The Understanding Startup Communities is being lead by John Mueller, with the help of Fareed Shalhout, a Lee Honors College graduate assistant.


John Mueller

John Mueller has designed and will be leading the Understanding Startup Communities course.  He grew up in Austin, Texas, and spent 9 years in Boulder / Longmont, Colorado.  With the knowledge and experience gained from living in these two areas, he is now taking students to these communities to learn and compare to other startup communities, including Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo [ added Cincinnati to the mix ].  His background is a software programming, and he started and ran several companies that were software-oriented.

Currently, he is an assistant professor at Western Michigan University, where he focuses on building and teaching entrepreneurship courses. His research interests include entrepreneurial finance and how new, young and small firms handle their financial and accounting activities; technology entrepreneurship; and sport entrepreneurship. He has presented his research at various conferences, won awards for reviewing scholarly articles, and received research grants from various organizations, including the Kauffman Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

Prior to joining WMU in 2012, he taught at the University of Louisville where he received the best doctoral student teaching award while completing his Ph.D. in entrepreneurship and created an entrepreneurial finance course in the Finance department. His dissertation examined how and why resourceful financing affects the performance of new firms.  This research was supported by the Kauffman Foundation through John’s involvement with the Kauffman Firm Survey.

Prior to starting his PhD, he started and ran several businesses throughout a 10-year period in the software industry (GolfSolutions.comSmartBond, Colorado Software Architects). Before entering the entrepreneurial ranks, he worked at the executive level as well as in the operational rankings, including programming and testing software applications.

His work experiences have allowed him to live and work in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, including serving as a United States Agency for International Development representative to South African companies in the capacity of advisor and consultant on business linkages, partnering and financing for small and medium businesses.

Mueller holds a PhD from the University of Louisville, an MBA from the University of Illinois, and a BBA in management information sciences from Southern Methodist University.

He and his son, Martin, are currently working on a company (Pick’n Run) to clean up trash.  They are creating products to make it easier and enjoyable for runners to pick up trash.

[ blog postings for the course | personal web site ]

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shalhout_fFareed Shalhout

Fareed Shalhout will be assisting John during the trips as an Advising Graduate Assistant for the Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University. He is currently a first-year masters student in the Educational Leadership program with a concentration in Higher Education and Student Affairs. Prior to joining Western Michigan University, Fareed graduated from University of Michigan-Dearborn in April 2014 with his Bachelor of Arts in Healthy Policy Studies with a concentration in Business.

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