Entrepreneur Robert Young has been named executive director of Whitewater University Technology Park.
The park, on the city's east side, is a business incubator for entrepreneurs and high tech startup companies. The first building, the Innovation Center, opened in 2011 and is nearly 70 percent occupied.
"Robert Young understands the important role the Whitewater University Technology Park will play in job creation and economic development for our region," said Richard Telfer, UW-Whitewater chancellor. "As an accomplished entrepreneur, he has the vision to help the park grow and provide tenants with the tools they need to be successful."
Young brings years of management experience to Whitewater. He helped create three start-up enterprises, including two medical companies and one clean technology company. Most recently, he served as managing director of Paradigm Sensors, a clean tech startup based in Milwaukee. He has also worked for AT&T, VAI, Sensor Devices, Biochem International and Johnson & Johnson Medical.
Now, he will lead Whitewater University Technology Park through its next phase of growth.
"It is impressive that the city and university are collaborating to give entrepreneurs both the space and resources they need to start businesses," Young said. "The Innovation Center is a source of intellectual capital, with the potential to create many jobs and business that stay in Wisconsin."
As executive director, Young is responsible for day-to-day operations at the technology park, including tenant recruitment and retention, facilities management, marketing and budgeting.
"Robert Young brings a tapestry of talents to the Whitewater University Technology Park," said Ronald "Bud" Gayhart, director of UW-Whitewater's Center for Innovation and Business Development. "He brings the energy of an entrepreneur, experience of a business leader, rigor of a military officer, and the humility necessary to direct the center into the second stage of growth. We are fortunate to have someone of Robert's caliber associated with our technology incubator."
Young grew up in Europe and Asia where his father, a U.S. Army command sergeant major, was stationed. He studied military science at Oklahoma State University and spent four years on active duty with the Army airborne infantry, earning the rank of captain. Young received a master's degree in business management from Central Michigan University.
Young started in his new position in December. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Innovation Center photo below by Gregg Theune)