The University of Georgia has tapped the former CEO of one of the nation’s fastest-growing sports apparel companies to lead a new, campus-wide initiative focused on entrepreneurship.
Bob Pinckney, former CEO of Athens-based EvoShield LLC, has been named UGA’s director of entrepreneurial programs. In this new role, he will be housed in the Terry College of Business and work closely with all of UGA’s schools and colleges to expand opportunities for students to gain core skills that enable them to develop and implement new ideas and start their own businesses and nonprofits.
“Bob Pinckney brings a wealth of experience from the private sector to the University of Georgia,” said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “By giving students new classroom and hands-on opportunities related to entrepreneurship, we are helping them thrive in today’s dynamic business environment while also increasing the university’s $4 billion economic impact.”
Pinckney’s appointment builds on several programs and experiential learning opportunities at UGA. The Terry College and College of Family and Consumer Sciences, for example, offer a certificate program that gives students the skills needed to start a small business, gain employment with a startup company or become a social entrepreneur in the public or nonprofit sector.
The annual Thinc. Entrepreneurial Week brings experts from industry and academia to campus and includes workshops, competitions, panel discussion and other events. UGA’s Next Top Entrepreneur contest allows student entrepreneurs to compete for prize money and potential venture and angel investment capital while the Terry College’s Accelerator Program provides student startups with a board of experienced entrepreneurs, advisers and investors.
Pinckney has founded or co-founded several consulting, software and telecommunications companies over the course of his career and joined EvoShield as its CEO in 2010. The company was ranked first in the 2011 Bulldog 100 ranking of the fastest-growing companies owned or operated by alumni and has been in the top 10 since the rankings began in 2010. Pinckney holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Terry College and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.
“To me, entrepreneurship is the intersection of vision and leadership,” Pinckney said. “You need a vision for what you want to accomplish and the leadership to be able to implement that vision. My vision is to make the University of Georgia a national hub of entrepreneurship, and I’m excited about partnering with the administration, faculty, staff and students to make that vision a reality.”