Keynotes and Panelists

The 2020 ACERE Conference will feature Dean Shepherd, David Audretsch, Sara Carter, Per Davidsson … and more!

Dean Shepherd

Dean Shepherd is the Ray and Milann Siegfried Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Mendoza College of Business, Notre Dame University. Dean received his doctorate and MBA from Bond University (Australia). His research and teaching is in the field of entrepreneurship; he investigates both the decision making involved in leveraging cognitive and other resources to act on opportunities and the processes of learning from experimentation (including failure), in ways that ultimately lead to high levels of individual and organizational performance. Dean has published papers primarily in the top entrepreneurship, general management, strategic management, operations management, and psychology journals and has written (or edited) over 20 books.

David Audretsch

David Audretsch is a Distinguished Professor and the Ameritech Chair of Economic Development at Indiana University, where he also serves as Director of the Institute for Development Strategies. He is an Honorary Professor of Industrial Economics and Entrepreneurship at the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany and a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London. Audretsch’s research has focused on the links between entrepreneurship, government policy, innovation, economic development, and global competitiveness. He is co-author of The Seven Secrets of Germany, published by Oxford University Press. He is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal. He was awarded the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research by the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum (Entreprenörskapsforum). He has received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Augsburg in Germany and Jonköping University in Sweden. Audretsch was also awarded the Schumpeter Prize from the University of Wuppertal in Germany.

Sara Carter

Professor Sara Carter is Vice-Principal and Head of the college of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow. As Professor of Entrepreneurship, her work examines the effects of business ownership on households and the consequences of structural inequalities in resource access, particularly finance, on the SME sector.  

Sara holds a number of external appointments as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers to the First Minister of Scotland, the Enterprise & Skills Strategic Board, and the Women in Enterprise Action Group and as a Non-Executive Director of Women’s Enterprise Scotland. Previously, she served on the Leverhulme Trust Research Awards Advisory Committee. as editor of Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, and as a member of the UK Government’s Women’s Enterprise Taskforce. She was awarded OBE for services to women’s enterprise in 2008.

Prior to her appointment at the University of Glasgow, Sara was Associate Principal (Learning & Teaching) at the University of Strathclyde, and a former Head of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Per Davidsson

Professor Per Davidsson is the Founding Director of the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research (ACE) and is the Talbot Family Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship at ACE in the QUT Business School (Management). Per is especially known for his extensive research on start-up and growth of firms as well as the societal well-being and job creation effects of those activities. He has published over 70 peer reviewed articles in scholarly journals as well as a large number of books, reports, and book chapters. With over 27,000 citations (Google Scholar, Oct. 2018) he is one of the best cited scholars in entrepreneurship globally. He has led several major research programs including the Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneurial Emergence (CAUSEE), the largest study of business start-ups ever undertaken in Australia. Per was an elected Officer of the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management for the 2007-12 period and served as its Chair in 2010/11. He has served as Associate Editor for three of the leading scholarly journals in entrepreneurship and currently serves on the  editorial boards for several other journals. He is also an award-winning mentor. Several of his disciples have become internationally successful researchers in their own right, and two of them were recently appointed Vice Chancellors (Presidents) of universities in their respective home countries.  Professor Davidsson’s research interests are: External enablers of entrepreneurship, New venture creation, Firm growth, and Research methods.

Melissa Cardon

Melissa Cardon is the Nestlé Endowed Professor of Business Administration in the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee. She has published over 30 articles on 1) unleashing human potential within entrepreneurial firms, including those focused on HR practices that maximize employee potential, and 2) the emotional, relational, and cognitive aspects of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams that contribute to optimizing their behavior and performance. Her recent work is on entrepreneurial passion and how entrepreneurs as individuals and within teams can unleash their passion to get the best results for themselves and their organizations. Cardon is a Field Editor for the Journal of Business Venturing and on the Editorial Boards of Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, Journal of Management Studies, and Human Resource Management Review. Prior to her academic career, Cardon worked in Human Resources for Key Bank.

Paul Steffens

Paul Steffens is Professor and Director of the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC), The University of Adelaide, Australia. His current research is concerned with the creation, development and growth of new ventures, and diffusion of innovations.  He has been a chief investigator for several major research programs totalling over $1.5 million, including the Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneurial Emergence (CAUSEE) and has led the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in Australia for over 5 years. Paul has published in leading entrepreneurship journals including Journal of Business Venturing (JBV) and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and serves on the editorial board for JBV.


Important Dates


"As an early career researcher, the ACERE 2024 conference has been incredibly beneficial for my personal and professional development. The sessions were highly informative, and I had the chance to meet many like-minded individuals. I would definitely encourage more of my colleagues to attend the conference in the future!"

Participant in 2024 Edition of ACERE