Institute for Entrepreneurship

Institute for Entrepreneurship in Italy

Mission statement

The JCU Institute for Entrepreneurship was established in 2011 to promote best practices in entrepreneurship and to assist would-be entrepreneurs in bringing down the barriers to the achievement of their goals.

The primary aims of the Institute are to provide education and training in the fundamentals of best entrepreneurial practices, and to build a strong international network of entrepreneurially-minded friends of the JCU community.

In pursuit of its mission, the Institute focuses on three primary activities:

  • Its academic offer in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship-related disciplines.
  • Events such as talks and conferences on related topics, to facilitate networking and exchange among community members.
  • Targeted resources and services such as workshops, internships, counseling and mentoring.

The Institute intends to serve primarily JCU's current degree-seeking students and alumni, but it also welcomes current and past visiting students to the network, as well as anyone who shares the values of our community.


In keeping with its Mission statement, the Institute is the product of the collaborative effort of senior figures in the business world, leading faculty members, representatives of the local business and nonprofit community, alumni and friends.

Advisory Board

The Institute for Entrepreneurship’s Advisory Board consists of experienced entrepreneurs and community leaders who meet once a year to provide their strategic insights to help shape the future of the Institute.

Dr. Ali Reza Arabnia, President & CEO of Gecofin S.p.A. and Chairman, President & CEO of Geico-Taikisha Group. In addition to his entrepreneurial activities, Dr. Arabnia serves on several boards in business and charitable communities, including the Board of Trustees of John Cabot University. He has earned many awards, including: Knight of Malta; DBA h.c. at Columbia Univ., New York, from the Constantinian University, Professor of Industrial Management. 

Dr. William Cavendish, Founder, President and CEO of Life Sciences Capital Spa and Healthcap Srl. Previous positions include: CEO Unihart Biotech NV, Head of Pharmacia CHC, Senior Vice President Whitehall Laboratories Inc, Group Vice President Whitehall International EMEA, President and CEO Whitehall Italia Spa. Dr. Cavendish serves on the boards of Advanced Accelerator Application SA, im3D Spa, Cerma SA, Cermavein SA, Litech Spa, Abiel Srl and Echolight Srl.

Faculty Panel    

Riccardo Maiolini, Assistant Professor of Management at John Cabot University. Prof. Maiolini is a Social Innovation Strategist at ItaliaCamp (Co-Founder). His research interests are focused on social innovation, social entrepreneurship and corporate entrepreneurship. He is one of the two curators of the Italian Index of Social Innovation. Former post-doc at CeRISS (Research Center for Social Innovation at LUISS University). He concluded a PhD In Management in 2011 and was a visiting PhD in 2010 at Copenhagen Business School in the Center for Corporate Social Responsibility.

Laurea in Political Science and PhD in Management at LUISS Guido Carli.

Pietro Paganini, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Business Administration at John Cabot University. Prof. Paganini is co-founder of Competere - Geopolitical Management - a transatlantic consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. He is a founder and board member of Istituto Italiano per la Privacy, the European Privacy Association. He is also a member of BAIA - Network Italy America, the Center for Digital Healthcare and Cure Thalassemia. He authored Innovation: from Theory to Territory: Paradigm and Strategies in the Information Society (2006) as well as several articles in various Italian and international papers, scientific journals, radio and TV, in which he has continuously advocated free market, entrepreneurship and innovation.

LUMSA University, Rome; Master, Karlstadt University; Dottorato di Ricerca, LUMSA University, Rome.

Daniele PicaAssistant Professor of Information Systems at John Cabot University. Prof. Pica’s area of research focuses on the application of mobile technologies in large organizations in order to facilitate the future deployment of information infrastructures. In addition, his interests include the change of work practices afforded by new ICT, the convergence of media, the techniques to humanize technology, and issues of privacy and democracy pertinent to the introduction of new technologies in work and social spaces.

B.Sc., University of Southern California; M.Sc., London School of Economics; Ph.D., London School of Economics.

Alessandro Signorini, Assistant Professor of Marketing at John Cabot University. Prof. Signorini’s interests focus on the non-profit sector. After an initial experience as sales planning analyst at Ford’s Italian headquarters and as product designer (ecological holidays) for CTS Centro Turistico Studentesco, he collaborated with the British National Health System to design social marketing campaigns. In 2002, he was appointed Senior Research Assistant at the European Academy in Bolzano (Italy). Subsequently, he established his own consultancy company, SPS Srl in Rome, where he consulted for small non-profit organizations on developing fundraising strategies. In 2004 he was assigned a research grant by the Lega Italiana Lotta contro i Tumori (LILT) in Rome, where he evaluated the marketing positioning of LILT in the Italian market. He also works as Adjunct Associate Professor of Marketing at St John’s University’s MBA program in Rome.

Laurea,University of Rome "La Sapienza"; M.Phil., University of Strathclyde; Ph.D., University of Strathclyde.

Michael K. Grace, Adjunct Professor of Law at John Cabot University. Prof. Grace specializes in complex business disputes and transactions involving intellectual property rights. Approximately one-quarter of his practice is transnational. He has over 25 years of trial experience in state and federal courts, administrative bodies, and arbitrations throughout the U.S., representing clients in “bet the company” disputes over patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and other intellectual property rights. He has served on the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and chaired the ABTL Federal Courts Committee in Los Angeles. He is a member of the California State Bar Intellectual Property Law Section, the Federal Bar Association, and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Prof. Grace is actively involved with the Order of Malta, the St. Francis Center, and Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, and serves on the board of Thomas Aquinas College.

J.D., cum laude, University of Michigan ; M.P.A., Princeton University, B.A., Political Philosophy, Michigan State University, Phi Beta Kappa; Certificat de Relations Internationales, with honors, Université de Dijon (France).

Sector Experts

The IFE Sector Experts are friends of the Institute who generously make available to the Institute’s community the expertise they have matured over the years. The Sector Experts cover most business fields, from marketing to finance, and a wide variety of industries. To access or become a Sector Expert, please contact us; being a Sector Expert usually involves less than 10 hours of time per year.

To become a Friend of the Institute, join our Linkedin group or contact us.