LIU Announces Launch of T. Denny Sanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute


BROOKVILLE, N.Y. (May 5, 2017) – Long Island University has partnered with celebrated entrepreneur and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford to advance the University’s leadership in entrepreneurial education through the creation of the LIU T. Denny Sanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute. This bold initiative exemplifies how thought leaders across academia and industry can collaborate to provide a business education that meets the needs of 21st century students.

The official ribbon cutting celebrated the opening of Phase I of the project, which consists of 3,935 sq feet of newly renovated space within historic Bush-Brown Hall, adjacent to the LIU Post campus. The ribbon cutting event included remarks from Brookville Mayor Dan Serota, LIU President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, Chairman of the LIU Board of Trustees Eric Krasnoff, and T. Denny Sanford.  New York State Assemblyman Ed Ra and Nassau County Legislator Arnold Drucker attended as well.

“LIU is shaping an entrepreneurial culture powered by innovation and ingenuity,” Dr. Cline said. “We are proud to join with T. Denny Sanford as we take the next great step forward in our history of leadership in business education and our commitment to cultivating a creative spirit alongside genuine business intelligence in our students.”

“Helping LIU students discover and develop an entrepreneurial mindset is an investment that will have ripple effects throughout the northeast and across the globe,” Mr. Sanford said. “The Sanford Institute at LIU will create the next generation of innovators, problem solvers, job creators, and industry leaders, guided by LIU’s world-class faculty as they launch careers and ventures that will transform our world.”

The creation of the Sanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute in Brookville is funded by a $5 million grant from Mr. Sanford, and is the latest in a series of forward-thinking initiatives designed to encourage student entrepreneurship. Through the new Institute, LIU will continue its work to connect the University’s innovative community of scholars to the young companies of New York’s vibrant business culture. LIU’s on-campus incubators are modeled on the shared workspaces at the heart of that culture, allowing students to collaborate on their own emerging ventures. LIU students also consult for a wide range of clients and start-ups, at LIU Post’s student consultancy, LIU-iQ Consulting.  There, they develop executive-level experience through the University’s national leadership in student-run businesses, enabling them to graduate with résumés that command respect in the job market.

The Sanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute will be led by Dr. Robert M. Valli, Dean of the AACSB-accredited College of Management at LIU Post, now in its 15th consecutive year as one of the Princeton Review’s “Best Business Schools.” Dr. Valli is an internationally renowned expert on innovation ecosystems and the convergence of higher education, business, and technology.  His expansive professional background includes leadership roles at CSFirstBoston, Montgomery Securities, and the Ewing M. Kauffman Foundation. Dr. Valli’s frontline experience in vetting, identifying, and nurturing innovators and entrepreneurs is a natural fit with the University’s goals for the Sanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute.

“The creation of the Sanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute is a shining example of why it’s such an exciting time to be at LIU,” Dr. Valli said. “The opportunity to partner with T. Denny Sanford is a demonstration of the formidable reach and relevance of this University, as well as the University’s never-ending commitment to preparing our students for the demands of a rapidly evolving economy.”

The Sanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute’s state-of-the-art research complex at LIU’s University Center will attract top researchers and executives, creating new jobs in the region.   Recruitment for startups and entrepreneurs is underway, already having attracted the following businesses and institutes to the space:

  • EParel, which is developing a web-based technology platform designed to help the hotel and hospitality industries be more efficient in their management of uniforms worn by employees.
  • Founded by BrewMaster Anthony LoSardo in 2012, Bayside Brewery delivers refreshing and inspirational flavors to the beer industry and strives to revolutionize how people enjoy beer. It operates on technology developed at LIU and previously raised $25K on Kickstarter.
  • Savyroo, a web-based technology platform that crowdsources ideas and solutions for businesses
  • Cloud consulting and IT company, AcornLogic
  • LIU’s Hornstein Center: Established in 2014, the Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling, and Analysis at LIU Post conducts independent polling, empirical research, and analysis on a wide range of public issues. Our studies inform the public and policy makers about critical issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. Faculty and scholars from all schools of study at LIU Post participate in data collection and analysis.
  • Generations Institute at LIU: The Generations Institute at Long Island University (GI) is an academic center geared towards understanding and improving the lives of younger generations. The Institute will conduct scholarly research using cutting edge data tools in an effort to provide insights and policy solutions to improve the lives of Millennials and Gen-Z Americans.

Alongside Dr. Valli, the Sanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute will be overseen by the incoming Vorzimer Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship – a newly endowed position – with additional scholars and practitioners joining the University to participate in an innovative collaborative research model built on the study of entrepreneurship across disciplines.

With Phase I of the project complete, Phase II will add an additional 12,000 square feet of incubator space, which will be attached to Bush-Brown Hall.  LIU received $500,000 in funding from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council for that project which is currently slated to commence construction in the fall.

The University will also establish the Sanford Scholars Program, recruiting the most passionate student innovators from across the country to join a formal program of immersive experiences. Students will participate in leadership workshops and face entrepreneurship challenges while working through a dedicated program of personal development and coaching to prepare them for successful careers.

“Educational institutions can make a tremendous impact on our economy,” said Eric Krasnoff, Chairman of LIU Board of Trustees, and former Chairman, President, and CEO of Pall Corporation. “The LIU T. Denny Sanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute is a bold initiative that is transformational for students and strengthens the economic underpinning of our communities.”

The creation of the Sanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute marks an ongoing and expanding partnership between the University and Mr. Sanford benefiting communities throughout the Northeast. LIU’s advancement of the Sanford Education Programs has transformed the way more than 140,000 children learn in 5,500 classrooms across the New York metropolitan area, while the University’s Sanford Institute of Philanthropy is poised to dramatically increase the fundraising capabilities and positive impact of nonprofit organizations in the Northeast region.