May 9, 2013

Entrepreneurship academy to be named for Langdale


Center for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Michael Camp,
Rich Langdale (center), and Dean Christine A. Poon

Fisher alumnus Nathan Hurd, a former president of Ohio State’s Business Builders Club, remembers the exact date Rich Langdale came to Fisher’s campus — such was the impact the entrepreneur and teacher had on his time as an undergraduate student.

“It was May 16, 2001,” said Hurd, while reminiscing at the dedication of the Langdale Academy for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization.

Formerly known as the TEC Academy, the Langdale Academy was launched eight years ago in partnership with TEC Institute Executive Director Michael Camp and Langdale. It was one program in a long list of Langdale’s contributions cited by the dozens of Fisher faculty, staff, alumni, friends and Ohio State officials, who formally and informally paid tribute.

“You always believed that to really help the entrepreneur, we needed to make accessible to the entrepreneur some structure, some curriculum, some great teachers and what you called access to smart people and smart capital,” said Christine A. Poon, Fisher’s dean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business. “We are here to thank and recognize Rich for his passion for entrepreneurship, his boundless creativity and energy.”

Twelve years ago, Langdale helped to establish Fisher’s Center for Entrepreneurship and was instrumental in the development of entrepreneurship curriculum with faculty. He taught undergraduate, MBA and Executive MBA courses in entrepreneurship. Additionally, he helped launch Ohio State’s Business Builders Club. Several past presidents of the student organization attended the dedication.

Ohio State Provost Joseph Alutto spoke on behalf of the university, calling Langdale “the very first resource (Ohio State) had in building an entrepreneurship program.”

“Rich said that we had to have a connection to the entrepreneurship community and he opened up those doors,” Alutto said.

According to Camp, since the founding of the academy, more than 400 students have participated in the initial course, more than 20 new start-ups have been created and those start-ups have raised more than $20 million in various forms of capital. “This was all out of one class,” Camp said. “Rich was very instrumental in helping us think about the design of the class which led to the development of a more comprehensive program.”

During the event, Langdale credited the enthusiasm of students, the commitment of the college and his family.  “I come from a family of entrepreneurs,” he said, which included his parents, his wife and her parents and even his children.

“We are celebrating the Langdale family as a whole,” Camp agreed.  “At least three different times, I’ve been pitched by his (12-year-old) daughter for start-up funding for one of her new ventures.”

The academy naming is expected to be approved at the June 9 Ohio State Board of Trustees meeting.