The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) at Temple University has a long history of helping the entrepreneurial community at the Fox School and beyond. Now, the IEI welcomes a new chapter of leadership.
In July 2022, Michelle Histand was announced as the new managing director of the IEI. Histand is a familiar face to many in the Fox community. She has been an adjunct professor, worked with Fox Management Consulting as a project manager, served as a facilitator for the Center for Executive Education and has taught in the B4USoar program.
Yet her background outside of the school speaks to her breadth of diverse leadership experience. Histand’s rich partnerships and experiences with organizations from across the City of Philadelphia—from executive director of the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation to co-founder of the B.PHL Innovation Festival—demonstrate her passion for supporting our neighboring community and uplifting those who enrich it.
In her new role as managing director, Histand will guide and shape the IEI in its commitment to promoting the bold entrepreneurial and daring innovative spirit across Temple University, while also overseeing the innovation and entrepreneurship curriculum at the Fox School within the Department of Management.
The Fox editorial team caught up with Histand to ask about her plans to help the IEI meet the needs of Temple’s entrepreneurial faculty, students and alumni.
What experiences have shaped how you lead?
Over many years of my own work career, observing and learning from various managers I’ve had has helped shape how I lead. So, I would say it was a collection of experiences rather than one thing in particular. I believe in giving people autonomy to do their best work while being there to guide as necessary—I think that’s when people can shine.
How can the IEI support Temple Made businesses?
One of the great things about IEI is the deep breadth of expertise. Our faculty and staff are amazing resources, from the business experience that they freely share to the insights about navigating all things at Temple. Temple Made businesses are lucky to benefit from these folks and their dedication to helping.
How has the IEI adjusted its support of the Temple community over the years?
We continue to refine support as we learn more about what our community needs and how we fit into all of the other things happening at the Fox School and Temple. We’ve had some really creative things happen, like partnerships with other schools and colleges. We’re looking to build on that more.
How will your vision refine the IEI and its approach?
I want to continue building cross-campus collaboration. While IEI is housed within the Fox School, it’s a resource for the entire campus. I want to make sure we are fostering relationships across the university and working together in a way that’s beneficial for faculty, staff and—most of all—students!
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?
Be willing to take risks! Now is the time—when you’re young and before you have too many responsibilities—to try new things. If you’re passionate about something, it’s worth going for it.
What should students know about coming to the IEI?
Come on in! We welcome everyone and the ideas of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship can apply to all students. It’s not as scary as it can sound—so come see us in the 1810 Building, located right on Liacouras Walk, and we’ll help you get started.