IEARS

Shannon Lyons

Shannon LyonsShannon is an entrepreneur, startup mentor and angel investor. She became an entrepreneur in 2007, when she founded Innovatree, an innovation and strategy consulting firm, serving Fortune 500 companies. She began applying innovation methods to startups; and from 2012 – 2014 Shannon invested over $650k in 40 early-stage tech companies. Shannon joined Flashstarts in 2015 and became a managing partner alongside Charles Stack. She serves as Chief Operating Officer and manages the accelerator, venture fund and co-working space. Shannon has run seven accelerator programs since 2012, and was influential in pioneering the first for-profit Accelerator partnership with NASA in order to discover alternative methodologies for technology commercialization. Flashstarts has invested in 56 tech companies who have gone on to raise over $90 million in funding. Shannon holds a Masters of Organizational Development from Case Western Reserve University (2009) and is a doctoral candidate at Cleveland State University where she researches strategy and venture finance.


Abstract:

Birth by Fire: Innovative Entrepreneurial Internships within a Startup Accelerator

The role that academia fulfills is critical in the formation and growth of a startup ecosystem. Colleges and universities are not only a breeding ground for innovation but are a vital source of talent generation for startups. This paper discusses innovations at the cross section of academia and venture capital through entrepreneurial internships within a startup accelerator. The paper delves into the context of the accelerator; outlines the process of the innovative internship program; explores data collection and assessment processes; establishes the strategic differentiators of the program design; and discusses areas of potential research for future programs.