About Us

VentureLab, part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, was founded in 2001 to collaborate with faculty and students to create startups based on Tech research.

Since then, we’ve supported the launch of hundreds of startups which, combined, have raised over $1.5B in investments. A recent study ranked VentureLab #2 worldwide among university startup incubation and support programs.

The VentureLab team is comprised of engineers, entrepreneurs, and educators with decades of experience in a wide range of industries and startups. We’d be happy to meet you, learn more about your work and interests, and explore ways we can help. If you’ve got questions, and would like to learn more about commercializing research at Georgia Tech, please email any of us to get the conversation started.

Not sure who to reach out to? Email us at or fill out our contact form, and we’ll get you connected.

Keith McGreggor

Keith McGreggor

Director

Keith McGreggor, VentureLab’s director, also serves as the lead instructor for the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program for Georgia Tech, a founding node in the I-Corps network. He is also a member of the NSF I-Corps curriculum committee, and gives frequent invited talks on the foundations of evidence-based-entrepreneurship philosophy.

Keith has been an entrepreneur for the last three decades. His first company, Artificial Intelligence Atlanta, was the first AI company in the southeast, which led to a gig in robotics for Lockheed. He has been a founder or co-founder of six software companies.

Keith wrote and shipped the first 3D program and first color paint program for the Macintosh. He developed the color architecture for the Macintosh, wrote substantial portions of the graphics system, and managed the graphics group at Apple Computer in Cupertino. A stint as co-founder of an internet company in the mid 1990s led to Keith becoming a director of engineering at Yahoo! in 1999.

Keith holds a BS, MS, and PhD in computer science from Georgia Tech, and is an instructor of Georgia Tech’s new StartupLab for undergraduates in the College of Engineering. In addition to his role at VentureLab, Keith holds an appointment as Professor of the Practice in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech and is the Associate Director of Georgia Tech’s GVU.

Colin Ake

Colin Ake

Principal

A lifelong entrepreneur, Colin Ake’s first taste of the startup world came with an Atlanta enterprise security firm. He recently spent four years in the Mojave desert building a rocket launch and planetary landing testbed company from the ground up. Colin works with VentureLab and I-Corps South to teach entrepreneurship principles to teams working on commercialization projects from across the United States. In addition, he teaches a class at the Scheller College of Business focused on innovation and business model development for sustainability.

Colin has 4 years of experience teaching evidence-based entrepreneurship for Georgia Tech and Grupo Guayacán (Puerto Rico). Colin earned a BS in Management from Georgia Tech and a Masters in Business Administration from the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech.

Roberto Casas

Roberto Casas

Principal

Roberto Casas joined Georgia Tech in 2005 and focuses on accelerating the formation of new startups around the university’s research activity. Roberto works primarily with CoC, ECE and ME and has provided strategic advice to more than 50 start-ups on how to start and grow their businesses; 16 of these companies have already emerged from the program, securing more than $100 million in private and public funding and creating more than 150 jobs in the state. He also supports the EDA University Center Program at Georgia Tech and has assisted other universities in building their own faculty start-up programs.

Prior to VentureLab, he had over 15 years of business development and marketing experience in corporate and start-up environments. His career includes roles at Procter & Gamble, Philips Electronics, and MeadWestvaco, prior to co-founding a virtual entertainment venture. He is a co-founder of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Atlanta and is actively engaged with the MIT admission office in the interviewing and recruitment of applicants for each year’s freshman class. Roberto has an MBA degree from MIT (Sloan) and a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Los Andes University.

Julie Collins

Julie Collins

Principal

Julie Collins is focused on executing the I-Corps South Node grant awarded to VentureLab and three regional university partners. She is a national I-Corps instructor with experience teaching 7 national cohorts at 3 different nodes, and she acts as a lead regional instructor for I-Corps South. With a background in molecular genetics and extensive experience working with early-stage startups pursuing SBIR funding, Julie is truly able to translate between the technical and business worlds and push startups towards intellectual honesty.

Prior to joining the VentureLab team, Julie was Director of SBIR Georgia, leading startup companies to secure federal SBIR/STTR grant funding. In her time there, she assisted with more than 100 applications to the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR programs, assisting companies in securing over $10M in non-dilutive funding. She was the Director and Principal Investigator on two FAST awards from the Small Business Administration. Julie holds a BS in Biology from Georgia Tech and a Master of Science in Molecular Genetics from Emory University.

Paul Freet

Paul Freet

Principal

Paul teaches entrepreneurship for the National Science Foundation and at universities throughout the southeast. Paul also works with professors and researchers at Georgia Tech to create startup companies based on their research. He was the founder and CEO of VC-backed ATDC graduate company Racemi. Prior to founding Racemi, Paul was a founder and CTO of TruSOLUTIONS.

In 2007, Paul was inducted into the Georgia Tech College of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech.

Jeff Garbers

Jeff Garbers

Principal

Jeff comes to VentureLab after 35 years in the personal computing industry, focusing on communications, mobility, Internet services, and usability. As a software developer and architect from the earliest days of the PC, Jeff has been instrumental in creating applications and co-founding companies that led their markets and were highly regarded by customers and the industry. He co-founded his first startup with his Georgia Tech graduate advisor in 1982, and sold his most recent company, Rover Apps, in 2013.

Jeff earned an AB in Mathematics from Wabash College, and his MS in Information and Computer Science from Georgia Tech. His personal passions include FIRST Robotics and STEM education for young people.

Jon Goldman

Jon Goldman

Principal

Jon recently returned to VentureLab, after helping cultivate the program just after its inception (2002-2007). During his 5-year tenure at VentureLab, he assisted more than 10 companies that, collectively, attracted more than $300M in funding. In 2007 he was instrumental in forming solar firm Suniva, and left to become its Director of Business Development. He most recently served as CTO & VP of Engineering for Hydro Phi Technologies, where he has two patents pending.

Jon has been active in the Atlanta entrepreneurial community since 1996, serving on the management teams of several telecom and Internet start-ups. He helped co-found the MIT Enterprise Forum of Atlanta in 2000. Jon began his career as an engineer with Rockwell International working on NASA programs. He received his B.S. Degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT in 1983, and an M.S. degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the School of Materials Engineering at Georgia Tech in 1989.

Melissa Heffner

Melissa Heffner

Program Manager

Melissa Heffner creates, modifies, and implements programs centered around evidence-based entrepreneurship and the Lean Startup methodology. The vast majority of her time is spent executing the I-Corps South Node award, which is housed at VentureLab, and on internal commercialization programs. Melissa merges her education and classroom experience with strong writing and editing skills to develop custom curriculum for various clients, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In addition, she teaches customer discovery and business model development at Georgia Tech (Scheller College of Business and GT1000 Startup), Institut Lafayette Georgia Tech (Metz, France), and Grupo Guayacán (Puerto Rico).

Prior to joining VentureLab, Melissa spent her time in curriculum development and manuscript editing with organizations such as Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, CDC, and Georgia State University Department of Biology.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Birmingham-Southern College, and a Master of Arts in Teaching English from Agnes Scott College.

Miriam Huppert

Miriam Huppert

Educational Outreach Coordinator

Miriam is an expert in team building and leadership training, and brings a diverse set of skills to VentureLab, including writing, editing, and logistics management. Miriam serves as a Teaching Assistant for Georgia Tech’s I-Corps South program, and she assists the team with data collection and administrative support.

Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Miriam worked with The Posse Foundation as a Trainer selecting and mentoring students from diverse backgrounds to serve as catalysts for change on college and university campuses. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Bard College.

Harold Solomon

Harold Solomon

Principal

Harold started as a software developer for IBM at NASA for Space Shuttle operating systems. After leaving IBM, he became an entrepreneur and investor in companies in telecommunications, financial services, mobile and medical imaging.

Harold has deep experience in fund raising with angels and VC investors, as well as exit experience with public companies. He is enthusiastic to meet all students interested in entrepreneurship and researchers excited to commercialize their work.

Harold studied Information and Computer Science at Georgia Tech, and earned a BBA in Computer and Information Systems from Georgia State University.