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Business Innovation Academy Faculty & Staff



Dr. Jose Brache 

 Academic Director & Professor  of Entrepreneurship 
Phone: 954-262-5031


Dr. Jose Brache is an economist with a master’s in applied economics from Georgetown University, and a PhD. in Management from Adolfo Ibanez University. His research interests include international entrepreneurship, open innovation, inter-firm cooperation, SME´s internationalization, technology commercialization, geographic co-location, and innovation management. He has published in renowned academic journals and has extensive business experience at the management level in the hospitality industry. Before joining the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship Dr. Brache served as the Director of the Master of Commercialization and Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Dr. Brache’s passion is to assist both established and aspiring entrepreneurs in the challenging task of value creation. He strongly believes in building and nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems as a pathway towards stronger and better economies.

monica paneque

Monica Paneque, M.B.A.

 Program Director 
Phone: 954-262-5024

Monica began working for NSU in 2009 and since then, has held various roles in admissions, marketing, corporate and alumni relations throughout the university. Currently, Monica is serving as the founding Director of the Huizenga Business Innovation Academy working with entrepreneurial students as they pursue an accelerated dual-degree program along with their dreams of opening a business. Monica also serves as the Chapter Advisor to NSU’s Collegiate DECA student organization, which prepares students from all majors for careers in business through national competitions. What Monica finds most rewarding about working at NSU, is being able to follow a student’s journey from admission to graduation and see their transformation through the years. Monica holds a B.S. in Business Administration and M.B.A. in Human Resource Management from Nova Southeastern University. Go Sharks!

Najeeb AhmedNajeeb Ahmed, M.S.H.Ed.

Program Manager II
Phone: 954-262-5107

Najeeb is a NSU Alumnus with a B.S. in Legal Studies. He earned his M.S. in Higher Education-College Administration and Leadership at Purdue University Global. He is currently pursuing his Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership at NSU. His experience is in retail, marketing, and management. For approximately eight years, he has worked in the higher education industry. Currently, as the Academic Program Manager at the Huizenga Business Innovation Academy, he specializes in the areas of recruitment and advising, student support, and student success. Najeeb also oversees and manages the college's social media accounts.  "Since my passion is higher education, being here for our students’ growth and success at NSU and beyond is my priority!"


Cheryl Babcock, C.F.E, M.B.A.

Lecturer and Director
Phone: 954-262-5071

Cheryl teaches undergraduate courses in Franchise Management, Small Business Management, Entrepreneurial Opportunities & Analysis, Running Your Business, Maturing Businesses, ENT 3130 HBIA Studio 1 Boot Camp. Cheryl received the 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award from the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. She works with students in developing on-campus, student-run businesses. She will be overseeing operations for 18-20 on-campus, student-run businesses in Fall 2021-Winter 2022. She has designed and taught franchising and entrepreneurship courses in Australia, Brazil, Finland, France, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. She is co-author of Franchise Times Guide to Selecting, Buying & Owning a Franchise.  Cheryl was a franchisee of two systems as well as an area director, franchise director and field representative.  She also oversees the internship program for the Entrepreneurship Department.

dr pizarro

Dr. Nelson Pizarro 

Professor of Entrepreneurship 
Phone: 954-262-5022

Dr. Pizarro received his DBA in Business Administration at Grenoble Ecole of Management in France. He also received an MBA from the University of Florida and a BBA from Washington State University. His primary research interest is opportunity finding, entrepreneurship education and sustainability in organizations. Dr. Pizarro has published in journals, such as Journal of Entrepreneurship Education and New England Journal of Entrepreneurship and Economies et sociétés. He helped start up 6 companies including business consulting, consumer electronics, consumer electronics refurbishing, and automatic vehicle location systems. In April of 2012, he launched EcoStatic Inc. When he is not teaching, he meditates, practices yoga and bikes.
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