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New Entrepreneur in Residence: Steve Sauer

Steve Sauer

New Entrepreneur in Residence: Steve Sauer

Dr. Steve Sauer is the most recent mentor to join Rev: Ithaca Startup Works as an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR). Sauer, a Senior Lecturer of Management and Organizations at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, is recognized for his research and instruction focused on issues of leadership, team processes, and diversity in management. His work has been published in a number of academic journals including Leadership Quarterly, Organization Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Human Resource Management, as well as a variety of mainstream media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review,, and USA Today.

In addition to teaching and researching at Cornell, Sauer has extensive experience leading executive education workshops and seminars in negotiations, teamwork, and leadership effectiveness for a number of major corporations.

“We’re so glad to have Stephen join our team of Entrepreneurs in Residence,” said Ken Rother, Director of Rev, “His knowledge and expertise in management training and organizational behavior will be an excellent resource for Rev’s member companies and the larger entrepreneurial community.”

Sauer graduated with a Ph.D. in Management and Organizational Behavior from Cornell University, where he also received an MBA and a Master’s in Business and Policy Administration. Sauer also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to launching his academic career, he gained experience working as an organizational change consultant and plant manager, after serving for seven years in the U.S. Army as an armored cavalry officer.

Sauer is excited to apply his teaching and research background to his new role as an Entrepreneur in Residence. “My research focuses on the study of teams and leadership. I am hoping to apply that scholarship to gain a better understanding of entrepreneurial teams and to help them work through their people issues more effectively, especially as they grow from small startups to larger companies” said Sauer.    

In particular Sauer has advice for entrepreneurs launching startups. “Build the right founding team. All too often entrepreneurs will attempt to start a company with someone with whom they have a close relationship—a friend, relative, or co-worker; and although it may be comfortable to work with these people, they might not have the right skillset,” said Sauer, “In fact, the closer they are, the more likely they are to have many of the same skills and experiences as the founder. Co-founders need to have skills that are complementary to one another, rather than overlapping, and this often requires broadening the network to find the right people.”  

When Sauer is not advising entrepreneurs, he enjoys woodworking, gardening, and training for marathons—he will be competing in his 19th marathon, the St. Jude’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon, in April 2020.