Office of the Chief Operating Officer

Innovation Institute

The Tulane Innovation Institute is a transformative university-wide endeavor designed to bring Tulane research as well as the discoveries and breakthroughs of other institutions and individuals from the surrounding community and region to market faster. The Institute will help student, faculty, and community innovators further develop their ideas, launch startups, and attract the industry, investment, and talent that will fuel innovation in the Gulf South and strengthen the area’s economy.

The Innovation Institute will add new resources and support existing campus and community partners and priorities through funding, academic resources, and engagement to ensure new companies and technologies can launch, grow, remain, and thrive as they improve lives in New Orleans and throughout the world. This Institute’s resources include proof of concept and pre-seed startup investment funds, as well as due diligence, development, and commercialization support from mentors and other business, scientific, and investment experts.

Universities have launched programs with similar components and concepts; but the Tulane Innovation Institute is designed specifically for this university, in this city, at this time.

For more information on the Innovation Institute, visit our website.

Kimberly Gramm Headshot

David and Marion Mussafer Chief Innovation & Entrepreneurship Officer

Kimberly Gramm


Kimberly Gramm has recently joined Tulane to lead the new Innovation Institute as the inaugural Chief Innovation & Entrepreneurship Officer. Kimberly’s primary focus will be to build Tulane University’s innovation and entrepreneurial pipeline and increase regional capacity for new venture creation. This will improve lives throughout the world as well as create transformative economic growth and sustainability for New Orleans and the region.

Kimberly has over 14 years of early-stage technology venture development experience. More than 279 startups have been created in university environments under her management, which helped raise more than $470 million in investment capital. She has been awarded more than $12 million in federal and economic development grants for research and commercialization funding in support of innovators and entrepreneurs. Kimberly has founded two university accelerators, FAU Tech Runway and Texas Tech University Accelerator as well as the Texas Tech Research Park, Inc. She also founded a $10 million seed fund to support agriculture technology startups.

In her most recent role as associate vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship at Texas Tech University, Kimberly was responsible for leading economic and industry engagement, increasing startup development, increasing commercialization programs to support faculty and students, as well as developing the university’s innovation district. Her extensive experience in commercializing research from university intellectual property, expanding talent and workforce and securing resources to develop the infrastructure needed to cultivate innovation undoubtedly will benefit Tulane University, the city of New Orleans and the region for years to come.

Kimberly earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida, an MBA from the University of Tampa and is currently pursuing a PhD from Texas Tech University. She is a community builder and a dynamic leader with a proven track record in the development of best-in-class entrepreneurship education and technology hubs. Through her leadership, the Institute will help student, faculty and community innovators further develop ideas, launch startups and attract the industry, investment and talent to fuel and ignite innovation in the Gulf South region and strengthen the area’s economy.