A corporate executive with more than 27 years in leadership roles with multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries is the new director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the College of Business at Western Carolina University.
Zahed Subhan, whose career includes senior roles in research and development, marketing, sales and strategic planning, brings vast expertise in company formation and development, biotechnology and pharmaceutical innovation, said Louis Buck, interim dean of the College of Business. Subhan’s experience includes fundraising and new company start-ups, corporate development and successful “exits” by initial public offering and by merger and acquisition, Buck said.
Subhan, who formerly directed WCU’s Center for Professional Selling, said he felt privileged to be a part of WCU at an exciting time in its history.
“My principal ambitions are to improve the quality of innovative thinking in Western North Carolina and to stimulate entrepreneurial skills in students, faculty members, WCU alumni and the general entrepreneurial public,” he said.
Entrepreneurship is more than just a business theory or strategy, Subhan said. “Entrepreneurship is a way of thinking. Understanding how to translate ideas into realities, transforming companies to greater heights, simply helping a nonprofit do more with less, being inspired, inventing and innovating to add value, all are at the heart of entrepreneurship,” he said.
Subhan holds a doctorate in experimental psychology from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom; an MBA in marketing from the University of Bradford Management Centre in the U.K., and a law degree from the University of London. He previously served as adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the Philadelphia University School of Business Administration.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have such an engaged colleague as Dr. Subhan,” said Robert Lahm, WCU associate professor of entrepreneurship. “His presence already is being felt by a number of organizations with which he has begun to collaborate in the region, and I have no doubt in his capacity to increase the visibility and impact of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation on a national, if not global, scale given his substantial international experience and expertise.”
Housed in WCU’s College of Business, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is designed to serve as a catalyst for the creation of successful entrepreneurial ventures. The center provides educational support for aspiring and current entrepreneurs, and fosters cross campus and inter-institutional collaboration on the inclusion of entrepreneurship theory and practice for all disciplines. Faculty and staff of the center provide expertise to other organizations that work for economic development, including the Small Business and Technology Development Center, with which it shares offices.
The center is home to WCU’s master’s degree program in entrepreneurship, previously named among the nation’s highest-ranked entrepreneurship programs by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and by Fortune Small Business magazine.
Through its distance and residential undergraduate and master’s level programs in entrepreneurship, WCU’s center offers practical hands-on education and service-learning activities facilitated by a faculty of experienced entrepreneurs. The center endeavors to provide students with the skills necessary to think creatively, to successfully launch their own businesses, or to work with an employer in launching and growing an entrepreneurial venture.
For more information, contact Robert Carton, head of WCU’s Department of Entrepreneurship, Sales and Marketing, and Hospitality and Tourism, at 828-227-3984.