Interim Executive Director, IC² Institute, The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Gregory Pogue directs the IC² Institute, where he has led research, instructional and implementation programs surrounding technology commercialization, early venture creation and entrepreneurship. He has held senior positions in venture capital, entrepreneurial ventures, technology transfer offices and as a scientific innovator. He has held vice-president or above positions in six startups: one realized a successful public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange; a second was acquired by a Fortune 500 company; three obtained large licensing deals with industry leaders; the last is in clinical stage development. He has authored over 60 original scientific articles and reviews and is an inventor on over 35 U.S. patents.
Nexus Startup Hub and Incubator
Executive Director, Nexus Startup Hub and Incubator
Erik Azulay is a technology commercialization expert and serial entrepreneur specializing in small business startups and international market strategies. He has managed commercialization and incubation projects in 12 countries around the world, and launched and sold two logistics companies based in the United States and Russia. He was the director for the World Bank Innovation Program in Kazakhstan, where for two years he oversaw the creation and running of the National Technology Commercialization Center. Under his leadership the Center created a multi-million dollar small business commercialization grant program and incubated Kazakh start-ups to bring their innovations to market.
Director, Nexus Startup Hub and Incubator
Rajneesh Kumar is an experienced innovation and entrepreneurship development professional with a demonstrated history of working in the biotechnology sector. He is skilled in innovation management, patent law, technology transfer and entrepreneurship. Rajneesh Kumar’s current role as the Director of Nexus includes strategic guidance and administrative oversight as well as promoting Nexus and building awareness in India and South Asia by establishing strategic partnerships. Prior to joining the Embassy, Rajneesh worked with the Biotechnology Industry Research Council (BIRAC) New Delhi, where his role encompassed overall strategy formulation and management of intellectual property and technology transfer, entrepreneurship development, establishing incubators and university innovation clusters. He also worked as a technology commercialization consultant for National Research Development Corporation, India.
Rajneesh received his B.Tech and M.Tech at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, and L.L.B. from University of Delhi. Rajneesh is a Khorana Scholar under IUSTTF program. He was trained as technology commercialization professional at University of Wisconsin.
Program Manager, Nexus Startup Hub and Incubator
Sameer Malik has been an entrepreneur, a freelance visual basic developer, a teacher and a Blockchain and crypto assets enthusiast. Prior to Nexus, Sameer was the co-founder and managing partner for Galaxy Exports, a manufacturer of handicraft products and furniture. In the first three years, he increased sales to over $1,000,000 and shipped Galaxy products to three continents. Concurrently, Sameer was learning French and Spanish, winning hackathons and exploring the world. His corporate experience also includes stints at KPMG and Intuit India. Sameer is a post-graduate of Delhi School of Economics; he completed his Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Kirori Mal College.
South Asia Connect
Co-Principal Investigator, South Asia Connect
Program Manager, IC² Institute, The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Cliff Zintgraff leads programs for the IC² Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. Around his core research interest of inquiry learning, he has worked in the fields of technology commercialization, K-12 STEM education, financial services, international program development, and STEM non-profit development. He started and runs a STEM education company delivering products and services to schools, and he has founded STEM non-profits that serve a large number of students in his community. He started his career as a software developer, manager and executive in startups.
Project Manager, South Asia Connect
Divya’s experience is in developing new innovation programs, establishing incubation centres, performing technology commercialization, and building program sustainability. She actively promotes gender equality through models that bring women into the formal workforce and by nurturing scalable women-led enterprises. She was previously the head of business innovation at the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), Ministry of Corporate Affairs, GoI. Before that she served as the Director of Delhi Business School, responsible for its pan-India expansion. Her experience crosses multiple industries and fields. She is M.Tech in VLSI & Embedded Systems, UGC NET qualified and is pursuing her PhD in Machine Learning.
Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs
Co-Principal Investigator, Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs
Assistant Director, IC² Institute, The University of Texas at Austin
With over ten years of experience designing and managing technology commercialization programs, Debra is responsible for acquiring and linking commercialization projects to institute strategy and to the work and goals of the university. Debra began working with the IC² Institute on its commercialization degree program, coordinating efforts in alumni relations, student programs, and university partner activities. Prior to coming to IC², she worked for the university on research publication and program management, and has editorial and teaching experience. Debra’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from Brown University and The University of Texas at Austin, respectively.
Program Manager, Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs
Sadhana Shukla is social enterprise researcher and keen observer of fast evolving social enterprises ecosystem. She has undertaken impact evaluation of social and hybrid businesses across sectors, with a specific focus on use of information technology in bringing social change, that also happens to be focus of her PhD work. Sadhana believes that entrepreneurs are the right vehicle for social change and ensuring sustained impact.