BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business has appointed Marc Junkunc, assistant professor of management, as the academic director of the Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Junkunc, who was the faculty director of the Innovate living-learning community at its founding in 2013, teaches courses in entrepreneurship and strategic management at Pamplin and has worked to promote an experiential approach to entrepreneurship at Virginia Tech. He joined Virginia Tech in 2011.

He now leads the curriculum and entrepreneurship research efforts of the Apex Systems Center, which seeks to promote and advance entrepreneurship and innovation among Virginia Tech students, faculty, and alumni.

“Marc is and has been instrumental in building our entrepreneurial ecosystem here at Virginia Tech. We are very excited to enhance and grow our curriculum offerings under his leadership,” said Derick Maggard, the center's executive director.

Junkunc has been active in entrepreneurship in various capacities, including as founder, chief executive officer, team member, investor, consultant, and board director. He started his first business while he was an MBA student at UCLA, grew it to profitability, and later sold it. Since then, he has continuously been involved in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education for over 20 years.

His research publications have dealt with innovation and entrepreneurship, including articles about founders, alliances, science-based industries, venture capital, public offerings, and patents.

Junkunc received a Ph.D. in global economics and management from UCLA, where, in addition to an MBA, he also earned a master’s degree in economics. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from UC Berkeley.

In this Q&A, Junkunc addresses how interdisciplinary collaboration is important for entrepreneurship, what is being done to nurture “positive collisions,” and what’s exciting about entrepreneurship in a university setting.