UVA Darden Announces New Leadership for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisory Council

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business today announced new leadership for the Batten Institute Advisory Council, which supports Darden’s efforts to advance knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation. Shannon Smith (MBA ’90), CEO, Abundant Power Group LLC, and Jonathan Ebinger (MBA ’93), general partner, BlueRun Ventures, will serve as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the advisory council.

“The Batten Institute Advisory Council provides us with incredibly valuable advice and support as we seek to advance Darden as a globally renowned thought leader and preeminent educator of entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Scott Beardsley, dean of the Darden School.  “I am thrilled to have this outstanding group of advisors on the council, especially our new leaders, Shannon Smith and Jonathan Ebinger.”

“In 2015, the Batten Institute celebrated its 15th year, marking a transformational period in Darden’s history during which it has become regarded as a worldwide leader in the teaching, research, and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Sean Carr, executive director of Darden’s Batten Institute.  “I look forward to working closely with Shannon, Jonathan and the council as we continue to push boundaries and envision new possibilities for Darden, the University of Virginia and the global entrepreneurial community.”

The Batten Institute serves as a catalyst for developing and inspiring responsible entrepreneurial leaders and for advancing knowledge about the transformative power of entrepreneurship and innovation. To fulfil this mission, the Institute pursues three high-impact objectives:

  • Inspired Education: Cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders through rigorous academic and experiential programs.
  • Transformative Research: Generate thought leadership in entrepreneurship and innovation through research projects of consequence to business and society.
  • Energized Community: Foster a diverse and collaborative community of scholars, students, alumni and practitioners engaged in the study and pursuit of entrepreneurship and innovation.

A powerful manifestation of Batten’s mission is the i.Lab at UVA, a state-of-the-art learning environment that has inspired a new approach to teaching entrepreneurship and innovation at Darden and beyond.  The i.Lab’s mission is to foster deep cross-collaboration with no boundaries across disciplines, schools or ways of thinking. Since its introduction, the i.Lab has become a UVA-wide initiative that creates a nexus for entrepreneurship and innovation education. Today, the i.Lab is a collaborative effort of 11 schools at the University, the UVA Provost’s Office, and UVA’s Licensing & Ventures Group.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia