Gilbert to Coordinate Faculty Entrepreneurship Efforts at UI
"This new resource will provide the formal leadership and hands-on business management skills necessary to identify new opportunities for innovation, assess market potential, and take the critical first steps in the commercialization of new technologies," said David Hensley, director of JPEC. "This position will help the UI further promote its economic development and technology transfer initiatives."
Working with colleagues at JPEC, the UI Small Business Development Center, and other UI entities, Gilbert will evaluate entrepreneurial opportunities and determine their commercial viability. After the potential businesses are identified, Gilbert will help faculty and staff develop business plans and advise them on commercializing their projects. A series of campus-wide education and networking events on are also planned to encourage and develop faculty entrepreneurship.
"The University of Iowa is not just one of the leading research universities in the U.S. but also a bastion of both wonderful ideas and wonderful people," said Gilbert. "I am excited to join such a spirited community and play a collaborative role in fostering entrepreneurship in faculty research and scholarship for the benefit of the University, its constituents, and the state of Iowa."
Gilbert is a former service operations executive with a proven track record for developing and implementing performance improvement plans and turnaround marketing strategies. He has significant functional experience in process design, business planning, resource allocation, and change implementation under adverse conditions.
Before coming to the UI, Gilbert was CEO of USA Telephone, Inc., a competitive local exchange carrier serving more than 50,000 residential and business consumers from Maine to Virginia. He has also worked in a variety of advisory roles for Fortune 1000 companies as a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers and financial analyst at Heller Financial.
Gilbert received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in economics and psychology from Pomona College where he was selected as a Rhodes Scholar candidate.
The establishment of a Faculty Entrepreneurship Coordinator further extends the coordinated support for new and existing businesses established by the Iowa Centers for Enterprise (ICE), which integrates existing economic development activities at the UI. ICE offers a comprehensive program that promotes economic development and technology transfer, provides assistance to Iowa startups and existing Iowa businesses and communities, and helps the state of Iowa develop a creative, entrepreneurial workforce. Also, ICE programs optimize the flow of University intellectual property into opportunities for licensing, commercialization and business development. ICE affiliates include JPEC, the University of Iowa Research Foundation, the SBDC, the Technology Innovation Center/Oakdale Research Park, and the Office of Corporate Partnerships.
Contact: David Hensley, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, 319-335-1022