Ryan S. Coles
Chief Scientist, Daigle Labs
- PhD Cornell U., Organizational Sociology
- MS Cornell U., Organizational Sociology
- MS Brigham Young U., Sociology
- BA Brigham Young U., Middle Eastern Studies/Arabic
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
- A.I. & Organizations
- Science & Technology Commercialization
- Environmentally Sustainable Firm Growth
- Startup Internationalization
Ryan Coles is an Assistant Professor of Management & Entrepreneurship in the Boucher Department as well as the Founder and Chief Scientist of UConn School of Business’ Daigle Labs, the first university research lab dedicated to research on A.I. and organizations.
Ryan’s lab has active studies across a variety of national contexts including: the U.S., Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, Ghana, China, Nepal, Iraq, Palestine, Ukraine, and the Kingdom of Jordan. Ryan’s research has been noted for its theoretical innovations and methodological rigor. Ryan and his colleagues introduced Unified Institutionalism, a framework combining the Institutional Logics Perspective and the Institutional Pillars schematic, a feat that acclaimed sociologist Howard Aldrich called “a theoretical tour de force!” Ryan’s work also resulted in a rethinking of how economic inequality impacts entrepreneurship and his lab team is responsible for conducting the largest randomized control trials in the field of Organizational Sociology. Ryan’s scholarship has won “Best Paper” awards from the Academy of Management for the last two years running (2022 & 2023).
Ryan’s quest to understand the social foundations of entrepreneurship has led him to Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring, Latin American communities with a history of drug cartel violence, remote villages in the Himalayas, the Amazon rainforest, and warzones in Eastern Europe. As an organizational sociologist interested in understanding how humans organize, Ryan’s fieldwork with entrepreneurs is not limited to how organizations are created in the formal economy. Dr. Coles has also interviewed entrepreneurs creating and managing organizations in the informal and illicit economies. This range of experience allows Ryan to bring unmatched organizational understanding to executives, founders, and policymakers.
Ryan has the strongest entrepreneurship track record of any tenured/tenure-track entrepreneurship professor in the world, and he is the most successful organization scientist at commercializing their own research. Between Q1 and Q3 of 2023, Ryan and the Daigle Labs team accepted/initiated eight startup projects commercializing research in the A.I., energy, biomaterials, agriculture, and aerospace sectors. Over that time period, Daigle Labs oversaw $515 million in new sales contracts, translating into a +$2.63 billion valuation change in those eight startup projects. The four startups commercializing academic research where Ryan is a co-author have an estimated value of $1.29 billion. Ryan also serves on the advisory board of Old Silver Venture Capital, known for its early investment in Moderna. Ryan speaks Spanish and Arabic, is an avid wrestler and skier, as well as an advocate for equality, environmental sustainability, and scientific exploration.