The JMU EIR is a seasoned entrepreneur who advises nascent entrepreneurs, inventors, and innovators.  The goal is to encourage and guide students and faculty in their pre-launch endeavors.  The EIR supports undergraduate entrepreneurship education and research, in collaboration with the Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE).

EIR Qualifications

A proven entrepreneur who has:

  1. Started/launched at least one business through Year 5 or to successful acquisition.
  2. Developed and/or patented an idea or intellectual property into a commercially viable product or service.
  3. Executed one or more significant financially successful exits.
  4. Demonstrates excellent leadership and communication skills.
  5. A JMU alumnus preferred.
  6. Available to participate actively with JMU faculty and/or students during the assigned term.
  7. A strong communicator who is comfortable making connections and scheduling appointments with faculty and students, as appropriate.
EIR Time Commitment

Term Options:  

1 year - Engage with students as speaker, mentor, or by appointment

2 year - Engage with students and faculty as guest lecturer, mentor or by appointment

On-Campus:        

2 visits per semester

September-December and January – April

Coverage:             

At least three (3) EIRs to provide a regular presence on campus

EIR Responsibilities
  1. Foster entrepreneurship at JMU.
  2. Model entrepreneurial thinking and practice.
  3. Advise JMU students and/or faculty and staff, as requested.
  4. Mentor undergraduates on career opportunities and choices.
  5. Provide functional expertise, as appropriate.
EIR Benefits

The EIR is a volunteer role.  Travel and meal expenses related to any required campus visit to fulfill EIR responsibilities will be reimbursed with proper documentation.

EIRs have the opportunity to connect with students in all majors who are exploring entrepreneurship as a career option, studying entrepreneurship, developing business plans, and starting businesses.  EIRs work with faculty who want to integrate entrepreneurship into their teaching and research.  EIRs will be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement to maintain confidentiality.

2017-2018 Entrepreneurs-in-Residence
Gil Welsford, '12

Gil WelsfordFounder of GENETIC Productions and Nicecream

Gil Welsford is a serial entrepreneur with businesses spanning from retail food, to B2B, to ecommerce. While at JMU, Gil started an ecommerce store selling industrial valves and instrumentation. He has always been obsessed with experiential businesses which led him to his other two ventures: GENETIC Productions- an event and concert lighting and production firm, as well as Nicecream- an ice cream retail business that focusses on making the freshest ice cream out there using local fresh fruits, grass-fed cream, and liquid nitrogen. Gil lives in Arlington, Virginia and visits JMU as often as he can!

Siheun Song

Siheun SongFounder of Rally Bus

Born in Seoul, S. Korea, Siheun immigrated to the US with her family in 1989 and has lived in NYC since then. Siheun graduated from Juilliard Pre-College (organ major), Columbia (BA, Comparative Literature & Society) and Yale Divinity School (MA, Religion). She co-founded Rally in 2014, after incubating the startup at Yale Entrepreneurial Institute. Siheun created the term "community mobility" to describe her startup's potential, which was incredibly realized by the largest demonstration in modern history. Rally mobilized more than 40,000 people to the Women's March on Washington. Siheun and her team organized more buses to a single day event than ever before in history.

2016-17 Entrepreneurs-in-Residence
April Armstrong, '92

April ArmstrongFounder & CEO, AHA Insight

Before the age of 30, Armstrong became one of the first female Division Managers at a science-based firm and later built two multi-million-dollar business areas in a Fortune 500 company. Armstrong has worked with hundreds of executive leaders in corporate and government institutions, including PayPal and E-Bay, NASA and the White House. An Executive Coach and CEO of AHA Insight, Armstrong is an inspirational speaker who shares insights for building a professional image and reputation, planning a fulfilling career path, scaling your organization for success, and becoming an effective leader.  Armstrong earned a B.A. in Communications and French and serves on the JMU Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.

Bryan Bostic, '83

Bryan BosticManaging Director, Spanish Moss Holdings, LLC

A serial entrepreneur, Bostic sold his first venture, 2B Technology to Ticketmaster in 2000.  Bostic had developed a powerful reservation, scheduling, and ticketing enterprise system that generated over 100 million tickets annually to attractions throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He then acquired a small startup, Smartbox, in 2004, growing the business by franchising locations around the country, including a tuck-in acquisition of Big Box Storage in 2008. He sold the company in 2014 to Sirva Worldwide. Bostic has been an active participant in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, directly involved with 16 companies. He is also an active mentor to the startup community in Richmond, Virginia. An enthusiastic speaker, Bostic has expertise in logistics, recruiting and developing high performing employees, recognizing marketing opportunities, franchising, creating strategic partnerships, and negotiating strategic exits. He holds a BBA in Management Information Systems.

David Kay, '89

David KayCo-CEO, Distinctive Building Group

Kay was a co-founder of Capital Automotive and most recently President and CEO of American Realty Capital Properties, the largest net lease REIT in the world. He started his first business at 14, setting up and maintaining aquariums in dentist offices. After college he entered public accounting. Now he is involved in multiple entrepreneurial ventures and serves on boards where they rely on his visionary ideas to spark new strategic directions and profitable ventures. Kay is a dynamic speaker who can share how to take ideas to fruition in any arena, imagine how to create value and make money, explain complex financial tools, and help you think creatively about your endeavor. David holds a BBA in Finance and serves on the JMU Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.

Eric Major, '91

Eric MajorCo-Founder, President & CEO of K2M

A serial entrepreneur, Major has over 20 years of experience in the spine industry. After years in medical sales, Major took an innovative idea from “garage to IPO”. The K2M Product Portfolio includes industry-leading products which enable surgeons to effectively treat the world’s most complex spinal disorders. Major is a high-energy speaker who can talk about his experiences in starting a business, growing a business, going global, and going public. He has significant experience in sales, team-building, negotiation, and public relations. Major holds a B.S. in Political Science and serves on the JMU Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.

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