Utah business icon partners with the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University to sponsor fellowships for female students pursuing careers in academia.
LOGAN, Utah — For Amy Rees Anderson, academic entrepreneurship is crucial for success in any field.
And she knows something about entrepreneurship.
From starting her career as a small business owner, to becoming founder and CEO of MediConnect Global — a company she grew and sold for over $377 million — she’s spent her entire career finding new and inventive ways to create value for her customers, employees, and companies.
Now, as founder of REES Capital and the IPOP Foundation, and author of a daily blog, one of Rees Anderson’s primary goals is to support opportunities for students — especially aspiring academic entrepreneurs — who advance ideas through the University that can help shape higher education and business.
“I believe the greatest opportunities for entrepreneurial success occur when there is collaboration between industry and academia,” said Rees Anderson. “If we can provide students exposure to the current challenges companies face and motivate students to think like entrepreneurs, we will increase the number of successful ideas spinning out of the universities into the marketplace.”
By partnering with the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University to create the Amy Rees Anderson Academic Entrepreneurs, a program for female students at Utah State University interested in pursuing graduate degrees or a career in high education, Rees Anderson hopes to encourage female students to become entrepreneurial leaders in business and academia.
“Our young women cannot be what they cannot see. Female students need to see more female professors and female business leaders as examples during their college years — both inside the classroom and outside of it,” said Rees Anderson. “The world needs more women of integrity who understand the unique obstacles women in business face.”
Selected students — known as fellows — will work on research projects across a variety of topics, including technology and innovation, barriers to entry for entrepreneurs, and the role of business and government in society.
“Research plays such an important role in helping us to understand how and why entrepreneurs succeed,” said Rees Anderson. “It helps identify market opportunities, best leadership practices, and inspires public policy modifications that, if made, could help remove barriers and encourage the expansion of entrepreneurial endeavors.”
The program will also provide mentorship and learning opportunities to aspiring female academic entrepreneurs.
“I experienced firsthand the unique benefits that entrepreneurship can afford women as it allowed me to be self-reliant while giving me the flexibility I needed to fulfill my most important role of being a mother to my two children,” said Rees Anderson. “I’d love to see more young women get to enjoy these same benefits.”
Rees Anderson’s most excited to work one-on-one with students in the program. She said she was blessed with great mentors in her career that have inspired her to pay-it-forward through sharing what she learned. She hopes her experiences, insight, and mentorship through the Amy Rees Anderson Academic Entrepreneurs program can inspire students to be leaders in whatever field they choose.
About Amy Rees Anderson
Amy Rees Anderson started her first healthcare technology company at age 23 and credits entrepreneurship as the path that allowed her to be self-reliant during her years as a single mother of two young children. Rees Anderson went on to become founder and CEO of MediConnect Global, Inc., one of the largest cloud-based health information exchanges. In March 2012, Amy successfully led MediConnect to being acquired by Verisk Analytics (VRSK) for over $377 million.
Leadership has always come naturally to Rees Anderson, who, while as CEO was known for her daily blogs and hands-on approach to managing a large and diverse workforce. She often lectures at universities, business summits, and conventions on leadership, management, and entrepreneurship.
After selling her company, Rees Anderson founded and continues to run REES Capital, an angel investment firm, as well as the IPOP Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurship as a pathway to self-reliance.
She continues to be a prolific writer — continuing her daily blogs, while also regularly contributing to Forbes and The Huffington Post. Rees Anderson has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fast Company, Bloomberg Businessweek and many other national publications. In 2015 Amy received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters.
Amy currently serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including: Governor Herbert’s Advisory Team, Huntsman Cancer Foundation Executive Council; Chair of Utah Valley University National Advisory Board for Woodbury School of Business; University of Utah National Advisory Board for David Eccles School of Business, Center for Medical Innovation, and Technology Commercialization Board; Brigham Young University Founders Board and BYU’s Wheatley Institute Ethics Advisory Council; Utah State University Clark Entrepreneur Founders Board; Sandy City Chamber of Commerce; and The Hale Center Theater Board.
About the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University
The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University is a university-based research center located on the Logan campus of Utah State University. Founded in 2017 after the historic joint $50 million gift to USU’s Huntsman School of Business by the Huntsman Foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation, the Center for Growth and Opportunity provides opportunities for students to participate in research fellowships and mentorship programs that link them with scholars and academic professionals at USU and institutions across the country.
As an academic research center, the Center for Growth and Opportunity is dedicated to producing ideas and research that transforms lives. Scholars, students, and academic professionals affiliated with the Center for Growth and Opportunity conduct policy-relevant research that explores the interactions between key institutions — business, government, and civil society — to better understand how to improve opportunity, broad-based economic growth, and individual well-being.
To learn more about research, student programs, events, and opportunities available through the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, visit their website: www.growthopportunity.org