Tulane Law Prof. Elizabeth Townsend Gard has been awarded one of seven competitive Lepage Faculty Fellowships by the Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business to continue her scholarly work in the area of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Townsend-Gard teaches intellectual property and entrepreneurship law. As a Lepage Fellow, she receives a $5,000 renewable grant which she will use in the next phase of a research project focused on the relation of intellectual property law to the burgeoning industry of quilting. As part of that project, Townsend Gard is working with crafters and entrepreneurs to understand the influence of legal protection within the industry and developing a Just Wanna Quilt podcast project to work with craft-based businesses on protecting their ideas and innovations.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled," said Townsend Gard. "I think the funding along with the opportunity to work with the Lepage Center will make all the difference in the world in both further applied research into the meaning of being an entrepreneur in a social media world, and also hopefully help quilters and crafters in growing their businesses.”
Townsend Gard said she plans to provide legal information and strategies to family-based online businesses and create a national platform and consumer base for marketing of small businesses. She also will expand the research podcast and create a series of books that assist in the basics of intellectual property and entrepreneurship.
Townsend Gard’s Entrepreneurship and the Law class at Tulane Law School last spring launched the research-based audio podcast and continues to do additional research on entrepreneurial strategies and challenges faced by startups.
Townsend Gard specializes in copyright law and is co-inventor of the Durationator® Copyright Experiment, a software program that aims to determine the worldwide copyright status of every kind of cultural work. She also co-owns the Tulane spin-out company, Limited Times, which is commercializing the Durationator® software and services.
Townsend Gard also is co-director and co-founder of the Law/Culture/Innovation Initiative, housed at the Social Innovation Social Entrepreneurship Program, and is director of the Copyright Research Lab at Tulane Law School. The work began under her Social Entrepreneur professorship, the Jill H. and Avram A. Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, housed at the Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking.
The Lepage Faculty Fellows, administered by the Lepage Center, are highly competitive; this year only seven were awarded out of a field of 25. They are open to Tulane faculty members working in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation. The program offers support not only for teaching and research but also the entrepreneurial activities of faculty members, including the commercialization of technologies and costs associated with starting a new company.