Ryan Coles

Assistant Professor

Chief Scientist, Daigle Labs

Management &




  • PhD Cornell U., Organizational Sociology
  • MS Cornell U., Organizational Sociology
  • MS Brigham Young U., Sociology
  • BA Brigham Young U., Middle Eastern Studies/Arabic


  • A.I. & Organizations
  • Science & Technology Commercialization
  • Environmentally Sustainable Firm Growth
  • Startup Internationalization


Dr. Coles is an Assistant Professor of Management & Entrepreneurship in the Boucher Department as well as the Founder and Chief Scientist of the School of Business’ Daigle Labs, the first university research lab dedicated to academic research on A.I. and organizations.

Dr. Coles’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 on how to build organizations in emerging markets has been noted for its theoretical innovations and methodological rigor. Dr. Coles 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!” Dr. Coles’s work has also resulted in a rethinking of how economic inequality impacts entrepreneurship. Methodologically, his lab team is responsible for conducting the largest randomized control trial in the field of Organizational Sociology. Dr. Coles’s scholarship has won “Best Paper” awards from the Academy of Management for the last two years running (2022 & 2023).

Dr. Coles’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, Dr. Coles’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 Dr. Coles to bring unmatched organizational understanding to executives, founders, and policymakers.

Dr. Coles has the strongest entrepreneurship track record of any tenured/tenure-track business professor in the world, and he is the most successful organization scientist at commercializing their own research. In 2023, Dr. Coles and the Daigle Labs team accepted/initiated eight startup projects commercializing research related to A.I., energy, blockchain, biomaterials, agriculture, and aerospace. Over 2023, Daigle Labs oversaw $716 million in new sales contracts for those eight startup projects. The four startups commercializing academic research where Ryan is a coauthor have an estimated value of over $1.1 billion. One such startup, based on research where Dr. Coles is a coauthor, ranks among the top 30 A.I. companies in the world in terms of revenue. Ryan’s commercialization research projects include collaborators such as IBM, J&J, Aramco, and SpaceX. Dr. Robert Langer, the 4th most cited scientist in history and co-founder of 30+ biotechnology companies, has hailed Dr. Coles as an “excellent business person.”

Dr. Coles 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. 

Contact Information
Mailing Address2100 Hillside Rd., Storrs CT 06269
Office LocationStorrs BUSN 344
Office HoursStudent Hours: Tues 2pm-3pm & Thur 6pm-7pm | Others can email Joaquin Uribe at joaquin.uribe@uconn.edu to schedule a meeting
CoursesBADM/MGMT 2234 "The Entrepreneurial Journey"
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