schrammBest-selling Author




Author of Burn the Business Plan: What Great Entrepreneurs Really Do and Better Capitalism: Renewing the Entrepreneurial Strength of the American Economy, Carl Schramm is one of the world’s leading thinkers on entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth. The Economist has referred to him as the “evangelist of entrepreneurship.” For the last ten years he served as President of the Kauffman Foundation. In 2012 he was appointed University Professor at Syracuse, the 16th person in the university’s history to hold such a position. In addition, he is a visiting scientist at MIT and a fellow at the Institute for Business Innovation at the University of California at Berkeley.


A serial entrepreneur having created or co-founded five companies, his career has been marked by innovative thinking and leadership. While a faculty member at Johns Hopkins he started the nation’s first academic center to study health care costs. His first company provided the statistical standards used to measure creditworthiness for a large segment of the public sector bond market. He has served as EVP of one of the world’s largest insurance companies (Fortis) where he devised the first college-to-career health insurance product. In 1996 he founded Schramm & Co to support new companies with capital and advice. The company holds positions in eleven companies.


In 2002 he became CEO of the Kauffman Foundation building it into a unique global resource devoted to advancing entrepreneurship through innovative programs, grantee partnerships, policy research and advocacy. His tenure included the creation of the Angel Capital Association, the Angel Capital Foundation, the Kauffman Campus Program, Kauffman Global Fellows, Kauffman Labs for Innovation, the Urban Entrepreneurship Program designed to increase business formation among minority populations, and the foundation’s pioneering work to improve the transfer of intellectual property from universities to commercial application. In 2005 he and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, later British Prime Minister, co-founded Global Entrepreneurship Week, now celebrated in 170 countries.


During Schramm’s presidency, Kauffman became the world’s largest sponsor of research relating to the role entrepreneurs play in economic growth. Over 60 books were published with Kauffman’s support and over 5000 academic articles. The Kauffman Firm Index was launched to provide the first time-series research resource on new companies. Over 150 Ph.D. dissertations relating to economic growth were supported.


He has played important roles in advancing entrepreneurial capitalism. He chaired the Commerce Department’s Panel on Measuring American Innovation during the Bush Administration. He co-founded Start Up America in conjunction with the Obama White House. In addition he has served as a consultant to several foreign governments.


Carl Schramm has authored or co-authored several books including The Entrepreneurial Imperative (2004), Good Capitalism/Bad Capitalism with William Baumol and Robert Litan (2008 which appears in 11 languages), Inside Real Innovation (2011) with Eugene Fitzgerald and Andreas Wankel, and Better Capitalism (2012) with Robert Litan. In 2010 he opened a new field of inquiry with his article “Expeditionary Economics” in Foreign Affairs that proposed a new approach to rebuilding economies after conflict and natural disasters. Over 50 related papers have been written subsequently.


Schramm earned his Ph.D. in industrial relations and labor economics from Wisconsin where he was a Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellow and a New York State Regents Graduate Fellow. He holds a law degree from Georgetown. He was of counsel to Hogan and Hartson in Washington for five years.


While at Johns Hopkins he received two consecutive Career Scientist Awards from NIH. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences. In 2006 he received the George Eastman Medal from the University of Rochester. He holds five honorary doctorates. He is a fellow at the George W. Bush Library and Institute, a Batten fellow at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Management, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1998 he joined the Elks Club.


Schramm blogs at the George W. Bush Institute. His column, Messy Capitalism appears in Forbes. His writing has published in the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, City Journal and the Harvard Business Review. He has appeared many times on television as a guest of Charlie Rose (PBS), Brian Sullivan (CNBC), David Asman (Fox), Joe Kernan (CNBC), and Gerri Willis (Fox).


Professor Schramm’s courses at Syracuse are “Building Real Business: The Empirical Basis of the Entrepreneurial Process” (Fall 2012) and “Failed Cities – Fast Cities” (Spring 2013).


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