Published: Sept. 19, 2023 By

The University of Colorado Boulder's Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative announces its inaugural External Advisory Board. The board will integrate industry leaders poised to support and help shape the university's future of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The CU Boulder Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative aims to align and optimize resources across campus to reach across traditional silos, facilitate collaboration, fuel achievement and build the university’s reputation. 

The initiative has assembled a diverse and accomplished team of professionals and leaders who bring a wealth of experience and expertise to its inaugural External Advisory Board. This group will be pivotal in guiding the initiative’s strategic vision for fostering interdisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship across campus.

"This marks a transformative moment for our initiative,” said Stan Hickory, director of the initiative and the New Venture Challenge (NVC). “We are thrilled to welcome these exceptional leaders who share our dedication to cultivating a culture of innovation at CU Boulder. Their insights will be invaluable in driving our mission forward."

The newly appointed advisory board boasts a range of industry veterans who have significantly impacted their respective fields. Among them is John F. Maggio, co-founder and CEO at Cocktail Squad, a seasoned entrepreneur known for disrupting the food and beverage industry. Judd Marcello brings a wealth of experience as a three-time CMO and advancing global brands and technology start-ups. Yoriko Morita, senior patent agent at Neugeboren O'Dowd and entrepreneur, offers a unique perspective on intellectual property and its critical role in entrepreneurship.

The board’s mandate extends beyond providing counsel. It will actively collaborate with the initiative staff to create opportunities for students and faculty, foster industry sponsorships, and enhance CU Boulder's reputation as a thriving hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, ranked fifth in the nation this year for launching startups.

The initiative will harness the collective wisdom and guidance of the board to foster innovation, drive economic growth and address pressing societal challenges. The board joins a vibrant ecosystem of academic and extra-curricular programming, including the initiative’s signature programs like the New Venture Challenge (NVC) campus pitch competition; dynamic campus hubs for entrepreneurship like the Entrepreneurship Center for Music, one of the first such programs in the country; maker spaces like the Idea Forge with workshops in everything from women’s welding to 3D printing; research institutes like ATLAS known for radical creativity and invention and home to the Blow Things Up Lab; and the university’s commercialization arm Venture Partners at CU Boulder recently celebrated for driving $8 billion in economic impact nationally. In recent years, the initiative has grown beyond campus to support and educate businesses and ventures in the Colorado community in programming from units like the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship and the Silicon Flatirons Center.

"This is a transformative moment,” says Hickory. “At CU Boulder, we've always fostered an environment that encourages creative thinking and problem-solving. This advisory board will play a pivotal role in ensuring our students, faculty and staff have the resources and support they need to thrive."

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative External Advisory Board