Dear Carolina Community,
Writing to share the news that Judith Korn, Deputy Prime Minister of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, will retire from Carolina in April after 11 years of devoted service and dedication to college and state. I will. Judith talked about his plans to retire from Carolina in the spring of 2021 last year.
Judith has created a talented team. They continue to advance the initiatives and programs she has inspired in Carolina. With a strong foundation she has established, innovation and entrepreneurship continue to be top priority strategic priorities for our university. At the departure of Judith, we are pleased to announce that Deputy Prime Minister Michelle Bolas will take on additional missions in innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development and provide leadership continuity for this important task. We will soon announce plans to appoint a successor to Judith.
Judith is constantly striving to strengthen the deliberate culture of innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and in our community, establishing itself as an irreplaceable leader. She created Innovate Carolina, a university-wide environment where innovators thrive by developing new ideas to solve the most pressing problems in North Carolina and around the world.
Judith was hired by Carolina in 2009 as a special aide to the Prime Minister for innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to other duties, she was also the interim director of the Kenan Private Business Institute at the Kenan Fragler Business School from late 2013 to early 2015.
Her leadership provided Carolina’s first comprehensive innovation roadmap, co-created with the UNC Board of Directors, senior leaders, graduates, faculty, staff, students and community members. This roadmap prepares us to adopt innovation as a key pillar of the university’s strategic framework, The Blueprint for Next, and our current strategic plan, Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good.
One of the goals of the Innovation Roadmap was to take a strong, consistent and decentralized approach to this work on campus. The Innovate Carolina Network is held regularly throughout the year and has more than 300 people working together to have a greater positive impact in North Carolina and around the world.
In 2015, Judith was appointed as the first Deputy Prime Minister of the University of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development to bring together several key initiatives, including technology transfer, into a dedicated unit. In the new unit, Judith, in collaboration with the inventor of the university, successfully led the discovery of research in transforming it into commercial products and services that improve lives, strengthen the economy and generate university profits. It included an enhanced Technology Commercialization Bureau.
When the new office was created, KickStart Venture Services, originally housed in NC TraCS, was added to the unit and expanded. Teaching and educating faculty as they navigate the complex world of research-born, Carolina-licensed startup-licensed intellectual property commercialization. Since 2009, KickStart has supported 94 faculty startups and has awarded $ 2.5 million in grants to help faculty develop further IP. The investment was used for the Federal Small Business Innovation Research Award and the Small Business Technology Transfer Award of $ 72.9 million, raising a total of $ 862 million and used primarily for salaries.
Judith has collaborated with the town of Chapel Hill and Orange County to co-found a business accelerator, Launch Chapel Hill, in downtown Chapel Hill. Since 2013, 136 companies have implemented the program, raising $ 38.2 million. In the most recent fiscal year (2020), these companies provided 1,007 jobs and generated $ 83.9 million in revenue. Judith is a student entrepreneur mentor and, under her team management, has expanded the student innovation community called 1789. With 250 student members in 1789, the program has supported more than 260 student entrepreneurial teams and ventures since 2014, raising $ 22.1 million in funding.
Recognizing the opportunity to strengthen the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, Judith received a grant from the New York-based Blackstone Charitable Foundation to establish the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. Working with Duke University, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina State University, 15 successful entrepreneurs have accumulated knowledge and led carefully selected startups to raise over $ 430 million in startup capital. Did.
Based on Duke’s relationship with North Carolina State University, Judith has partnered with other universities to establish the Carolina Angel Network. Each university has its own angel network. CAN’s mission is to support the Carolina entrepreneurial community with an angel investment platform that harnesses the power of the Alumni Network. Since 2016, CAN 181 members have invested $ 12.2 million in 27 UNC affiliates.
She represents Carolina on many boards, including the appointment of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to the Ministry of Commerce’s Science and Technology Innovation Committee, and chairs the Board Innovation Subcommittee. She also represents the Prime Minister of the Research Triangle Foundation Board of Directors.
Judith is a tireless advocate of innovation at Carolina, a key advisor to the business community, and a strategic counselor on the board and other universities that want to learn from us. There is no doubt that she will continue to defend innovation and entrepreneurship through her volunteer committee service after leaving Carolina. Thank you for Judith’s service and hope she will be the best with her natural retirement from Carolina.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz Chancellor
Robert A. Blouin Executive Vice President and Provost
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