Michael Fountain

Michael W. Fountain, PhD, MBA, FNAI
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship, John & Beverley Grant Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship Professor, Industrial & Management Systems Engineering Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

"Dare to be exceptional, be unwilling to accept mediocrity, strive for excellence and always be willing to give back freely to others. By living these principles in our personal and professional lives, I believe that each and every one of us can make a difference to enable the USF Center for Entrepreneurship to operate as the program of excellence in entrepreneurial education and leadership."
- Michael W. Fountain

Dr. Fountain is the founding director of the University of South Florida's interdisciplinary Center for Entrepreneurship.  He directs the university-wide undergraduate and graduate interdisciplinary programs in entrepreneurship, the Interdisciplinary USF Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship and the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship in Applied Technologies and graduate training programs in entrepreneurship for business, engineering, medical and sustainability students. He also serves as the faculty director for the USF Student Innovation Incubator.

Dr. Fountain holds faculty senior faculty appointments in the USF Muma College of Business (John and Beverley Grant Endowed Chair), USF Morsani College of Medicine (Professor) and USF College of Engineering (Professor). He also serves as an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Tampa Bay Research and Innovation Center at the USF Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation.

Under Dr. Fountain's direction, the Center for Entrepreneurship has developed national and international prominence as evidenced by top 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 Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the nation's top graduate entrepreneurship education programs for the past consecutive 8 years. In 2009, Dr. Fountain was honored as one of the top 100 business leaders in Tampa Bay by Tampa Bay CEO. Dr. Fountain 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 4 years as the Vice President for Development of USASBE, two years as a board member-at-large. He served as the national director of the National Consortium for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship from 1999 until 2004, as an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and as a member of the Board for the Kauffman Fellows Program. 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.

Dr. Fountain has focused on creating, financing, growing and harvesting biotechnology, and medical device and life science companies. Before joining USF, Dr. Fountain founded or co-founded eleven new ventures, three of which became publicly traded companies. 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. Dr. 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 human and animal infectious disease. His research efforts have yielded over 70 peer-reviewed publications, 23 issued US patents, over 70 international patents. His patented technology platforms are currently utilized in over 180 products worldwide.

Dr. Fountain earned a bachelor's degree (honors) from Samford University, and a master's degree and PhD from Auburn University. He also earned an MBA from Bristol University and completed advanced studies in education theory at the University of South Florida.