Innovation Next Door

For the BLS webinar titled Innovation Next Door, USPAACC brought together theory and practice to discuss creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Philip Vang, founder of Foodhini-the winner of theIdeas Marketplace: What’s Your Pitch? Competition, and Dr. Charles Matthews, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management andFounder Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research at the University of Cincinnati, both could agree on one thing –entrepreneurs need to drive their ideas forward.

Dr. Matthews started with a discussion about What is entrepreneurship? from an academicperspective. During the discussion,he describes entrepreneurship asa way of thinking and a complex social and economic phenomenon. The core of entrepreneurship is the venture and value creation.

Next, Dr. Matthews presented the entrepreneurship continuums, the entrepreneurship process, and the innovation competency framework. People and technology interact in many ways to create the nexus of innovation and entrepreneurship.

At this nexus is Foodhini, winner of USPAACC’s Ideas Marketplace: What’s Your Pitch? Competition. Founder Philip Vang followed Dr. Matthews and told the audience a great story of how his company got to where it is today. Philip’s family is from Laos, and he grewup in Minnesota in a close knitimmigrant community. After leaving the University of Minnesota, he began working at 3M, and today is a graduate student at Georgetown University. While at Georgetown, Philip tapped into some of the invaluable knowledge he gained at 3M to launch his creative new idea –bringing home cooked ethnic food directly to consumers.

The three key takeaways for innovative entrepreneurs according to Philip are (1) you must drive your idea, nobody else will work as hard as you for it, (2) your team is pivotal, don’t be afraid to outsource, and (3) execution is the differentiating factor, it’s about execution.


Philip Vang
Founder Foodhini
Charles H. Matthews
Ph.D., Distinguished Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management, Founder Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research at Lindner College of Business University of Cincinnati