Ned Staebler to Replace Leslie Smith as TechTown CEO
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
From Crain's Detroit Business
By Tom Henderson
Former MEDC VP will retain economic development position of at Wayne State
Ned Staebler, Wayne State University’s vice president for economic development, has been appointed president and CEO of TechTown, the business accelerator and incubator founded in partnership with the university in 2000.
TechTown’s board of directors approved the appointment Monday.
Staebler will continue to serve in his current role at the university after assuming his new position on March 16.
Staebler will succeed Leslie Smith, who has been named president of the new Entrepreneurship-Powered Innovation Center in Memphis.
“My expanded role provides an opportunity to more closely align the innovation efforts of Wayne State University and TechTown,” said Staebler in a statement.
His office at WSU oversees several small business support programs, including the Blackstone LaunchPad student entrepreneurship center, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative and The Front Door for Business Engagement center.
“In addition to the university’s existing entrepreneurship programs, we will soon be launching the Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute in our College of Engineering. This is the perfect time to build on the already close relationship between the university and the city’s business innovation hub,” he said.
According to TechTown figures, between 2007 and 2014, it has served 1,026 companies, which raised over $107.26 million in startup capital and contributed 1,190 jobs to the local economy.
“TechTown is an incredibly effective conduit for transferring the economic power and innovative energy of a public research university directly to the people in our community,” said WSU President M. Roy Wilson. “Ned’s leadership at TechTown will strengthen the connection Wayne State has to our community as an economic driver.”
“Ned has worked closely with TechTown for years and has a clear understanding of the unique role it has in the revitalization of Detroit,” said Chris Rizik, chair of TechTown’s executive committee.
Prior to joining WSU in 2011, Staebler was vice president for capital access and business acceleration at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. growth.
Staebler has B.A. from Harvard University with a concentration in government and a master’s degree in comparative politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Staebler is a graduated of the University of Detroit High School. He is vice chair of the local development finance authority for the city of Ann Arbor and serves on the boards of Midtown Detroit Inc., NextEnergy, MichBio and the Detroit Historical Society. He was a member of Crain's 2011 40 Under 40 class.
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