Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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July 17, 2023 | Tom Ballard

U News | It’s a new feature spotlighting university initiatives

Georgia Tech hires a new leader of its clean tech commercialization efforts, Arizona State University is creating a new School of Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, and the University of Chicago makes another commitment to the life sciences.

From the Georgia Institute of Technology:

The Strategic Energy Institute and the Venture Lab have announced the appointment of Richard Gruber to lead the clean tech commercialization efforts at Georgia Tech. In his new role, the veteran of the sector will be working closely with researchers to help them convert their ground-breaking research into impactful companies.

His duties include cultivating relationships with constituents of the broader Atlanta area, officials in the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the national community of business leaders, angel investors, attorneys, and venture capitalists.

“With the State of Georgia emerging as a hub for clean energy, Gruber will play an integral role in coaching, creating, and growing startups related to energy, manufacturing, smart cities, and associated industry clusters,” said, Tim Lieuwen, Executive Director of the Strategic Energy Institute.

Gruber was previously an “Executive in Residence” at Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center and also served as Vice President of Project Development at First Solar and Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer for Merit Sustainable Infrastructure.

From Virginia Commonwealth University:

The Richmond-located school is celebrating that more inventors than ever are taking the leap to become entrepreneurs. Since July 2022, its TechTransfer and Ventures office has licensed laboratory discoveries and other inventions developed by faculty and trainees to 12 start-up companies.

To navigate that intersection of academic science and business creation, the university established a start-up support program to guide science-minded researchers. It includes two Entrepreneurs-in-Residence who have been tasked with supporting researchers whose intellectual property could work as a more structured company. The lead researcher usually joins the start-up, typically as chief scientific officer. Other researchers on the academic team may have a role in the business, too.

As a result, more start-ups have been formed in the past two years than any other time in Virginia Commonwealth’s history.

To learn more, click here.

From the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:

WRAL TechWire reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a federal lawsuit against Nayeem Choudhury, a Clinical Research Project Manager at the university who also runs Dream Venture Capital Group in Durham. The website is no longer active.

According to the SEC filing, Choudhury is accused of orchestrating a more than $9 million Ponzi scheme.

From Arizona State University:

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University (ASU), already one of the biggest in the country, is launching a new academic unit this fall — the W. P. Carey School of Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (TIE). The new interdisciplinary school houses both undergraduate and graduate degree offerings, several research and activity centers, and faculty from a range of disciplines.

New undergraduate degrees at the school include a Bachelor of Arts in applied business and technology solutions and a Bachelor of Arts in entrepreneurial leadership. The applied business and technology solutions degree, also offered through ASU Online, is a highly customizable program in which students learn foundational business skills while simultaneously applying insights through expanded internship credit opportunities.

The entrepreneurial leadership program will be offered exclusively on ASU’s West campus, one of five ASU locations around Phoenix. It will give students a broad foundation in business as well as a focus on starting, leading, and managing entrepreneurial organizations. Potential career paths include working in entrepreneurial-minded roles in existing organizations as well as starting or joining new ventures and small businesses of all types.

Both new degrees have a foundation in business data analytics instead of calculus.

From the University of Chicago:

The University of Chicago (UChicago) and CIC have announced that they will partner on a state-of-the-art lab incubator at Hyde Park Labs that will support entrepreneurs and start-up companies focused on life sciences.

The creation of CIC Labs at Hyde Park Labs, a 302,000-square foot, 13-story tower, will include a facility spanning 20,000 square feet of wet lab and office space, operating within UChicago’s leased space in Hyde Park Labs. The CIC space will focus on start-up companies of UChicago faculty members, helping to extend the impact of their research, discoveries, and intellectual property. CIC Labs will provide an environment in which start-ups, researchers and industry experts can collaborate, innovate and accelerate the development of groundbreaking ideas.

CIC Labs, an initiative of CIC, was launched in 2014 to support the life sciences. The Hyde Park facility will be the company’s third U.S.-based wet lab and its ninth international location. Around the globe, CIC operates more than one million square feet of innovation campuses which have shared workspace, wet labs, and event space.

Trammell Crow Company, a global commercial real estate developer, and Beacon Capital Partners, a leading real estate developer, owner, and manager of life science and office properties, broke ground on Hyde Park Labs earlier this year. The building is expected to be completed in late 2024 and will create the advanced lab infrastructure needed to support a science and technology hub on the South Side.

Click here to learn more.

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