Blockchain Program Initiative

SMU Cox Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship Announces New Director of Blockchain Program Initiative

Simon Mak, PhD, an award winning academic, brings entrepreneurial practice, classroom teaching, and research to lead the new program focusing on blockchain start-ups.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Simon Mak,

DALLAS, TX August 16, 2018 -- SMU Cox Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship launches new Blockchain Program Initiative and appoints a founding director. Simon Mak, PhD, professor of practice in entrepreneurship and associate director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, was trained as an engineer and brings experience in several tech start-ups, including his own start-up, as well as over twelve years in entrepreneurship higher education and is an award winning academic. 

Launched in 1970, the Caruth Institute was a pioneer in global entrepreneurship education. Launch of the Blockchain Program Initiative continues the pioneering spirit of the Caruth Institute, to provide resources to meet the global demand for knowledge in blockchain entrepreneurship, with a focus on business model strategies.

Dr. Mak has already been including blockchain business model strategies in his undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship classes and this fall will formally launch an MBA course dedicated to blockchain entrepreneurship. To research for his class he has traveled to London, Berlin, Malta, Beijing, and Shanghai meeting with blockchain start-ups. Dr. Mak will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the Blockchain Program Initiative. He will work with the university and the business community to advance the theory and practice of blockchain entrepreneurship globally. Programs and activities will be developed to further this mission.

“I am glad to formally participate in a subject area I’m very passionate about.” said Mak. “While bitcoin pushed blockchain into the forefront, the real excitement is the application of blockchain into much more diverse settings that I believe will be world-changing. I am delighted by the opportunity to build upon the Caruth Institute’s proven success and to work with other academics and companies to create a future that is decentralized, tokenized, and uncensorable.”

“The launch of the Blockchain Program Initiative will propel the Caruth Institute and SMU Cox as a global thought-leader in blockchain entrepreneurship,” said Jerry White, director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at SMU Cox. “Simon brings energy and passion to all his pursuits. Having him take on this emerging field, along with his technical background, and open source start-up experiences and global network, he is a great fit to help create breakthroughs in this field that will benefit SMU, the local business community as well the global knowledge community.” 

Dr. Mak will begin his new responsibilities effective immediately.

About SMU Cox Caruth Institute of Entrepreneurship
Since its founding more than three decades ago, the Caruth Institute has continuously developed innovative courses and programs to help individuals keep pace with the dynamic, rapidly changing field of entrepreneurship. The Institute currently offers more than 18 custom-designed courses to give students the skills and knowledge necessary to launch and manage successful entrepreneurial ventures.

About SMU Cox
The SMU Cox School of Business (, originally established in 1920 on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and was named in honor of benefactor Edwin L. Cox in 1978. SMU Cox is a nationally and internationally ranked business school with undergraduate (BBA) majors in accounting, finance, financial consulting, general business, management, marketing, real estate finance and concentrations in energy management, entrepreneurship, real estate finance and risk management and insurance. The Cox School offers four Master of Business Administration programs including the Executive MBA (EMBA) and Full-Time MBA, Fast Track MBA, and Professional MBA (PMBA), with concentrations in accounting, finance, general business, information technology and operations management, management, marketing, real estate and strategy and entrepreneurship. The school also offers the JD/MBA with Dedman School of Law; MA/MBA with Meadows School of the Arts; Specialized Master’s of Science (MS) programs in Accounting, Business Analytics (Full and Part-Time), Finance, and Management; Sport Management and Health Promotion Management with Simmons School of Education and Human Development; and Engineering/MBA and MS in Engineering Entrepreneurship with the Lyle School of Engineering. For professionals not seeking a degree, SMU Cox Executive Education and multiple certificate programs cover a broad range of disciplines. The Cox School of Business maintains an active alumni network globally.

  • July 2020: 
    • Blockchain Summit 2021: A Quick Update
      • Brendan Cooper (NFT), Director Digital Systems, Panini America        
      • Carla Reyes (DAO), Professor, SMU Dedman School of Law
      • Lee Bratcher (Legislation), Founder and President of the Texas Blockchain Council, Professor, Dallas Baptist University
      • Ulrike Schultze (Academic Research), Professor, SMU Cox School of Business
      • Mena Bahram (SMU Blockchain Club), SMU Cox School of Business Student, President, SMU Blockchain Club

  • January 2020: 
    • Accepted to deliver a joint presentation at the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) annual conference in New Orleans on "Blockchain, Bitcoin, and ICO’s: Understanding and Teaching"

  • July 2019: 
    • Blockchain Summit 2020:  Blockchain Commerce Update for Entrepreneurs and Investors
      • T. Jack Williams, President & Co-Founder, B4U Financial
      • Hamiz Mushtaq Awan, Partner & Founder, Plutus21 Capital

  • April 2019: 
    • Presentation at Novation City Accelerator launch event in Tunisia on "Blockchain Business Models and Industry 4.0"

  • March 2019: 
    • Southwest Venture forum in Dallas on Blockchain Business Models: Picking the Winners
    • 2nd offering of "Blockchain Entrepreneurship" MBA class
    • Working paper with SMU Cox ITOM Professor Ulrike Schultz and Dallas blockchain entrepreneur James Johnson, co-founder of Oaken Innovations, on "To Blockchain or Not to Blockchain?"

  • January 2019: 
    • Accepted to present at the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) annual conference in Tampa on "Teaching Blockchain Entrepreneurship Business Models"

  • October 2018: 
    • Launched MBA Class on "Blockchain Entrepreneurship"
    • Presentation at the Future of Blockchain conference in Frisco on "Blockchain Business Models"
    • Accepted to present at the Global Conference for Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) annual conference in Chicago on "Funding Your Center with an ICO: A Wild Idea... Or Is It?

  • September 2018: 
    • Blockchain Program Initiative Infosession to Cox
    • Presentation at Digital Transformation and Al Symposium at SMU Cox on "Blockchain Applications and the Emergence of a Distributed Cooperative Economy" 

  • August 2018: 
    • New Blockchain Initiative is announced
    • Presentation at the Chinese Institute of Engineers (CIE) annual conference on "Blockchain and the 4th Industrial Revolution"