Mike Raab assumes executive director position at The Garage


Daily file photo by Seeger Gray

The Garage. After three years at The Garage, Mike Raab is its new executive director.

Joanna Hou, Assistant Design Editor

Mike Raab is the new executive director of The Garage, Provost Kathleen Hagerty announced Wednesday. 

NU launched an international search for the position after Founding Executive Director Melissa Kaufman announced her resignation in January. During her tenure, The Garage grew as NU’s center for student entrepreneurs to launch startups.

“Mike is a dynamic and visionary leader who will drive an exciting next chapter for The Garage, putting bold ideas into action and fostering the evolution of student entrepreneurship on campus,” Hagerty said in a Wednesday news release.

Raab joined The Garage team three years ago and branched the program out to Silicon Valley, where he served as executive director of the San Francisco branch. He was named associate director of the Evanston branch in 2020 and assumed the interim director role in May after Kaufman left.

Since its inception in 2015, The Garage has helped students create more than 1,000 startups. It operates 10 programs and provides students with mentorship and funding.

Raab has helped the center navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, grow a network of mentors and advisors and make the center more financially accessible for students, according to the release. 

“The Garage has become a strong, supportive community of ambitious students from across the University working to bring their ideas to life and solve the problems that they see in the world,” Raab said. “I’m incredibly honored and grateful to continue building on The Garage’s success and empowering Northwestern students to discover their potential and increase their impact.” 

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