Statement on Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth


May 30, 2014

The Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network (DEN) has developed and mentored hundreds of fledgling entrepreneurs and has been the cornerstone of entrepreneurship at Dartmouth since 2001. Dartmouth is now poised to expand on the foundational work begun by the DEN.

Last year, Dartmouth established the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer (OETT) to serve as a proactive resource for the Dartmouth community in the areas of entrepreneurship, intellectual property, and technology commercialization, and to consolidate personnel and resources in support of these activities. The Office is led by Associate Provost Tillman Gerngross, a professor of bioengineering at Thayer School of Engineering, and Executive Director Trip Davis ’90, both of whom are successful entrepreneurs. They are committed to advancing the institutional infrastructure to support Dartmouth community members who strive to impact the world through entrepreneurial ventures.

“Tillman is one of those very rare people who truly understands the process of value creation through innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Mike Ross ’71, member of the Board of Overseers at Thayer School of Engineering, and a managing partner at SV Life Sciences. “I am not aware of any technology transfer office in the country that has someone as accomplished as him at the helm.”

In the Office of the Provost, the OETT is responsible for the management of the DEN, the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center (DRTC), the Technology Transfer Office (TTO), and the forthcoming Innovation Center and New Venture Incubator. The OETT also oversees collaborations with the College of Arts & Sciences, the Geisel School of Medicine, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business on curricular and co-curricular opportunities related to entrepreneurship. Gerngross and Davis will jointly lead this effort which will span the entire institution and focus on building the infrastructure to support it. Davis has sole responsibility for managing the DEN, DRTC, TTO, and the Innovation Center and New Venture Incubator.

“Trip was an amazing partner and co-founder of our startup Green Room in the Bay Area five years after we graduated from Dartmouth,” says Greg Waldbaum ’90, president and chief operating officer of national lacrosse organization 3D Lacrosse, and co-founder of Internet and technical consulting firm Green Room Productions. “He was a real visionary in the travel industry—ahead of the curve for explosive growth in online travel.”

The efforts of the OETT, under the direction of Gerngross and Davis, support President Phil Hanlon’s top priorities at the College including providing experiential learning opportunities, fostering interdisciplinary activities, developing citizen leaders, and attracting top talent. In generating intellectual discoveries, supporting commercialization, and energizing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in support of alumni, faculty, and students, the OETT will establish a world-class, well-known competency that is unique to Dartmouth. Such a competency in entrepreneurship is:

  • Integral to Dartmouth’s mission to provide transformational education;
  • Essential to Dartmouth’s obligation to improve society; and
  • Critical to Dartmouth’s goal of attracting and retaining talented faculty, staff, and students.

The mission of the OETT is to foster a culture of service in support of Dartmouth entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, and by entrepreneurs.