In Memoriam: Helena Yli-Renko

Helena Yli-Renko, a professor of clinical entrepreneurship and the former director of the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Southern California, died on April 8. She had battled cancer for two years. She was teaching two undergraduate entrepreneurship classes at the university until just weeks before her death.

Professor Yli-Renko was born in Los Angeles and raised in Finland. She earned a doctorate in entrepreneurship and technology from the Helsinki University of Technology. Dr. Yli-Renko joined the faculty at the University of Southern California in 2003. Earlier, she served as a research fellow at London Business School and worked in consulting at McKinsey and Company.

“We were privileged to know Helena for many  years,” said Elissa Grossman, current director of the
Greif Center, Orfalea Director’s Chair in Entrepreneurship and professor of clinical entrepreneurship. “She was vibrant and vital, committed to excellence in all she did, deeply dedicated to her students, and fiercely devoted to her family. She was, for many in the Center and at Marshall more generally, not just a colleague, but also a friend.”

In 2017, Dr. Yli-Renko was made a Knight, First Class, Order of the White Rose of Finland, for her contributions to global entrepreneurship research

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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