Keller Center - Educating Leaders for a Technology-Driven Society


The James Wei Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship

Made possible by the generous support of several Princeton alumni, the James Wei Visiting Professorship in Entrepreneurship is a key element of Princeton's broadening scope of entrepreneurship education. The entrepreneurial-related activities range from course offerings such as "Entrepreneurial Leadership," "Social Entrepreneurship: Ventures to Address Global Challenges," and "High-Tech Entrepreneurship" to co-curricular offerings such as summer internships, the Summer Accelerator Program of eLab and campus events such as lecture series and the annual Innovation Forum.  Additionally, there is broad, student-led programming coordinated through groups such as the Entrepreneurship Club and the Princeton Social Entrepreneurship Initiative and initiatives by individual faculty and students. 

The appointment provides half-year support and can be implemented either as one-semester with full support, or a full year with half-support.

The Visiting Professor is expected to bring a unique and creative educational experience to the students through classroom teaching and other projects. Educational innovation is of particular interest in this appointment. Candidates will be evaluated according to their scholarship and teaching ability, and their track record of innovations and innovative teaching methods as applied to entrepreneurship.

The Keller Center will be accepting applications for the James Wei Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship for academic years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 starting October 1, 2014. 

Current James Wei Visiting Professor

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Dr. Shahram Hejazi (Fall 2014)
Dr. Shahram Hejazi is a life science entrepreneur/investor with executive general management experience in early-stage ventures and large global companies. Over his 20+ year career, Shahram has founded and/or directed the growth of more than a dozen startup companies. Since 2009, he has been a Venture Partner with BioAdvance, where he leads investments in devices, diagnostics, research tools and health IT. At BioAdvance he is a Board Director of Infrascan Inc., Optofluidics Inc., Enzium Inc., Leversense LLC., WellTrackOne Inc., and Phoenix S&T Inc. He is also the founder and CEO of Optimeos Life Sciences, a company based on a nanoparticle technology licensed from Princeton University. Shahram will be the upcoming (Fall 2014) James Wei Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Princeton University. 

Prior to these, (2004-2008), Shahram was the President of Kodak's Molecular Imaging division - where he had global responsibility for R&D, manufacturing, operations, sales, marketing and service of three diverse business lines - and eventually selling it to a private equity firm. Before Kodak, (2001-2004) he was the founding CEO of Zargis Medical Corp. (a Siemens spinoff ) where he led the company from raising capital and the technology development to completion of several clinical trials, successful FDA regulatory approval and product launch - the company was later sold to 3M. Prior to Zargis, (1996-2001) Shahram was the Global Head of the Strategic Business Development at Siemens medical, responsible for identifying early stage growth/investment opportunities and new business development. 

Earlier in his career, Shahram held R&D management positions at Kodak (Rochester) and IBM (Yorktown Heights). In addition to his Board responsibilities at BioAdvance, Shahram is also on the Boards of SibTech Inc., Therognostic Technologies Inc., and Integral Molecular Inc. His past Board responsibilities includes FDA Industry Advisory Panel Member for Molecular and Clinical Genetic Devices, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Bioscan Inc., Alpha Innotech Corp.  Shahram also serves on several university venture panels, and a speaker at many entrepreneurship events. Shahram has a PhD in electrical engineering with emphasis in biophysics (SUNY at Buffalo) and an executive business education (Stanford University).

Shahram Hejazi will teach course EGR 495 "Special Topics in Entrepreneurship - Building and Financing Technical Ventures" in the Fall 2014.  With the initial perspective of what it takes to attract funding, the course will then provide the experience of an early-stage entrepreneur seeking initial investment, covering in detail topics such as: opportunity assessment, intellectual property review, proof of concept development, technology de-risking plan, regulatory issues, market validation and team building. The course will then provide guidelines to help students identify financing needs, develop a funding strategy and build a pitch deck for potential investors.

Former James Wei Visiting Professors

Innaugurated in 2007, this professorship is a key element of Princeton's broadening scope of entrepreneurship education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University. Previous holders of this professorship include:

  • 2013-2014: Frank Fabozzi, EDHEC Business School
  • 2013-2014: Lorraine Marchand, Columbia Business School
  • 2012-2013: James Hornthal '76, co-founder and Chairman of Triporati, Inc. 
  • 2011-2012: Derek Lidow '73, Founder and CEO of iSuppli
  • 2010-2011: Ely Dahan, UCLA Anderson School 
  • 2009-2010: Gordon Bloom, Harvard/Stanford
  • 2008-2009: John Danner, University of California-Berkeley
  • 2007-2008: Julian Lange '65 Babson College