WEFI Fellows

A PhD workshop for students interested in entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance, and innovation


The WEFI organizers are happy to announce the opening of the next cohort of WEFI Fellows, a PhD student group organized by Michael Ewens (Columbia).  This new application window is a response to the "graduation" of five of the first WEFI Fellows cohort (details below) who are completing their PhDs.

The program

The WEFI Fellows program currently consists of 12 Ph.D. students interested in pursuing research in entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance, and innovation. The group meets virtually with Mike Ewens bi-weekly for approximately 9 months out of the year (excluding Jan-Feb and a summer month).  Meetings include student presentations of new ideas, practice job talks, mock interviews, and idea pitches. 


The primary goals are to help students -- particularly those at schools without multiple faculty in entrepreneurship and innovation -- refine their dissertation topic, learn more about the research area and build their network of fellow Ph.D. students. The small field and limited advisors are partially consequences of the research area itself: it is often interdisciplinary or pursued by researchers trained in different areas.   Though many have successfully written a dissertation in this environment, the lack of seminar speakers, student colleagues working on similar topics and advisors with direct experience in the literature can leave them at a disadvantage or worse, stop them from pursuing certain topics.  

Eligible students

Students working in entrepreneurship, innovation, and entrepreneurial finance who

How and your committment

We meet every other week on Zoom for an hour where student presenters have 20-30 minutes to present.   Outside of meetings, the group interacts on a software platform for messaging and chats.  Students are encouraged to meet outside of regular meetings or schedule separate 1-1s with Mike Ewens.

The WEFI Fellows are in charge of organizing the annual Student Workshop held every Fall.

Application process

The application process has two steps:

Current WEFI Fellows (entry year)

Liudmila Alekseeva (IESE Business School) '21

Silvia Dalla Fontana (University of Lugano) '21

Minmo Gahng (University of Florida) '21

Caroline Genc (Universite Paris-Dauphine) '21

Tarikua Erda (Columbia) '22

Xiameng Hua (UCSD) '22

Seula Kim (Univ. of Maryland) '21

Ellen Xiyue Li (UBC) '21

Yingxiang Li (UBC) '21

Hedieh Rashidi Ranjbar (University of Michigan) '21

Roham Rezaei (UNSW) '22

Sophia Jing Xue (University of Maryland) '21

"Graduating" Fellows 2023

Liudmila Alekseeva (IESE Business School)

Mila is joining KU Leuven in Belgium as an Assistant Professor.

Minmo Gahng (University of Florida)

Mo will join Cornell SC Johnson College of Business as an Assistant Professor of Finance.

Seula Kim (University of Maryland)

Seula will join Penn State University as an Assistant Professor of Economics.

Hedieh Rashidi Ranjbar (University of Michigan)

Hedieh will join the University of Melbourne as an Assistant Professor of Finance.

Jing (Sophia) Xue (University of Maryland)

Sophia is joining J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State as an Assistant Professor of Finance.

Learn more

Contact Michael Ewens for questions.