Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence Creates Membership Organization

Jan 05, 2010, 13:51 ET from Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- A long-standing gap in the constellation of regional business associations has now been filled with the announcement today that the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh is opening the organization to general membership for the first time.

"We saw a need for a membership organization for entrepreneurs and family business leaders who are already successful but want to continue to grow their business," said Ann Dugan, founder of the Institute and an assistant dean at Pitt.

"Research tells us that whether their business is going from under $1 million to $10 million or from $10 million to $100 million in sales, executive leaders whose businesses continue to grow all actively reach out from their comfort zone as opposed to hunkering down and sticking to what's been successful in the past," said Dugan. That's where our new membership program comes in."

Since 1995 the Institute has provided hundreds of closely held businesses a dynamic mix of education, custom consulting, access to funding and an unparalleled network of regional, national and international contacts. Although the Institute has had members since 1996, before now membership was closely tied to Institute educational programs and not open to the general business community.

According to Dugan, some of the benefits of becoming a member of the Institute include:

  • Dynamic programs offered throughout the year in which nationally recognized experts provide the latest knowledge needed to build your business. For example Jack Stack, author of The Great Game of Business, is coming to Pittsburgh for the first time ever to speak at an Institute Capstone program in April.
  • Unbiased non-product based consulting to resolve pressing business issues, such as high-level counsel on the purchase and installation of IT solutions, succession planning, strategic planning and the development of independent corporate governance.
  • Custom developed and facilitated small peer forums that provide business leaders a confidential group of "advisors" for a mutually enriching cross-fertilization of ideas and problem solving.

Dugan hopes to attract 350 member companies during this first year of the new membership model, which will offer four different membership levels to all family businesses and closely-held businesses in western Pennsylvania.

"The Institute has increasingly become the 'go to' place for the continued development of the most successful closely held businesses in the region," said Dugan. "For example, our current members on average have more than 100 employees and more than half already have sales offices in other countries, which differentiates them from the majority of area closely-held businesses. Most of these entrepreneurs and family business leaders originally came to the Institute with a problem or issue that was impeding their ability to take growth to the next level. Once we helped them, they wanted to stay on and take advantage of our other services and activities to continue their growth and prosperity."

Pitt's Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence grows western Pennsylvania's economy by supporting, nurturing and promoting commercialization, entrepreneurial activity, new business creation and established business growth. The staff of the Institute understands that the growth of our region, our country and our global economy will occur only through the work of the dedicated business leadership who typify Institute members. The Institute carries out its mission through its membership program and five program centers.

SOURCE Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence