strategy and innovation. Her ideas are widely used by leading organizations throughout the world, who describe her thinking as sometimes provocative, but unfailingly stimulating. Thinkers50 presented Rita with the #1 award for Strategy in 2013. She is on their top ten global list of management thinkers overall. McGrath is the author of four books; the most recent The End of Competitive Advantage.



James D. Thompson

James Thompson is co-founder and director of the Wharton Societal Wealth Program (WSWP) created in 2001. The basic thesis of the WSWP is that many societal problems, if viewed through an entrepreneurial lens, create opportunity for someone to launch a business that attends to the social need and makes a profit.  His current research focus is Building New Markets.

He teaches innovation, corporate growth, and dynamic strategy in Wharton Executive Education programs and works with management of corporations around the world.  Prior to joining the academic world Jim was a divisional Director (alternate) of a public South African company where he was responsible for business unit turnarounds and new market development.  He currently serves on the board of a Philadelphia-based venture capital funded company and is on the investment advisory committee for a Geneva-based social entrepreneurship investment fund.

Jim holds a BCom from the University of South Africa, and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, South Africa.  He concluded a research fellowship in the commercialization of technology at the Wharton School and is published in the Harvard Business Review, Journal of Management (forthcoming), Management Science, Long Range Planning, and Research-Technology Management.  In 2009 he was awarded Best Paper in innovation by the European Business School and Best Paper in the thought leader category of the Entrepreneurship Division at the US Academy of Management.

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