Expanding the Global Conversation on Entrepreneurship at Cornell University with Norway

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Expanding the Global Conversation on Entrepreneurship at Cornell University with Norway


Category: AmCham News

VirtualAmbassadorProgram Photo 1

Students in the Virtual Ambassador Program in session with Norway Ambassador to the US, Kåre Aas

Over the past few months, Ivy league university Cornell has been strengthening ties with Norway. This month, Cornell University faculty member Mona Anita K. Olsen learned that Cornell had been successful in their grant application to the Norwegian Centre for International Collaboration in Education (SIU) with NHH for an entrepreneurship education project.

In November, Cornell hosted the Virtual Ambassador Program. Ambassador Kare R. Aas, the Norwegian Ambassador to the United States, presented on Girls’ Education as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week and International Education Week. With the use of a webcam, the Ambassador gave a brief presentation about some of Norway’s top priorities. Following the presentation, Ambassador Aas opened up for an engaging dialogue, providing participants (including students, faculty, and staff) with the opportunity to ask follow-up questions about the presentation. This event was sponsored by The Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute of Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University (The Pillsbury Institute).

The Pillsbury Institute is the leading venue for budding entrepreneurs, hospitality industry leaders, and researchers. It operates around three main objectives – educating students, providing experiential learning activities, and engaging with entrepreneurs. There is an entrepreneurship concentration offered through the school which features 12 entrepreneurship courses, including Global Conversations with Entrepreneurs. Cornell faculty member Benjamin Lawrence co-developed the course with Olsen thanks to the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies Small Grant Competition at Cornell University; much of the inspiration for the course came from Olsen’s experience studying entrepreneurship education in Norway as a Fulbright grantee.

Professor Mona Anita Olson (SHA) at Meet and Repeat: A 2015 Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship (PIHE) Speed Networking Event.

Professor Mona Anita Olsen (SHA) at Meet and Repeat: A 2015 Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship (PIHE) Speed Networking Event.

Since joining the Cornell faculty after her Fulbright experience in Norway, Olsen has been working on opportunities to continue engaging the Norwegian entrepreneurship community. Last year, when SIU and the Institute of International Education (IIE) collaborated on the inaugural International Academic Partnership Program Norway Program (IAPP Norway), Olsen led the application for Cornell. The goal of the IAPP Norway Program is to expand U.S.-Norwegian engagement and foster strategic university partnerships. IIE and SIU selected Cornell University as one of the twelve U.S. higher education institutions to participate in the eight month IAPP Norway Program. Olsen launched the Cornell University IAPP Norway Steering Committee, which included former US Ambassador to Norway Barry White, and worked with IIE’s Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education on a strategic planning process and engaged in training activities designed to implement and sustain partnerships with counterparts in Norway.

Olsen hopes to continue to build out opportunities to collaborate with Norwegian entrepreneurs and multinationals who engage in business with the United States and Norway. We would warmly welcome the opportunity for members of the AmCham Network to get involved with the efforts at The Pillsbury Institute. If you would are willing to be interviewed by a student for one of the course assignments relating to entrepreneurship in Norway or to provide advice for the next generation of entrepreneurs, please connect with Dr. Olsen via the contact form.

For more information on The Pillsbury Institute and on other ways to get involved, please visit

Source: Cornell

Published: May 21, 2024