Heidi Neck, Ph.D., is a Babson College Professor and the Jeffry A. Timmons Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies. She teaches entrepreneurship at the MBA and executive levels. Her research interests include entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurship inside organizations, and creative thinking. Neck is the lead author of Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach—a book written to help educators teach entrepreneurship in more experiential and engaging ways. Additionally, she has published 40+ book chapters, research monographs, and refereed articles in such journals as Journal of Small Business Management, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, and International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education. She is on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Learning & Education journal.
Neck is Faculty Director of Babson’s Symposia for Entrepreneurship Educators (SEE)—programs designed to further develop faculty from around the world in the art and craft of teaching entrepreneurship and building entrepreneurship programs. An award-winning teacher, Neck has been recognized for teaching excellence at Babson for both undergraduate and executive education. She has also been recognized by international organizations, the Academy of Management and the United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship, for excellence in pedagogy and course design. She passionately works to improve the pedagogy of entrepreneurship education because new venture creation is the economic engine of society. Given the integrated and multidisciplinary nature of entrepreneurship, teaching entrepreneurship requires an entrepreneurial approach. In her own words:
I demand that my students think and act entrepreneurially, which requires creative problem-solving, calculated risk-taking, and improvisation. From a pedagogical perspective, I have to do the same. Teaching entrepreneurship requires continual innovation, fearless experimentation, and structured chaos. There is absolutely nothing more fun to teach than entrepreneurship! Yet I have a significant responsibility. Given the chaotic and nonlinear nature of entrepreneurship I must develop the discovery, thinking, reasoning, and implementation skills of my students so they may lead, manage, and excel in highly uncertain, entrepreneurial environments. I want my students to identify and capture the right opportunity at the right time for the right reason.
Neck is also the Director of the Babson Entrepreneur Experience Lab—a national applied research project, in partnership with the Business Innovation Factory, that seeks to better understand the experience of entrepreneurs of all kinds in order to design and develop better support program for today’s entrepreneur. Research monographs on the experience of startup entrepreneurs and “entrepreneurs inside” (organizations) have been published.
Neck speaks and teaches internationally on cultivating the entrepreneurial mindset and espousing the positive force of entrepreneurship as a societal change agent. She consults and trains organizations of all sizes on building entrepreneurial capacity. She is the co-owner of FlowDog, a canine aquatic fitness and rehabilitation center located just outside of Boston, and VentureBlocks, an emerging company in education technology space. Heidi earned her Ph.D. in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from Louisiana State University and an MBA from the University of Colorado, Boulder.