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Buck Goldstein
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Buck Goldstein is the University Entrepreneur in Residence and Professor of the Practice in the Department of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He joined the University faculty in 2004 to help build The Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative, a multi-year, multi-million dollar project to make entrepreneurship, broadly defined, part of the intellectual fabric of the campus. The UNC entrepreneurship curriculum has been named by a variety of national publications as among the nation’s best.

Goldstein is the co-founder of Information America, an online information and database business, that evolved over a 15 year period from start-up through venture financing to public company before it was ultimately acquired by the Thomson Corporation. He subsequently became a partner in Mellon Ventures, the venture capital arm of Mellon Bank where he served on the Board of numerous early stage information companies. He also served as Chairman of Medfusion which was acquired in 2010 by Intuit and was a Board Advisor to iCOntact which was acquired in 2012 by Vocus.

Goldstein was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Information Industry Association and Information America appeared numerous times on the Inc 500 list of fastest growing companies. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina and an honors graduate of its law school.

Along with Holden Throrp, the Provost at Washington University in St. Louis, Goldstein authored Engines of Innovation--The Entrepreneurial University in the 21st Century..

Entries by Buck Goldstein

A Defining Moment for Online Learning

(3) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 6:41 PM

I have a list of moments when I knew something big was happening. The first was in the exhibit hall at a geeky conference when I saw the Mosiac internet browser for the first time and immediately knew that the information industry was about to blow up. Next was the...

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Exploding MOOC Myths -- What We've Learned Half Way Through

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 9:54 AM

Holden Thorp and I are half way through our MOOC, What's Your Big Idea? By MOOC standards our enrollment is modest (34,000) but the level of engagement is relatively high-over 7,000 students have taken the end of module exams, and many others are working on projects to be presented at...

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What to Do With a Big Idea?

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 1:49 PM

"Watch out for what you wish for," the old Chinese proverb, comes to mind as we sort our way through our plans for our upcoming MOOC, "What's Your Big Idea?"

With close to 12,000 students registered so far and more than a month to go before launch, my...

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As MOOCs Move Mainstream Universities Must Pay to Play

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 4:09 PM

In less than a year MOOCs have gone from a geeky idea known mainly to a few professors at Stanford and a group of TED talk addicts to the center piece of a bank commercial appearing on network television. Like it or not, virtually every university is now considering whether...

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My MOOC Improves My Classroom

(2) Comments | Posted July 7, 2013 | 12:22 PM

Amidst all the angst within academia generated by the new MOOCs (massive open online courses) and online education in general, actually working on a MOOC for the last six months has convinced me of one thing: MOOCs will make the classroom better. Let me describe how I reached that conclusion.

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What We Can Learn From Girl Scout Cookies

(2) Comments | Posted March 14, 2012 | 4:35 PM

I teach a seminar each spring to twenty-four honors students from around the country and around the world. Last week we discussed the challenges of growing a social enterprise and more specifically the difficulty of creating sustainable revenue streams. The class became intrigued by the model suggested by Girl Scout...

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Academia at a Crossroads -- Can Our Great Universities Lead in a Time of Need

(0) Comments | Posted February 21, 2012 | 9:00 AM

Pulitzer Prize winner David Rohde's recent article on our efforts at UNC to turn our university into an engine of innovation argues that America's research universities can make a profound difference in the battle to rebuild the country's economy and its middle class. With over 250 billion...

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Fundamental Change Is Never Voluntary

(2) Comments | Posted October 13, 2011 | 5:45 PM

For the last year or so Holden Thorp and I have been talking about change. In our book, Engines of Innovation, we suggest virtually all of our major institutions are in crisis and that innovation and entrepreneurship offer a path forward. (We just posted the introduction to the...

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Lessons From Chairman Jobs: Listening to the Rustling of the Breeze

(1) Comments | Posted September 7, 2011 | 3:00 PM

Each year at this time our 100 student entrepreneurship class discusses innovation and entrepreneurship and the reading, coincidentally, is a book by the same name by Peter Drucker. Written in 1985, the book's examples are dated and most of its major themes have been repackaged in scores of more recent...

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Replacing Fear and Greed -- Two Recent Visits to Google New York

(1) Comments | Posted July 29, 2011 | 1:44 PM

Fear and greed; for my entire professional life I have understood these two emotions to be the great motivators. Make your numbers, achieve your goals, beat your plan, and you will be rewarded with a big bonus, or better still, a substantial increase in the value of your equity. Surprise...

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Low Risk and High Return -- Investing in our Best

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2011 | 8:00 PM

Last spring I taught a seminar on innovation to 24 first-year honors students who could objectively be described as among the brightest teenagers in the world. Halfway through the semester I caught myself flashing back to my former life as a CEO and as a venture capitalist. I spent my...

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Innovation Economics: The Pie Must Get Bigger

(21) Comments | Posted September 29, 2010 | 8:45 AM

If you work long enough, even in high growth businesses or organizations, the inevitable bump in the road comes along, and sometimes that bump is more like a pot-hole or a ditch. When the pie is getting smaller, no one is happy. This axiom applies equally to companies, institutions, governments...

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The Smartest Kid in the Class

(1) Comments | Posted July 9, 2010 | 10:20 AM

One of my first conversations at the beginning of a recent trip to China focused on the government's encouragement of a rebirth of Confucianism. When I asked for an explanation, my colleague asked me if I had ever been to the Confucian temple in Beijing and I admitted I had...

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Strategy Without Execution Is an Illusion

(1) Comments | Posted June 14, 2010 | 9:47 AM


I spent most of a day last week participating in developing a strategy for a leading American software company as it seeks to expand in the rapidly growing health care market. We spent hours defining the business we were in and the many businesses we were not...

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President Clinton Suggests a Good Bet

(1) Comments | Posted April 15, 2010 | 1:50 PM

In an interview yesterday with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Bill Clinton highlighted the crucial role of American colleges and universities in a world that is, in his words, "unequal, unstable and unsustainable." The back story to the President's vision involves both good news and bad news. The bottom line...

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President Clinton Suggests a Good Bet

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2010 | 3:46 PM

In an interview yesterday with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Bill Clinton highlighted the crucial role of American colleges and universities in a world that is, in his words, "unequal, unstable and unsustainable." The backstory to the President's vision involves both good news and bad news. The bottom line is...

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The Entrepreneurial University -- Revving Up Innovation on Our Nation's Campuses

(3) Comments | Posted March 29, 2010 | 9:48 AM

With over 250 billion dollars in endowment and intellectual firepower unrivaled anywhere in the world, this country's research universities are the crown jewels of our society. But these grim economic times and the complexity of the world's biggest problems demand that universities become problem-centered engines of innovation and increasingly adept...

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Beyond Science Fiction

(14) Comments | Posted July 1, 2008 | 2:32 PM

As you head for the beach with a canvas bag full of science fiction, the activities of one of the world's great inventors will top anything you or your favorite author can possibly conjure up. This year's winner of the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT award for invention, Dr. Joe DeSimone, (full disclosure...

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Health Care Reform is Coming -- But From the Bottom Up

(31) Comments | Posted June 17, 2008 | 10:22 PM

The latest round of announcements from Google and Microsoft about their partnerships and initiatives to fix the US healthcare system reminds us all that it is seriously broken. Health care costs are growing at 4.4 times the rate of inflation and 3.7 times the rate of increase of the average...

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4 Things UNC Can Expect with an Entrepreneur in Charge

(1) Comments | Posted May 27, 2008 | 3:26 PM

On July 1, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the nation's leading universities, will have a new leader. In addition to being a distinguished academic chemist and the holder of multiple patents, UNC's new Chancellor is a serial entrepreneur. The Chronicle of Higher Education, in announcing...

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