A native Buffalonian, Christopher Courtney is pursuing his PhD at the University at Buffalo, in entrepreneurship and business strategy and was named the 2017 “Someone You Should Know” by the West Seneca Bee. Chris is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for PhD Student Research Excellence, awarded to a senior UB School of Management doctoral student who has demonstrated exceptional research and the highest potential as a scholar, based on journal publications, research awards, presentations and papers at top conferences. Chris’s research is focused on crowdfunding’s potential to help entrepreneurs fund early-stage ventures where traditional financing is not available. His work is published in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, one of the leading entrepreneurship journals. He also worked with the Kauffman Foundation to develop an industry report on entrepreneurial financing titled “Changing Capital: Emerging Trends in Entrepreneurial Finance.” He has been invited to present his crowdfunding research at the 2016 (Anaheim, CA) and 2017 (Atlanta, GA) Academy of Management Annual Meetings and the 2016 Darden and Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research Conference in Washington, DC. His research has also gained media attention and is featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Newsday, and Crowdfund Insider. Chris was the recipient of the Arun Jain Fellowship while working on his MBA, and his team won third place in the 2012 NYS Business Plan Competition. Before returning to school he ran his own business for more than eight years, providing reverse logistic and remanufacturing solutions to larger retailers. He served as an adjunct instructor in the computer science department at Niagara County Community College and currently teaches entrepreneurship and strategy at UB. He previously served on the board of directors for the Greater South Buffalo Chamber of Commerce. He and his family served as the Ambassador Family for the March of Dimes, on the Family Advisory Council at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, and as volunteers for Wings Flights of Hope. Chris has worked at the Erie County Industrial Development Agency in the International Program, helping small businesses expand internationally. He completed a two-year professional development program and is now LeaderCORE certified at the Role Model level. He plans to pursue opportunities to start a business venture while conducting research in crowdfunding and teaching entrepreneurship.