Faculty Directory

Contact Information

50 Prescott, 1332
Phone: +1-508-831-4675

“The great challenges of our society embody complexity and multi-dimensional uncertainty. Enterprises need leaders who have the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to address these challenges – and deliver both operational excellence and innovation.”

Mark P. Rice

Teaching is really about engaging with others (students, other faculty, guest experts and staff) in creating a learning experience. Though “knowledge transfer” is important, the rate of expansion of the body of knowledge and the ease of accessing it makes skill in learning even more important. Helping students learn about and improve their own thinking/learning process; helping them recognize their own mental patterns; to reinforce or break out of their patterns; and to develop new patterns is the best part of teaching. I particularly like helping students develop skill in questioning – a key part of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

WPI students are smart; they work hard; and they like to get things done.  That’s why they are so much fun to teach and to learn with.

My research on incubation of new ventures in start-ups and established enterprises, and on radical innovation helps connect my teaching to practice.  In addition, my experience running a technology business incubator and co-founding a start-up solar energy company further enhances the grounding of my teaching in practice.

Research Interests

  • Innovation, entrepreneurship, technology strategy, new business incubation


  • B.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1971
  • M.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1979
  • Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1992

Featured Publications

  • University-Based Entrepreneurship Ecosystems:  Global Practices. Edited by Michael Fetters, Mark Rice, Patricia Greene and John Butler.  An Elgar Reference Collection. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA. To be published September 2010.
  • Rice, Mark P.; O’Connor, Gina Colarelli; and Pierantozzi, Ronald.  “Implementing a Learning Plan to Counter Project Uncertainty.”  Sloan Management Review. (Winter 2008 Issue).
  • Rice, Mark P.; Leifer, Richard; and O’Connor, Gina.  “Commercializing Discontinuous Innovations:  Bridging the Gap from Project to Operating Unit.”   IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Volume 49, Issue 4, Nov 2002.  Awarded Best Paper for 2002.
  • Rice, Mark P.  “Co-Production of Business Assistance in Business Incubators:  An Exploratory Study”. Journal of Business Venturing. Volume 17, Number 2, March 2002.
  • Rice, Mark P. and Matthews, Jana B.  Growing New Ventures -- Creating New Jobs:  Principles and Practices of Successful Business Incubation. Westport, CT:  Quorum Books, 1995.

Professional Highlights

  • As Executive Director and former Director of the Incubator Program, received  the  Randall Whaley Incubator of the Year Award from the National Business Incubation Association.
  • Received one of fourteen inaugural "Founders' Awards" from the National Business Incubation Association
  • Edwin M. and Gloria W. Appel Entrepreneurship in Education Prize
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