November 3, 2021 at 2:45pm
Dane Lisser

"My hope for the Center for Entrepreneurship is to connect students with the community."

Dr. Marcos Hashimoto has a diversified background in the areas of entrepreneurship, information technology, education and business. With over 20 years of teaching entrepreneurship, Hashimoto has brought a wealth of global business perspectives to Millikin University as the institution's new Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

A native of Brazil, Hashimoto came to the United States in 2016. While in the corporate world, one of the things he enjoyed most was training.

"When I used to go to international conferences, I learned a lot from technology and the banking industry," he said in an interview with the Herald & Review. "My role was to come back to the office and kind of train the trainer, transfer the knowledge to other people, and that was the most pleasant part of my work. My colleagues used to tell me that I should open a training center because I was so good at it."

In addition to his 20 years of experience in teaching entrepreneurship at the graduate and undergraduate levels, he has 10 years' experience establishing and running entrepreneurship centers for three of the top business colleges in Brazil, two of which are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Video courtesy of the Herald & Review

He is also the recipient of several international awards for innovative techniques in entrepreneurship teaching, including the Best Paper Award at the Entrepreneurship Division of Academy of Management Conference (2014), the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation Award (2011), and the Entrepreneurship Education Award for Entrepreneurship Discipline (2011).

"Dr. Hashimoto brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Millikin," said R.J. Podeschi, interim dean of the Tabor School of Business. "Marcos has started and directed entrepreneurship centers at other institutions, he brings a diverse and global perspective to the institution, and he is engaged with high quality research in the field."

Podeschi added, "His vision for Millikin's Center for Entrepreneurship continues to infuse the entrepreneurial mindset into non-business disciplines, engage with the community, mentor students on their business ideas, and support our hallmark student-run ventures. We are thrilled to have Marcos as part of the team and look forward to the great things ahead from the Center for Entrepreneurship."

Hashimoto was working for Citibank in 2000 and pursuing his master's degree when he was part of a group project in an international business competition at the University of Texas-Austin. His group's business plan received $300,000 to start their company, and he quit his job to pursue that, but when Nasdaq crashed in 2001, it took the funding with it.

"All the investors retracted their offer, and I ended up with no funding, no job and deciding what to do with my life," he said. "I decided to take some of my free time teaching at a local [Brazilian] university, and at the same time I started my consulting company."

Millikin Center for Entrepreneurship

Hashimoto never went back to the corporate world, and spent the next 16 years as an entrepreneur and teaching. His extensive experience in consulting services fall under three different kinds of markets: startups, large organizations, and universities. His academic background includes experience with organizing student competitions, entrepreneurship career counseling, leading and directing student clubs and initiatives, and creating a unique and wide entrepreneurial vision and program.

His hope for the Center for Entrepreneurship is to connect students with the community, he said, and bring the community into Millikin. Entrepreneurs need networks and connections and customers from the community to succeed, and can't learn what they need to know behind a "bubble."

"I was fortunate to start and run three entrepreneurship centers in the three most prestigious business schools in Brazil," Hashimoto said. "So that gave me a lot of experience and a lot of networking and knowing a lot of people in this entrepreneurial system, in one of the largest cities in Latin America, Sao Paulo. And here I am in Decatur at Millikin, trying to make a difference here."