Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This page welcomes the visitor to the site and articulates the mission of the center. Learn more about Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship was formed through a generous endowment from Michael J. Farrell in 1992, President and Chief Executive Officer of Farrell and Company, an investment banking firm specializing in manufacturing.  “When I created the center, I wanted there to be a place at Penn State where students were taught how to build a business plan.  And I wanted them to see the practical side, not just what you could read in a book, about starting their own business.” – Michael J. Farrell.

Mr. Farrell’s vision was to promote and support entrepreneurship and innovation as fundamental management disciplines that can be applied at any scale of enterprise, from start-up companies to global corporations. The Farrell Center has three major roles within Penn State’s Smeal College of Business: the creation and management of educational programs in corporate innovation and entrepreneurship, research, and outreach.

“Early on, Mike saw the immense benefit to supporting entrepreneurial programming and education at the Smeal College of Business.  Because of his gift to create the Farrell Center, Smeal led the way in supporting entrepreneurship with programming and education that touches hundreds of students, faculty, staff, inventors, startups, and entrepreneurs each year.” – Charles H. Whiteman, John and Becky Surma Dean of the Smeal College of Business.

The Center is dedicated to enabling and cultivating industry partnerships to benefit companies, students, and faculty. As such, participating companies benefit from the talents, skills, and expertise of our students, and faculty benefit through an array of partnership opportunities. The Center fosters these partnerships by providing an engaging portfolio of educational opportunities, research initiatives, consulting programs, events, and other collaborative solutions to help companies, and student innovation is mentored and supported through the launch of many successful new ventures. The Center is also uniquely dedicated to teaching students about corporate innovation and entrepreneurship to provide them with the skills, knowledge, and experience to prosper in today’s business world.

“Mike had the foresight to help make entrepreneurship a strategic priority at Penn State and at Smeal long before the rest of the University.  His vision laid the foundation for all we do today, from teaching undergraduate students about entrepreneurship, to hiring MBA’s to help faculty commercialize their inventions, to sponsoring pitch contests and so much more.” – Dr. Shawn Clark, Michael J. Farrell Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of the Farrell Center.