Harkins Specializes in Startups

Professor of Management Jason Harkins has a particular interest in startup companies, including the challenges they face, and what makes them successful. His research and hands-on work with startups takes place both in and out of the classroom.

Harkins joined the UMaine faculty in 2008, after receiving his education west of the Mississippi.

In layperson’s terms, what are your academic (teaching, research, scholarship) interests? 

Entrepreneurship, particularly the unique challenges of building scalable companies. 

Why did you choose to pursue those interests?
Scalable entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to change local economies. The majority of all net new jobs are created by new, small firms that have the potential to become big firms very quickly. As such, these are a very interesting population of firms to work with and learn about.

What is your most memorable event or experience as a member of the UMaine faculty?

I started Scratchpad Accelerator, the first seed accelerator in New England north of Boston, as a UMaine Program in collaboration with the Maine Technology Institute during my sabbatical in 2015. I worked harder, and learned more during those six months than I had ever done before.

Of all the courses you’ve taught at UMaine, which one do you enjoy the most? Why?

Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation (BUA 344) because it is where I get to talk most specifically about this unique population of companies, and hopefully inspire students to create a startup or join one!

What is your favorite place on campus to spend time?

In my office in DP Corbett.

Aside from your faculty role, what are your interests or favorite things to do?

I work extensively with startups outside of my teaching and I love the energy and passion they bring to everything they do. Outside of that, I love to spend time with family.

What advice for students do you have to help them succeed?

Come to class prepared and ready to think and ask questions. If you don’t steer your education toward what you want and need to learn for your career, you will end up as a passenger at UMaine, driven by the currents of those around you.

What advice for new faculty members do you have to help them succeed?

Know your why and find people who share your passion

Any other advice or comments?

Give before you get in every aspect of life. Your mindset matters more than you can possibly imagine, so adopt an abundance mindset.