Thomas Nelson is a lifelong entrepreneur. He started his first business at sixteen, and worked almost exclusively for himself until well into his thirties. He started, ran, and/or purchased over a dozen businesses before being drawn into academia. He has been teaching and counseling entrepreneurs since 2005.
Thomas holds a PhD from the University of Louisville in entrepreneurship, where he received an academic fellowship. He also holds bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Ball State University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He is a member of the Entrepreneurship division of the Academy of Management (AOM), the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE), and the Association for Private Enterprise Education (APEE).
In addition to his dissertation Thomas has coauthored several refereed journal articles, a refereed book chapter, and several conference papers. One of his papers, “Design-Centered Entrepreneurship: A Process for Designing Opportunities” (with Michael Goldsby and Donald Kuratko) was the Jounal of Small Business Management’s Editor’s Choice at the 2014 USASBE annual meeting. He has developed programs, contests and curricula at three universities.
As Director of Student Competition for the Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Thomas is designing and implementing a variety of entrepreneurship based contests and activities for The University of South Alabama. His research interests are the intersection of design and entrepreneurship, theories of entrepreneurial action, crowdfunding, family business, and forgiving business models. Thomas consults with nascent entrepreneurs, small and mid sized businesses, governments, and non profit organizations on ideation, business formation and validation, business planning, and creative problem solving.
He resides in Mobile Alabama with his wife Suzanne, and their two dogs, Rita and Dino.