Dr. Simon Mak

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Dr. Simon Mak

Founding Vice Chancellor


Dr. Simon Mak is an award-winning PhD entrepreneurship professor with extensive experience in Silicon Valley startups and IPOs. After a successful career in entrepreneurship, he transitioned to academia in 2004, joining the SMU Cox Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship.


Research Interests:

Dr. Mak’s research spans various areas, including ideation, strategic thinking, business modeling, corporate entrepreneurship, tech commercialization, blockchain, esports, and space entrepreneurship.


Achievements and Recognition:

Dr. Mak has been recognized with numerous accolades, reflecting his significant contributions to the field of entrepreneurship:


  • Nominee, Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber Visionaries of Innovation Award
  • SMU Cox Teaching Innovation Award
  • Nominee, Startup Evangelist of the Year Award by Dallas Start-up Week
  • Global Educator of the Year by the Dallas Global Chamber of Commerce
  • SMU Rotunda Outstanding Professor Award
  • SMU Distinguished University Citizen Award


Recent Presentations and Papers:

Dr. Mak is an active participant in the academic community, presenting his research at numerous conferences:


  • Jan ’21: Panellist on Commercializing Research, 2021 USASBE Conference
  • Jan ’20: “Prison Entrepreneurship Program: What Is It and How To Get Students Involved?”; “Blockchain, Bitcoin and ICOs: Understanding and Teaching These Concepts In The Classroom”; “Esports Entrepreneurship: What Is It and How to Teach Students?”, 2020 Annual USASBE Conference, New Orleans
  • Oct ’19: “How to Launch a Blockchain Entrepreneurship Program: A Case Study from the SMU Cox Entrepreneurship Center”, 2019 GCEC Annual Conference, Stockholm
  • Mar ’19: Co-author, working paper “To Blockchain or Not to Blockchain”
  • Jan ’19: “Teaching Blockchain Business Models”, Annual USASBE Conference, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Oct ’18: “Funding Your Center with an ICO…A Wild Idea…Or Is It?” Annual GCEC Conference, Chicago, IL
  • Oct ’18: “Blockchain Business Models”, Future of Blockchain Conference, Frisco, TX
  • Aug ’18: “Blockchain and Industrial Revolution 4.0”, Chinese Institute of Engineers Technical Symposium, Dallas, TX


Dr. Simon Mak’s blend of practical Silicon Valley experience and academic insight positions him as a leading figure in the study and teaching of entrepreneurship. He continues to inspire and educate the next generation of entrepreneurs through his innovative teaching and groundbreaking research.