Michael Fountain

Michael Fountain

Director, USF Center for Entrepreneurship,
John & Beverley Grant Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship,
Professor, Industrial & Management Systems Engineering,
Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine
Professor, Institute for Advanced Discovery and Innovation
Fellow National Academy of Inventors
Room: BSN 3331
Phone: (813) 974-7900
Fax: (813) 974-6175

Michael Fountain currently serves as the founding director of the University of South Florida’s  interdisciplinary, cross-campus Center for Entrepreneurship, where he oversees the  undergraduate and graduate programs in entrepreneurship. He also supervises the interdisciplinary USF Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship, the master's degree program in entrepreneurship in applied technologies and graduate training programs in entrepreneurship for business, engineering, medical and sustainability students. He serves as the faculty director for the USF Student Innovation Incubator and holds senior faculty professor appointments in the colleges of business (John and Beverley Grant Endowed Chair), medicine, pharmacy, engineering and the Institute for Advanced Discovery and Innovation. Under Fountain’s direction, the Center for Entrepreneurship has developed national and international prominence as evidenced by top U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) national awards (Model Specialty Program, Innovative Pedagogy and Innovative New Course) in 2004, 2005 and 2006; the USASBE Conference Pillar Award in Pedagogy in 2009 and national ranking by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine as one of the nation’s top graduate entrepreneurship education programs for 12 consecutive years. In 2018, the Association for the Advancement of Colleges and Schools of Business (AACSB) selected the Entrepreneurship Education Program at USF as one of the top 15 entrepreneurship educational programs in the world in the Entrepreneurship Spotlight Challenge.

In 2009, Fountain was honored as one of the top 100 business leaders in Tampa Bay by Tampa Bay CEO. He has served as the director of the National Consortium for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship and as an entrepreneur-in-residence with the Kauffman Foundation. He served for four years as the vice president for development of USASBE, two years as a board member-at-large. He was the national director of the National Consortium for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship from 1999 until 2004, an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and a member of the board for the Kauffman Fellows Program prior to becoming the founding center director at USF. He is a pioneer in the development and adoption of Life Sciences Entrepreneurship as a sub-interdisciplinary specialty in entrepreneurship education linking the disciplines of science, medicine, engineering, sustainability and business. He was honored by USF with the university-wide Excellence in Research and Innovation Award for 2014, was selected as a 2015 Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors and, in 2016, as a Justin Longenecker Fellow of USASBE. He has published numerous peer-reviewed research papers and is the co-author of “Launching New Ventures” published by SAGE publishing.

Fountain has focused the past 35 years on creating, financing, growing and harvesting biotechnology, medical-device and life-science companies. In his career prior to coming to USF, he founded or co-founded eleven new ventures, three of which became publicly traded companies. These corporate ventures include The Liposome Company, Cooper Biomedical, Lipogen, DFW Technologies and Fountain Pharmaceuticals, among others. During his corporate career he has served in a variety of leadership roles including chief scientific officer, chief executive officer and chairman of the board. Fountain was a pioneer in the field of development and application of the use of phospholipids in micro- and nano-particle technologies for drug encapsulation. He has successfully patented and commercialized numerous innovative medical and diagnostic products for the domestic and international marketplace, including sustained release anti-cancer drugs, genetically engineered diagnostic products for autoimmune diseases, microencapsulated dermatologic products and advanced subunit vaccine products for prevention of human and animal infectious diseases. His research efforts have yielded over 70 peer-reviewed publications and more than 70 U.S. and internationally issued patents. His patented technology platforms are currently utilized in 100-plus products worldwide.  He currently serves as the founding and managing partner for Fountain Technologies International, a member of the board of directors of Global Safety Management, founder and member of the board of directors of UVentures, the board of directors of Cognis Group, founder and partner of the International Institute for Entrepreneurship, CEO and co-founder of MyVentureResource, Scientific Advisor of Dermazone Solutions, and NuVessl.  In addition, he serves on the research advisory board of Auburn University.

Fountain earned a PhD and master's degree from Auburn University and an MBA from Bristol University. He  received a bachelor's degree from Samford University. In addition, he completed studies in education theory at USF.


  • ENT 6186/EIN 6935 - Strategic Market Assessments for New Technologies
  • ENT 6930- Exit Strategies
  • ENT 6016/EIN 6934- New Venture Formation/Technical Venture Strategies


  • Launching Successful Ventures, First Edition, Michael W. Fountain and Thomas W. Zimmerer SAGE Publications, Inc. ISBN-13: 978-1506358932.
  • U.S. Patent: “Nanolipidic Particle Assembly Populations” 9,987,234
  • U.S. Patent: “ Method for Preparing Nanolipids with Encapsulated Alcohol” 10,240,115
  • U.S. Patent: “Nanolipids with Encapsulated Alcohol” 10,246,672
  • U.S. Patent: “Method for Preparing Nanolipids with Encapsulated Alcohol”


  • Member, boards of directors: Global Safety Management, Cognis Group, Daveler Fellows (Chairman), USF Chapter National; Academy of Inventors, FTI
  • Member, Muma College of Business Task Force for College Rankings
  • Member, advisory boards, UVentures, USF Student Innovation Incubator
  • Business and scientific adviser: FTI, NuVessl, MyVenture Resource
  • Member, research advisory board: Auburn University