George Gendron has spent his professional life at the intersection of innovation and entrepreneurship, media, higher education, and urban economic development. He is the Co-founder and Creative Director of The Solo Project LLC, a research and media venture designed to focus public attention on the burgeoning population of independent professionals and creatives. In partnership with the Knight Foundation, The Solo Project recently published Solo City, a special report designed to launch and frame a national conversation among urban leaders about the profound changes taking place in the new, emerging world of work. Gendron is currently working on a book about the implications of the rise of the indie workforce.
Previously, Gendron was the Managing Director of New Ventures at Mansueto Ventures. Mansueto Ventures is owned by Joe Mansueto, the founder and CEO of Morningstar, and is home to Fast Company and Inc Magazines. The New Ventures Group launched The Build Network, a multi-media platform that serves leaders of mid-sized companies, and provides mission-critical services to large companies and economic-development agencies that serve the middle market.
George Gendron was the Founder and Executive Director of Clark University ‘s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, one of the few university-wide entrepreneurship programs in the country designed and built from the ground up for undergraduate students in the liberal arts, performing arts, and social sciences,
Gendron served as the Editor-in-Chief of Inc. Magazine for two decades, guiding the publication from a start-up through its sale to Bertelsmann, the $20 billion German media company. Under his direction, Inc. became the world’s premiere magazine for the founders and CEOs of small- to mid-sized growing businesses as well as the founders of ambitious social ventures.
Under Gendron’s leadership, the magazine developed the Inc 500, a ranking of America’s fastest-growing private companies. The Inc 500 quickly became a brand in its own right, and identified many of the world’s leading entrepreneurial organizations when they were still in their infancy and virtually unknown–companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Patagonia, Timberland, Domino’s, Intuit, Charles Schwab, and countless others.
Gendron created a joint venture with Ernst & Young that resulted in the national “Entrepreneur of the Year” awards, which focused public attention not only on successful entrepreneurs but also on individuals who have made lasting contributions to improving the environment in which entrepreneurs operate.
In 1997 Gendron created a joint venture with Michael Porter, of the Harvard Business School, to publish the Inner City 100, a ranking of the fastest-growing companies in America’s inner cities. This list has played a major role in focusing public attention on the role of entrepreneurship in creating jobs and wealth in America’s most economically distressed urban areas. Inspired by the Inner City 100, Gordon Brown launched a sister project in the UK., and similar projects are being launched throughout the Middle East and in South Africa.
Gendron co-authored and narrated Inc.’s best-selling video, “How to Really Start Your Own Business,” which won the American Film Institute Award for outstanding business and economic programming. Gendron is a well-known speaker before groups of business leaders in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and has lectured at many of the country’s leading universities. He has been a frequent commentator on entrepreneurship on television and radio and in print. Appearances include 20/20, 48 Hours, CNBC, CNN, and National Public Radio. He has also been quoted extensively in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other major publications.
Prior to leaving Inc., Gendron appeared on the annual ranking of “The 100 Most Influential Business Journalists in America” every year since the list was created, and was named one of the ten most influential magazine journalists in the technology arena in 2001 and 2002.
Gendron began his career in publishing as an arts and entertainment editor for Clay Felker’s New York Magazine. At the age of 26, Gendron took over as editor-in-chief of Boston Magazine, where he transformed a failing magazine into one of the top city magazines in the country.
Publications under Gendron’s leadership have been nominated three times for a National Magazine Award (the Pulitzer Prize for magazines), and won numerous magazine awards for editorial excellence, public service, as well as design excellence.