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Dominic Lim: World traveller in the pursuit of entrepreneurial knowledge

Sep 15, 2014

Dominic Lim

In this ongoing series, we’ll profile Ivey’s faculty, giving you insights into their work and lives.

Dominic Lim’s expertise in entrepreneurship extends far beyond research. He also has hands-on experience. Lim, PhD ’09, an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, co-founded NeoGenius, a company that provides business to business (B2B) e-business software and related services, in Seoul, Korea, before entering the world of academia. In fact, some of his research looks at how the governments, including that in South Korea, might create a climate that fosters entrepreneurship.

Helping entrepreneurial firms to successfully manage growth is his passion, as well as learning about the different approaches to entrepreneurship internationally. That pursuit has taken him to many areas of the globe. Following his undergraduate education in Korea, he went on to Cambridge University in the U.K. for his MBA, and Ivey Business School for his PhD. He also worked in Europe counselling university-based entrepreneurial ventures and multinational companies, including electronics giant Samsung. He recently taught entrepreneurship at universities in Canada and the U.S.

“I went to school at locations on three different continents and had the privilege of working with many entrepreneurs in North America, Europe, and Asia,” he said. “I now like to travel with my family. My daughter, Michelle, who is 10, has already visited over 10 countries through our travels.”

Whereas entrepreneurship research typically focuses on the startup phase, Lim has turned his attention to the growth stage, particularly why some companies grow to fail. That is, some companies grow too fast and suffer from growing pains, and have their growth halted (or even reversed) by growth-induced crises.

“Learning how entrepreneurial companies can sustain their growth will help them to continue to contribute to the economy,” he said.

While at Ivey pursuing his PhD, he studied high-growth firms founded by Ivey alumni, including Pelmorex Media Inc., which was founded by Pierre Morrissette, MBA ’72. Lim said he is looking forward to again connecting with Ivey entrepreneurs as a faculty member at Ivey.


At A Glance

WHO: Dominic Lim, PhD ’09, Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship

PREVIOUS SCHOOL: Lim was an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Brock University’s Goodman School of Business, and a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at USC Marshall School of Business.

PREVIOUS CAREER: Lim worked as a management consultant in Cambridge, U.K., which is one of the most active entrepreneurial clusters in Europe and is also known as Silicon Fen. While there, he counselled companies, such as Vodafone and Samsung. Lim also co-founded NeoGenius, a B2B e-business software startup in Seoul, Korea, as well as worked in the IT consulting industry in various capacities.

RESEARCH INTEREST: Lim’s research focuses on entrepreneurial firm growth, the process of acquiring entrepreneurial knowledge, and how entrepreneurship compares internationally. It has been published in top management journals, such as Strategic Management Journal, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Small Business Economics, and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. His research programs have been continuously funded by multiple grants since 2008 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

FINDINGS: An entrepreneurial firm is like a human body: there are many parts that need to develop in a balanced way when it grows. It is a system. However, Lim’s research suggests that many entrepreneurs focus on a small number of factors, especially when the company is growing fast, and fail to pay attention to some other critical components. This results in the unbalance within the system

RELEVANCE: Since entrepreneurial companies, particularly high-growth ones, contribute disproportionately to economic growth and innovation, learning how entrepreneurial companies can sustain their growth has critical implications to the whole society.

FUN FACT: Lim likes to travel and, for his family, travel and music go hand in hand. Lim’s wife, Jahee, is a violinist who plays with a variety of orchestras (previously including Orchestra London). When the family travels, they often attend the concerts of famous orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic. He also enjoys riding a bike with his daughter, and their favourite spots for bike rides are the Niagara Parkway and California’s Santa Monica and Venice Beach.