Research Team Spotlight: Dr. Nathalie Duval-Couetil

nathalie-duval-couetilDr. Nathalie Duval-Couetil, MBA and PhD, Professor & Director, Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Purdue University and Research Co-PI for Great Lakes I-Corps Hub

Dr. Nathalie Duval-Couetil didn’t take a linear path to where she is today. 

After pursuing her undergraduate degree at UMass Amherst and her MBA at Babson College, she moved to Paris to work for the consulting firm Booz-Allen Hamilton. After another consulting position in Boston, and a series of life events, she eventually landed at Purdue University in Indiana for another Master’s degree and PhD, where her business and education research background fell into place. 

“When Purdue created the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, I was finishing my PhD and the center needed somebody to launch a cross-campus entrepreneurship education program,” Dr. Duval-Couetil said. “I had worked in two small companies and for a startup incubator in Massachusetts, and so, it all came together.”

Now, in addition to her role as professor and director of Purdue’s Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, Dr. Duval-Couetil is also a member of the Great Lakes I-Corps Hub Research Team. The Research Team creates and analyzes program evaluations, and analyzes data from regional and national I-Corps programming.

“We’re looking at who participates, why they participate, if they intend to become an entrepreneur, and the nature of their interest,” Dr. Duval-Couetil said. “Ultimately, we want to know what the impact of I-Corps is on participants, and how this type of training can catalyze technology commercialization activity at universities.”

When it comes to I-Corps, Dr. Duval-Couetil believes the program helps academics understand where their research fits in the economy and society.

“If you are going to be a scientist, engineer, or any kind of academic, it is valuable to understand where your work is situated in an economic or business sense,” Dr. Duval-Couetil said. “For example, what is the value of my research or these technologies I am creating in the market? And, do I know enough about the market to create solutions that people care about? In an ideal world, all of that should be interconnected, and we should be trying to solve problems people care about.”