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Univ. Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke

Pro­fessor Nikolaus Franke foun­ded the In­sti­tute for En­tre­pren­eur­ship and In­nov­a­tion of Vi­enna Uni­versity of Eco­nom­ics and Busi­ness (WU) in 2001 and has been serving as its Dir­ector since then. He earned his doc­toral and hab­il­it­a­tion de­gree at Uni­versity of Mu­nich and spent several semesters as Vis­it­ing Pro­fessor at Mas­sachu­setts In­sti­tute of Tech­no­logy (MIT).

He is fas­cin­ated by the paradigm shift­ing phenomenon of open and user in­nov­a­tion. In his re­search, he stud­ies how firms can be­ne­fit from user cre­ativ­ity and ana­lyzes suc­cess po­ten­tial, func­tion­ing, and ef­fects of meth­ods such as toolkits for user in­nov­a­tion and design, in­nov­a­tion com­munit­ies, crowd­sourcing, lead user ana­lyses etc.  Bey­ond this and more gen­er­ally, he is in­ter­ested in the fields of en­tre­pren­eur­ship, in­nov­a­tion man­age­ment, mar­ket­ing, be­ha­vi­oral eco­nom­ics and psy­cho­logy, and prefers work­ing em­pir­ic­ally. He be­lieves that rigor alone it is not a suf­fi­cient cri­terion for good aca­demic re­search. It should be prac­tic­ally rel­ev­ant as well and should be com­mu­nic­ated as clearly as possible. He has co­oper­ated with schol­ars around the globe in pro­jects that have been fun­ded by EU, FWF, OeNB, Vi­enna Science and Tech­no­logy Fund, Volk­swa­gen Stif­tung. His re­search has been pub­lished in lead­ing aca­demic journ­als such as En­tre­pren­eur­ship The­ory and Prac­tice, In­form­a­tion Sys­tem Re­search, Journal of Busi­ness Ven­tur­ing, Journal of Pro­duct In­nov­a­tion Man­age­ment, Journal of Mar­ket­ing, Man­age­ment Science, Or­gan­iz­a­tion Science, Re­search Policy, cited fre­quently, and honored with several in­ter­na­tional awards.  Since 2016 he serves as Field Ed­itor of the world’s lead­ing en­tre­pren­eur­ship journal Journal of Busi­ness Ven­tur­ing.

Un­der his re­spons­ib­il­ity, the in­sti­tute and its mem­bers developed a fre­quently awar­ded prob­lem-­based teach­ing ap­proach cov­er­ing the top­ics of en­tre­pren­eur­ship and in­nov­a­tion in full breadth. In the last years > 600 ap­plied pro­jects with part­ners ranging from start-ups to lead­ing mul­tina­tion­als were car­ried out by the in­sti­tute. Other outreach activ­it­ies in­clude his role as Scien­ti­fic Dir­ector of the yearly com­pet­i­tion “TOP 100 – Ger­many’s most in­nov­at­ive SME”, the EY En­tre­pren­eur of the Year Award, and more board mem­ber­ships. He con­sul­ted many firms and served as in­vited speaker in ex­ec­ut­ive meet­ings world­wide.

Bey­ond lead­ing the In­sti­tute, he serves WU in nu­mer­ous other pos­i­tions e.g. as Aca­demic Dir­ector of the TU/WU Pro­fes­sional MBA in En­tre­pren­eur­ship and In­nov­a­tion, leader of the User In­nov­a­tion Re­search Ini­ti­at­ive Vi­enna, founder of the En­tre­pren­eur­ship Center Net­work, founder and Aca­demic Dir­ector of the WU En­tre­pren­eur­ship Center (WU Gründung­szen­trum), mem­ber of the Re­search In­sti­tute for Fam­ily Busi­ness, the Sen­ate of WU and WU’s re­search com­mis­sion. He served the scien­ti­fic com­munity as ad­vis­ory board mem­ber of VHB journal rat­ing activ­it­ies and In­nov­a­tion Re­search & Policy Net­work of SSRN, and in many jur­ies and evalu­ation com­mit­tees such as the Rudolf Sallinger Award, the Kar­dinal In­nitzer Award, or the Tal­enta Award. From 2011-13 he served as Chair­man of the Center of Ex­cel­lence “TIE – Tech­no­logy, In­nov­a­tion, and En­tre­pren­eur­ship” of the Aca­demic As­so­ci­ation for Busi­ness Re­search (wis­senschaft­liche Kom­mis­sion für Tech­no­lo­gie, In­nov­a­tion und En­tre­pren­eur­ship des Verb­ands der Hoch­schullehrer für Be­trieb­swirtschaft e.V.).