Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Applying innovative, inclusive, creative, and entrepreneurial approaches and mindsets to accelerate discovery and catalyze solutions to complex problems– whether within the context of the academic research enterprise and/or new venture creation.

Key Topics:

  • Cultivate a growth mindset, active listening skills, and empathy
  • Adopt creative and human-centric practices such as design thinking 
  • Facilitate collaborative problem-solving 
  • Understand venture capital and legal aspects of patent and intellectual property
  • Promote a culture of inclusive innovation and creativity

Upcoming Events

Working in the Creative Arts and Public Humanities Networking Reception
Mar 27, 2023, 6:00 pm
Clio Hall: 3rd Floor, Clio Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 07834, United States
Essentials of Funding a Startup
Mar 28, 2023, 12:00 pm
Online Event
How to Identify, Apply for, and Win Grants and Fellowships
Mar 28, 2023, 1:00 pm
Online Event
Lunch with English PhD Alum Colette Johnson *18
Mar 29, 2023, 12:00 pm
Navigating Non-Linear Career Paths
Mar 29, 2023, 3:00 pm
Online Event

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Profiles

Rodney D. Priestley
Dean of the Graduate School
Pomeroy and Betty Perry Smith Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

"I have been very impressed with the rollout of the GradFUTURES program, and the opportunities that it has provided for graduate students to receive professional development training, to network, and to think more broadly about their future. I, myself, have enjoyed many of the activities!”  

Scott Alpizar
Director of Venture Commercialization

Scott is Director of Venture Commercialization with the Foundation Venture Capital Group where he plays a critical role in sourcing and evaluating potential investment opportunities. He also works directly with academic entrepreneurs and management teams of health-related early-stage startup companies to support their commercialization…

Joseph Avery, GS, PSY
GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Participant

"I learned a lot, I met other students with similar interests, and I formed lasting relationships with experts in the respective fields."

Ruth Chang

Ruth Chang is a co-founder of Midstory, a nonprofit thinkhub based in Toledo with a mission to progress the Midwest narrative by incubating bright, diverse and interdisciplinary thinkers to exchange ideas and envision the future of our region through multimedia storytelling and solutions-oriented research. She currently oversees the…

Elizabeth Christopherson
President and CEO, Rita Allen Foundation
Social Impact Fellowship Mentor

Elizabeth Christopherson is President and CEO of the Rita Allen Foundation, an organization that invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems. Elizabeth is guiding the Foundation through a period of rapid…

Jim Cohen, '86
GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Facilitator
GradFUTURES Forum Facilitator

Jim is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Fitz Gate Ventures. Jim and Mark Poag lead the Venture Capital & Startup Learning Cohort for the Graduate School. In collaboration with the Keller Center and the Princeton Entrepreneur Council, the learning cohort introduces graduate students to the world of venture capital and start-ups and…

Yuyang Fan, *17

Yuyang Fan is co-founder and CTO of Tendo Technologies, and co-inventor of Tendo's underlying flow sensing technology. Tendo is a spin-off from Princeton University that is commercializing unique flow sensors to enable industrial / consumer applications that are not feasible at this moment due to constraints of conventional sensing…

Cornelia Huellstrunk
Professional Development Working Group Member
University Administrative Fellowship Mentor

Cornelia Huellstrunk is the Executive Director of the Keller Center. She also is a member of the Professional Development Working Group, as well as a Mentor in the University Administrative Fellowship…

Ken Igarza, GS, NEU

Ken Igarza is an NSF-GRFP fellow in Dr. Annegret Falkner's laboratory at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI), having previously studied and conducted research at Emory and Columbia University. At PNI, Ken studies how the brain generates drives that lead animals to seek social interactions and hopes to discover how these mechanisms go…

Matt Johnson, *13, PSY
Author, Branding That Means Business

Matt Johnson, PhD is a speaker, writer, and researcher, specializing in the application of psychology and neuroscience to branding. Following his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Princeton University, his work has probed the science of brand storytelling, experiential marketing, and consumer decision-making. He is the author of the top…

Martin Lercher

Martin Lercher is Professor in the departments of Computer Science and Biology at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. He heads the Computational Cell Biology research group, which explores the molecular organization and evolution of cellular systems, in particular metabolism. Their major aim is to understand design principles…

Jessica Leung, *19 (ARC)
Design Program Manager & Lecturer
GradFUTURES Forum Speaker

Jessica teaches human-centered design at Princeton University. Jessica’s mission is to help people co-create a world where solutions to societal problems take humans into consideration and are designed with empathy at the core. Through directing Keller Center’s Tiger Challenge and teaching ENT 200, Jessica guides teams of students in honing…

Christopher MacPherson
Professional Specialist and Lecturer, The Keller Center

Chris MacPherson is a Professional Specialist and Adjunct Lecturer at Princeton where he has taught ENT200, one of the Keller Center’s foundational courses for the entrepreneurship and design certificate programs, for the last four years. He has held a number of leadership, technical, client-facing and strategic roles in a career that has…

Anne-Marie Maman
Executive Director of the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council

Anne-Marie Maman is Executive Director of the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council, which works to engage and educate Princeton-connected entrepreneurs of all levels, on campus, in our community, and in locations around the world. PEC also actively engages with the greater NJ entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Princeton Entrepreneurship Council has…

Lucy Partman, *21, ART
University Administrative Fellow
GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Participant

"I believe graduate students and PhDs can be agents of innovation, change, and leadership both inside and outside of academia."

Mark Poag, '93
GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Facilitator
GradFUTURES Forum Speaker

“Leading this venture capital cohort is so much fun since we’re teaching these grad students who are brilliant experts in their respective fields of study a topic with which most of them are not very familiar.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know many of them better and am excited about their innovative startup ideas.  Hopefully, once they are ready to raise outside capital, they’ll be a little better prepared after taking this class.” 

Don Seitz, '79
Assistant Director, Alumni Engagement, Princeton Entrepreneurship Council

As the Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement for Princeton Entrepreneurship Council, Don manages a number of initiatives to engage alumni across the Princeton entrepreneurial community – with each other and with both faculty and students. These initiatives include a wide range of educational programs, conferences, startup showcases, and a…

Wright Seneres
GradFUTURES Forum Presenter

Wright Seneres co-founded and co-leads the Princeton Podcasters Network, which is a group for podcasters on campus to share knowledge, best practices and guidance on podcasting at Princeton. He is also an advisor to the GradFUTURES Podcasting and New Media Group and co-teaches a Wintersession course on starting a podcast. 

Tony Williams, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Office of Technology Licensing
University Administrative Fellowship Mentor

After earning a PhD in chemistry from the University of Cambridge, I gained postdoctoral research experience in materials chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, and then at Princeton University in the laboratory of Professor Robert Cava.  Following an internship at an early stage venture fund, the Royal Society Enterprise Fund, I later…

Tianxia Xiao, GS, CHM
Professional Development Working Group Member

Tianxia Xiao is a rising fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry. During her undergraduate study, she researched the chemical aspect of pesticide safety with Professor John E. Casida. She graduated magna cum laude with a double major in Molecular Toxicology and Environmental Economics and Policy from UC Berkeley in 2017. In…

Itai Yanai

Itai Yanai is a Professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, where his team studies dynamic biological processes through the lens of gene regulation and systems biology. His work has led to many contributions in the fields studying the evolution of developmental gene expression programs, spatial and single-cell transcriptomics, cancer cell…

Jessica Yoon
Product Specialist, XPRIZE
Social Impact Fellowship Mentor

Jessica Yoon is a Product Specialist at XPRIZE with over 5 years of experience in prize design and operations management. Ms. Yoon has supported in the design of various XPRIZE competitions that target innovations in areas of climate, energy, and human health. Currently, Ms. Yoon…