Werner Kuhr
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Today, I serve as the director or the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Colorado School of Mines. My goal is to enable engineering students to better define the value of their work and ultimately, use that knowledge to create new ventures. That will be accomplished by exposing them to the processes of entrepreneurial thinking. Previously, I was director of the Stevens Venture Center at Stevens Institute of Technology, where I was responsible for crafting an entrepreneurial culture on campus to facilitate the creation of new faculty and student-led start-up companies, as well as supervising the technology transfer and licensing of all Stevens’ technologies. Working with the administration and local business leaders, we established a new technology business incubator (Stevens Venture Center), whose programs were focused on Biomedical Engineering, Financial Technologies and Digital Education.

I am an alumnus of Stevens Institute of Technology (BS ’80, MS ’82) and received a PhD in chemistry and neuroscience from Indiana University. After two years of post-doctoral work, I became a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Riverside. There, I ran a research program that graduated 25 PhD and MS students in 15 years, published roughly 100 papers (H-index = 53) and received extramural funding in excess of $8 million. Since that time, I have more than 10 years of experience in the private sector leading multimillion dollar research enterprises. I have participated in the formation of five start-up technology companies, the first of which were based on translation research in protein diagnostics and genomics. These included Seurat Analytical – protein microarray detection systems; Clinical MicroSensors – DNA detection and medical devices. I transitioned to a focus on electronic devices, starting ZettaCore, Inc.  – molecular electronic structures for semiconductor devices; eSionic Corp. – electrolytes for charge storage devices; and I still own ChemiSensor LLP – chemical sampling and sensor systems. I participated in various capacities in these companies – as a technical adviser and inventor in the first two, then as Founder and Director of Research/CTO in the last three. Clinical MicroSensors and ZettaCore went through several successful rounds of private equity funding (including prominent Silicon Valley VCs) before they were ultimately sold to major international corporations for a total of more than $400 million.