Director, Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship
Faculty, Entrepreneurship Department
Campbell Fellow, College of Business Administration
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Julie is an experienced entrepreneurship educator and ecosystem builder. She works closely with entrepreneurs and business leaders to bring opportunities to students as well as support entrepreneurial development across the region.
She joined the CMU team after 16 years at Kent State University where she led the development of the Kent State NEOLaunchNET program (originally Blackstone LaunchPad) that serves students and faculty from all disciplines. She also led the efforts in a grassroots initiative to create a connected innovation ecosystem across the university, and also designed, developed, and led the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation in the College of Business.
Julie is one of the founding directors of the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium, for which she accepted the USASBE Innovative Pedagogy Award in 2010 and the recipient of the Paul L Pfeiffer Creative Teaching Award and the Non-Tenure Track Teaching Award. Both awards recognize faculty for excellence in teaching. Julie and her team were recipients of the 2019 Deshpande Excellence in Student Engagement award. She has also presented at multiple conferences and economic development groups.
Before joining higher education, Julie was a senior officer in the private sector where she led the development of new product offerings and engaged in various merger & acquisition opportunities. She is also President of her own consulting organization, Transitions Advisory Group, Inc. and has served on a variety of economic development and community service boards. Julie and her husband will be relocating from Aurora, Ohio. They have three grown children.
Program Manager, Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship
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Baker has launched several new ventures including Baker Communications, where she consulted on small business issues for state and federal agencies for more than 15 years. Her most recent startup, Fedora Malthouse, was a national finalist in the 2016 Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurial Challenge. She also has experience advising on gaming industry issues, working with political PR firms in Lansing, and performing veterinary practice management services. Further, she has served on legislative committees for various trade organizations.
In her current role, Baker shares her varied experiences with student entrepreneurs to help them develop their entrepreneurial ideas and skills. She is particularly adept at assisting students with secondary research and customer discovery. Her motto is “Be Courageous, Be Persistent and Plan for Success.”
Baker is a life-long learner with a degree in Business Management and Marketing from MMCC and a BS in Journalism/Public Relations/Political Science from CMU. She is currently pursuing a Master of Entrepreneurial Ventures degree at CMU.