Student Spotlight: Almantas Palubinskas ’20

headshot of Almantas Palubinskas

Student Spotlight: Almantas Palubinskas '20

Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia
Degree: Ph.D. in entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises

As an undergraduate, Almantas Palubinskas already knew he wanted to pursue a doctorate However, it wasn’t until he had the opportunity to work closely with entrepreneurs that he realized he wanted to focus on entrepreneurship. Since joining the Whitman School, he has been researching how regulations influence the emergence of different types of innovation, as well as how entrepreneurial firms shape an emerging industry’s competitive structure using non-market strategies.

His interest was further reinforced by the work of faculty member Maria Minniti, Bantle Chair in Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, as well as director of the Whitman School’s Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society (IES).

“It’s been the best fit for me,” said Palubinskas, who received a fellowship from the IES and expects to complete a Ph.D. in 2020. “I’ve had a lot of great opportunities that I would never have been able to find elsewhere, including the opportunity to work with world-class scholars. Minniti has been an excellent mentor and pivotal in my learning experience. She lets you know when you’re on the wrong path, gives good advice, and I can honestly say my research is better because of her.”

Palubinskas’ research has a specific emphasis: the consequences that regulations have on innovation within the non-military drone industry, as well as exploring how certain regulations placed on a technology alter the competitive landscape of an industry. He is currently working on a journal article that utilizes the drone industry to explore how technology and innovation are being influenced by regulations to help explain why a particular industry is developing a technology the way that it is.

“I think we’re getting closer to drone use than we expect,” he said. “At first it was dropping medical supplies in Rwanda. Google has recently been approved by the FAA to make deliveries in Virginia, and Uber is working with air taxis to get people places faster than ever. Other firms out there are using drones to collect data. Watching a new industry emerge in front of your eyes is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”