Raja_smallThis fall, Columbia College rolled out its much-anticipated major and minor in entrepreneurship, bolstering the college’s presence in Columbia’s vibrant startup scene. Recently, the college made a move to expand its footprint in Columbia and beyond, hiring Raja Bhattacharya as director of the Steven and Barbara Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship.

In this newly created position, Bhattacharya will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Center, and will serve as a liaison between the college’s academic community and the private and entrepreneurial sectors across the region. Ultimately, Raja will be the face of the Center, working to make it a destination for entrepreneurs.

Prior to joining the college, Bhattacharya led Western Kentucky University’s entrepreneurship program, serving as the executive in residence at in the Gordon Ford College of Business. In this role, he taught courses in the college’s entrepreneurship major, mentored student startups and assisted in fund-raising for program development. Bhattacharya also served as a mentor and faculty coach at the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurship at the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, where he assisted in curriculum development for high school students with high entrepreneurial potential.

Bhattacharya will work out of the Fishman Center’s new location, which is housed on the top floor of the Kirkman House.