߲ݴý unveils first of its kind innovation and entrepreneurship program

߲ݴý unveils first of its kind innovation and entrepreneurship program

Published
  • ߲ݴý President Darrin Good, Diana Good, Linda Robinson-Rutz and Philip Mullin celebrate ߲ݴý's new innovation and entrepreneurship major.
    ߲ݴý President Darrin Good, Diana Good, Linda Robinson-Rutz and Philip Mullin celebrate ߲ݴý's new innovation and entrepreneurship major.
  • ߲ݴý President Darrin Good, Diana Good, Linda Robinson-Rutz and Philip Mullin celebrate ߲ݴý's new innovation and entrepreneurship major.
    ߲ݴý President Darrin Good, Diana Good, Linda Robinson-Rutz and Philip Mullin celebrate ߲ݴý's new innovation and entrepreneurship major.

߲ݴý University is launching the next generation of innovators through a new program that will help diversify the region’s economy and strengthen workforce development. 

“We want and need to be a part of the solution to the state’s brain drain issue,” says ߲ݴý President Darrin Good. “Our innovation and entrepreneurship program will prepare our students to be successful in the workforce and help them keep their talents in Nebraska, which is where the vast majority of our graduates stay.” 

߲ݴý’s location in the heart of the Silicon Prairie will provide students access to a network of innovators, entrepreneurs, and alumni who are seeking creative problems solvers. “They want our graduates who can attack problems with a multifaceted mindset that our curriculum intentionally fosters,” says Good.

The innovation and entrepreneurship major is the first of its kind in the state because it’s not exclusively tied to a university business program. Open to all students in any field of study, it’s designed to equip them with skills to refine ideas, start businesses, and tackle complex, societal issues.

“We often think about entrepreneurship and innovation as being solely in the domain of a business program,” said Assistant Professor of Political Science Zachary Baumann. “Our state and nation are constantly changing. Our students need to think about novel solutions to big problems that extend well beyond business alone and into the worlds of public policy, the arts, sustainability, biotechnology and so much more.” 

The program is made possible by a $2 million gift from Lincoln business icon and ߲ݴý alumnus Philip Mullin (’65). He served in multiple roles with Garner Industries before purchasing the company in 1992 and transformed it into a world-class manufacturer.

“These are students who’d like to own their own business, but they don’t know where to start,” Mullin says. “Students who have a passion for this kind of thing—they’ll get the follow through, the help and advice they need to learn how to talk to a banker or go out and find a lawyer.” 

The Philip S. Mullin Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program is designed to enhance the value of several focus areas:

  • Business, marketing and sports
  • Creative design and the arts
  • Policy and justice
  • Science and technology 
  • Sustainability and environment 

߲ݴý has launched a search for its program director with entrepreneurial experience who can connect students to new insight and opportunities.

Classes will begin in fall of 2024. 

Additional background on Philip Mullin: 

Mullin began working parttime at Garner Industries during college running a punch press.  He returned in 1968 and began a distinguished 50-year career leading his company through periods of historic growth by investing in new services, including injection molding, the company expanded its scope to supporting manufacturers nationwide.

In 2001, Mullin was recognized as “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Business Administration. In 2017, Garner Industries was recognized as the “Nebraska Manufacturer of the Year” by the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2019, Garner was recognized by the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce as the “Lincoln Manufacturer of the Year,” and Mullin was inducted into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame.