At Stanford University since 1995, Professor Tom Byers focuses on education regarding high-growth entrepreneurship and technology innovation. He is the first holder of the Entrepreneurship Professorship endowed chair in the School of Engineering and also a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. He has been a faculty director since the inception of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), which serves as the entrepreneurship center for the School of Engineering. His current activities at STVP include its Principled Entrepreneurial Action and Knowledge (PEAK) project, its Mayfield Fellows work/study program in entrepreneurial leadership, and its Stanford eCorner collection of thought leader videos and podcasts. He was the director and PI of the Epicenter, funded by the National Science Foundation to stimulate entrepreneurship education at all US engineering and science colleges. Tom is a co-author of the Technology Ventures: From Idea to Enterprise textbook from McGraw-Hill, now in its 5th edition.

Tom is a Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University. He has been a recipient of the prestigious Gordon Prize by the National Academy of Engineering in the USA and Stanford University's Gores Award, which is its highest honor for excellence in teaching. He is a member of the board of trustees at Menlo College and advisory boards at Harvard Business School and Conservation International. Tom was executive vice president and general manager of Symantec Corporation during its formation, and started his career at Accenture. Tom holds a BS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and an MBA from UC Berkeley. He also earned a PhD in Business Administration (Management Science) at UC Berkeley.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Faculty Director, Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) (1995 - 2017)
  • PI, Office of Naval Research's Hacking for Defense Project (2017 - 2021)
  • Director and lead PI, NSF's National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) (2011 - 2017)

Honors & Awards

  • Department Undergraduate Teaching Award, Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University (2015)
  • Engineering Entrepreneurship Pioneer Award, American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE) (2015)
  • Entrepreneurship Professorship in the School of Engineering (endowed chair), Stanford University (2013-present)
  • Gordon Prize, National Academy of Engineering (NAE) (2009)
  • Olympus Innovation Award, VentureWell (2007)
  • Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year Award, United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) (2005)
  • Gores Award, Stanford University (2005)
  • Kauffman Award, American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) (2005)
  • Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Stanford University (2002-present)
  • Tau Beta Pi Award, School of Engineering, Stanford University (2002)
  • Innovation in Pedagogy Award, Entrepreneurship Division, Academy of Management (1998)

Program Affiliations

  • Science, Technology and Society

Professional Education

  • BS, UC Berkeley, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
  • MBA, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Business Administration
  • PhD, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Business Administration (Management Science)


  • National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) for National Science Foundation, Stanford University

    Epicenter was funded by the National Science Foundation from 2011 to 2016 and directed by Stanford University. Epicenter's mission was to empower U.S. undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society. Epicenter offered faculty, students, researchers and academic leaders engaging ways to support entrepreneurship and innovation learning in undergraduate engineering education. Each of these three programs has continued after Epicenter's National Science Foundation funding ended in 2016. Visit to learn more.


    Stanford, California USA


    • Sheri Sheppard, Professor, Stanford University

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  • Hacking for Defense sponsored project for the Office of Naval Research, Stanford Univerisity (9/1/2017 - 8/31/2020)

    Supported by ONR with a $3.6 million grant, Hacking for Defense (H4D) is a university-sponsored class that allows students to develop a deep understanding of the problems and needs of government sponsors in the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. In a short time, students rapidly iterate prototypes and produce solutions to sponsors' needs. For universities, it keeps their programs attached to real-world problems and provides students with an experiential opportunity to become more effective in their chosen field, with a body of work to back it up. For government agencies, it allows problem sponsors to increase the speed at which their organization solves specific, mission-critical problems. This project aims to spread this curricula to at least 20 colleges by 2020."


    Huang Engineering Center

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  • Principled Entrepreneurial Action and Knowledge (PEAK) project, Stanford University


    Stanford CA

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Entrepreneurship Education in Asia Foreword ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN ASIA Byers, T., Thomas, H., Kelley, D. 2011: XI-XII