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July 02, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Former U of Arkansas entrepreneurial leader joining National Science Foundation

Sarah Goforth has joined the federal agency as a Program Director of its Regional Innovation Engines program.

Sarah Goforth, the former Executive Director of University of Arkansas’ Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (OEI), has joined the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a Program Director of its Regional Innovation Engines program.

Goforth, who led the development of several large-scale programs including the Venture Intern ProgramMaster of Science in Product InnovationGORP incubator and Heartland Challenge Startup Competition, will be involved with the management, operation, and evaluation for the NSF Engines program, which is part of the newly established Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) directorate at the federal agency.

The program, which represents “one of the single largest broad investments in place-based research and development in the nation’s history,” according to NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan, supports regional innovation ecosystems across the country with a goal of boosting innovation to advance new technologies, address societal challenges and stimulate economic growth.

Other milestones during Goforth’s tenure at OEI included integration of entrepreneurial course offerings across the campus, launching the annual Arkansas Capital Scan, and establishing the Dickson & Main venture capital fund. The interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship, led by OEI in partnership with multiple academic departments, is now ranked by the Princeton Review as the #1 graduate entrepreneurship program in the Southeastern Conference.


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