Isaac McCoy – Dean, School of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Computational & Information Sciences at Stillman College


By Staff

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

The opportunity to solve problems and make money doing it seemed like a win-win scenario to me. 

What does success look like for you?

It is the freedom to move between my international and domestic residences and the time to focus on initiatives and movements that address inequities in economics, education, health, housing, and the justice system.

What inspired you to teach?

The exchange of knowledge and sharing experiences is something I enjoy and have looked forward to since I was young. I have countless memories of conversations, in class, with my classmates about religion, sports, family, careers, science, history, etc while we were being taught a subject that had nothing to do with the conversation.

Finding opportunities to exchange knowledge and experiences as a career involves teaching or training so that will always be a current job on my CV.

Our education system has changed. How should we approach gaining knowledge navigating our education system?

Three things come to mind when responding to this question.

(1) On an individual level, how do we encourage and celebrate “curiosity”. On an individual level “curiosity” is the fuel that propels the knowledge train forward. If we lose or dampen our ability to be “curious”, the pursuit of knowledge hits barriers that keep us from fulfilling our potential.

(2) On a community level, how do we build and sustain informal and formal learning communities? As the church would say, “iron sharpens iron”. Gaining knowledge has limits when done in a silo but collectively it has no limits.

(3) On a system level, it is increasing our knowledge in the realm of public policy because policy shapes the education systems, at every level.

What advice do you have for someone who seeks to become an entrepreneur?

There are countless things that come to mind when giving advice to an inspiring entrepreneur. In no particular order:

(1) Know where you add value to the entrepreneurial process. Are you the “inventor/innovator”, the “entrepreneur”, or the “manager”? These roles have distinct characteristics and we are not good at all of them at the same time.

(2) What is your level of resiliency? All entrepreneurs will face failure at some point in time in the process. Are you able to endure, persevere, and thrive during “rough” times.

(3) Be ok to fail. Failure is an essential part of the process and success is not achieved without some level of failure.

(4) Build a support network. Entrepreneurship can get lonely and stressful, you need a solid support system for the times when it does get lonely and/or stressful.

Share one of your most memorable experiences as a professor at Stillman College.

One of my most memorable experiences at Stillman College happened when a recent graduate visited my office to discuss their new job. They explained the knowledge exchange moments we shared were instrumental in their early success. This moment was incredibly gratifying for me, as it highlighted why I chose this profession. I believe it’s essential that experienced individuals give the younger generations the “cheat codes”, allowing them to achieve success much earlier than we did. 

With all that you have accomplished both personally and professionally, how do you stay motivated?

The purpose of my life is to serve others with the talents, gifts, opportunities, and resources afforded to me so as long as their are people on this planet with me, I will remain motivated to find ways to use the blessing giving to me to bless others.