Gateway Conference


The Gateway Entrepreneurship Research Conference is an annual academic series that serves as a think tank for entrepreneurs. The conference is designed to bring together individuals to discuss and develop ideas and plans on the future of entrepreneurship. Together, the collaboration maximizes opportunities for interaction, networking, and creativity.

Conference History

Since its start in 1987, Saint Louis University’s Gateway Series for Entrepreneurship Research has promoted advances in scholarship on entrepreneurship and related disciplines.

Unique among academic meetings is its approach, called the Gateway Process. Gateway founders Bob Brockhaus and Jerry Katz realized that much of the creative output from academic meetings comes more from the informal discussions in hallways and over dinner tables than in the formal presentations.

From this unique finding, the Gateway Research Conference was developed and still utilizes this approach to educate, network, and propose solutions to modern day issues.

Understanding the Gateway Process

The Gateway Process approach utilized at the conferences creates an environment that maximizes opportunities for informal group discussion and reflection.

In the Gateway Process, small to medium sized groups of researchers meet on shared topics for one day. This process has amply demonstrated its ability to produce new insights, connections and research opportunities for the participants.

Listen. Learn. Impact.

The general theme of the Gateway meeting is selected by Saint Louis University’s John Cook School of Business Center for Entrepreneurship. The general topic is then highlighted by a keynote address to provide a common frame of reference and to serve as a starting point for small group discussions.


Your Ideas. Your Group.

Gateway groups are then self-assigned, based on a brainstorming session early in the meeting, where specific topics of interest are identified and categorized.


Small Groups. Big Ideas.

The process within the small groups can vary depending on the mix of people and the approach taken to the topic. Each group is provided with two facilitators. The facilitators are not leaders, but help:

Conference Attendance

Only the keynote speaker is responsible to provide a paper to present. All other attendees simply need to register for the conference and bring their creative ideas.

Opportunity exists for those who wish to serve in a formal role at the conference. Businesses oftentimes provide institutional support to the conference through serving as facilitators or correspondents.