The new director previously worked to foster technology startup companies at Florida Atlantic University.
Robert V. Duncan, Texas Tech University senior vice president for research, announced today (April 18) that Kimberly Gramm has been appointed managing director of the Innovation Hub at Research Park effective immediately.
Gramm comes to Texas Tech from Florida Atlantic University, where she was associate vice president of the university's Tech Runway program, a public-private partnership formed to foster technology start-up companies.
“I am delighted Kimberly Gramm is taking over as managing director of Texas Tech's Research Park,” Duncan said. “The future prosperity of all regions today depends on translating new discoveries into major new market opportunities, and Kimberly has demonstrated her success at leading this process in South Florida. She will be a huge asset for Texas Tech, Lubbock and our West Texas region.”
Gramm will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Texas Tech Innovation Hub at Research Park, including tenant relations and attracting new businesses. She also will serve in the leadership of the Texas Tech Entrepreneurial Cluster, helping build successful commercialization strategies and collaborative efforts and attracting high-tech industries from all over the world to join in profitable public-private partnerships in areas of great technical strength within the region.
“The innovation and research at Texas Tech will support strong strategic public-private partnerships, and the Lubbock economy will benefit greatly over time,” Gramm said. “I am thrilled to lead such an incredible opportunity supported by passionate leaders at Texas Tech and its business community.”
Texas Tech's Innovation Hub at Research Park is a major center for innovation and entrepreneurialism. The 40,000-square-foot facility, which opened in June, provides office, research and laboratory space for start-up businesses based on Texas Tech intellectual property and for industry partners working on cutting-edge research with Texas Tech faculty and students.
Gramm joined Florida Atlantic in 2008 as director of the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business, one of the 10 largest business schools in the country. She started numerous programs, including the FAU Business Plan Competition, in which more than 700 entrepreneurs gained access to start-up funding and mentoring.
During her time as director, $1.2 million in cash and prizes was awarded to students and local entrepreneurs to provide start-up funding. In 2010, in addition to her role as director, she became assistant dean of community relations overseeing key strategic College of Business initiatives in business development. In 2014, she co-founded FAU Tech Runway, securing $4.5 million to establish a new public-private-funded accelerator program to identify, grow and launch companies. To date it has received annual funding of $750,000 from the state of Florida to provide $25,000 grants to start-ups. A total of 15 companies have launched since the inception of the program with more than $3 million in revenue, 73 employees and more than $8 million in funding.
Prior to joining FAU, Gramm worked in the areas of entrepreneurship, business development, strategic marketing, government relations and global corporate strategy for Fortune 100 companies. She earned her bachelor's degree at the University of South Florida and her master's degree in business administration at the University of Tampa.