Belk College’s Krista Saral named executive director of Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Belk College’s Krista Saral named as executive director of Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Krista Saral, associate professor of economics in the Belk College of Business, is executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Her appointment advances UNC Charlotte’s support of the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and demonstrates the University and Belk College’s commitment to use-inspired research in innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Dr. Saral brings significant research and organizational expertise to this newly created role,” said Dolly King, interim dean of the Belk College. “She is passionate about the success of entrepreneurs and understands how entrepreneurship serves as an engine for economic growth. Dr. Saral studies the behavioral characteristics of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial systems, and through her collaborative work nationally and globally, she has built connections with other entrepreneurship and innovation centers.”

 UNC Charlotte’s center serves the entire campus and broader Charlotte community. It moved to the Belk College in January with the integration of Ventureprise, the city’s longest-serving entrepreneur support organization, with the Small Business and Technology Development Center and the offerings of an undergraduate certificate in entrepreneurship and a graduate certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation.

 Current co-director Devin Collins will serve as director of technology and business support programs, and co-director Justin Webb will act as director of entrepreneurship academic programs and research. 

Saral will lead externally facing efforts of the center and will link the academic and research roles the center plays with its technology and business aspects, working closely with Webb and Collins on the center’s strategic direction.

 “The center plays an essential role in the creation of innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to complex issues and in the development of infrastructure that enables entrepreneurs to flourish,” said Saral. “Our students, faculty, staff and community members learn important skills through our development of entrepreneurial best practices, while our faculty across the University contribute through research that is useful and can be applied.”

Read more on the Belk College of Business website.