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In June this year, Kimberly Gramm became the inaugural chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer at Tulane University, which she joined after more than six years at Texas Tech University.
Her mission couldn’t be more ambitious: charged with driving economic development in the Greater New Orleans region, she will be leading the brand new Tulane Innovation Institute that itself will revitalise a gigantic, defunct hospital that’s been shut since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Kimberly, who’s currently working on her PhD dissertation looking at innovation infrastructure, tells us about her vision for Tulane — a university with historic strengths in the medical sciences — and why raising a venture fund as a university really isn’t as straightforward as it sounds.
She also discusses the need to continually drive diversity even at an institution that already has high rates of female and BIPOC students, ponders what the characteristics of a successful founder are and reveals her magic wand wish.
“Funk Game Loop” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)