AUCI Research

The mission of the research component of the AU Center for Innovation is to:

Recent research projects include:

  • The exploration of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (Kauffman grant of $150,000; launched November 15, 2016 with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and over 180 members of the Tampa Bay business community)
  • The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor's 2016 Social Entrepreneurship Report (launched in April 2016 together with co-author Niels Bosma of Utrecht University and Nobel Laureate Muhammed Yunus).


2016 GEM Social Entrepreneurship Special Report

2016 GEM Social Entrepreneurship Special Report by Bosma, Schott, Terjesen and Kew

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor's (GEM) social entrepreneurship activity research is based on interviews with 167,793 adults in 58 economies in 2015, and is thus the largest comparative study of social entrepreneurship in the world.

Download full report as PDF

The Tampa Bay Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Thumbnail

The Tampa Bay Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: The Tide is High by White, Hechevarría, Terjesen, Acs, and Audretsch

The purpose of the study is two-fold. First, the team sought to expand the limited current theory in entrepreneurial ecosystems. Second, the project sought to better understand the specific state of the ecosystem in Tampa Bay.

Download Full Report as PDF

Research Team

 Bio coming soon

Rich Devine
Richard (Rich) A. Devine joins American University in fall 2018 after completing his Ph.D. in Business Administration at Florida State University. His research is primarily in the areas of entrepreneurship and non-market strategy. His work has been presented at the Strategic Management Society and Academy of Management international conferences. His work has also been published in a number of outlets, including Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (in press).
Maria Figueroa-Armijos, Professorial Lecturer

Dr. Maria Figueroa-Armijos is Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Management and Affiliated faculty at the AU Center for Innovation.

She completed a PhD in Public Policy from the University of Missouri, where she specialized in Entrepreneurship and Regional Economic Development, and holds a BSc in Sustainable Development from EARTH University in Costa Rica.

Dr. Figueroa-Armijos specializes in entrepreneurship and regional economic development, and conducts research on entrepreneurship policy, regional innovation, entrepreneurial finance, crowdfunding, and corporate social responsibility.

Dr. Figueroa-Armijos has taught in the MSc in Management Science at the Université libre de Bruxelles and has been an invited speaker at the Economic Research Service (ERS) in the United States, KU Leuven in Belgium, and University College Dublin (UCD) in Ireland.

Dr. Figueroa-Armijos has also been invited to participate in The Baugh-Ratio Colloquium for Young Social Scientists: Policy for Innovative Entrepreneurship in Stockholm, Sweden, in August 2017.

 Bio coming soon

adam kisselAdam Kissel has supported higher education through teaching, writing, research, philanthropy, government service, and defense of academic freedom and individual rights for professors and students. He supported civic literacy through programs of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, fundamental rights through the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and philanthropy through the Charles Koch Foundation, where funded projects included the $30 million in naming grants for George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School and the roughly $50 million in grants to The Catholic University of America to name the Busch School of Business and Ciocca Center for Entrepreneurship and to establish CUA's Institute for Human Ecology. As Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education, he was responsible for more than $2 billion in annual spending and a roughly $2 billion loan portfolio. His current research focuses on how metaphors of free inquiry contribute to understanding innovation and developing social policy.

Hezun Li is a visiting PhD student from the Central University of Finance and Economics, China, on a China Student Research scholarship for 2017-8. Hezun has published several research papers based on his fieldwork study in various Chinese firms, and is currently investigating topics in entrepreneurship, strategic management, performance measurement system, and cost management.

Stine Øyna's is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Stine (Southern Norway), where she also teaches 'Entrepreneurship and Innovation' to undergraduates. Agder other research interests include women in entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial Stine's. mindset took her Stine at Msc and COMAS (Israel), and worked for UiA research management department, as well as South Norway's European Office in Brussels, before starting her PhD. UiA's will join Stine for a short stay in Summer 2018.


Sudip Tiwari is a PhD student at Nord University in Bodo, Norway, researching international new ventures from his native Nepal. Sudip will join us for a short stay in 2018-2019.

Independent Study in Entrepreneurship

Previous independent study research projects include:

  • Corporate governance
  • Immigrant entrepreneur "start-up visas"
  • New technology ventures in digital banking
  • Cryptocurrency startups
  • Entrepreneurship and regulation

Learn More