Alicia Löffler to leave executive director position at Innovation and New Ventures Office


Photo courtesy of Northwestern Now

Alicia Löffler has helped create various programs at Northwestern, including The Garage.

Joanna Hou, Assistant Design Editor

Alicia Löffler, executive director of Northwestern’s Innovation and New Ventures Office, will step down from the position at the end of Fall Quarter, the University announced in a Friday news release. 

Löffler founded the INVO, which supports NU inventors and entrepreneurs, and has worked there for 12 of the more than 20 years she’s spent at NU. During that time, she helped create several entrepreneurial programs on campus, including The Garage. The INVO oversaw NU’s dramatic growth in inventions, startups and patents throughout her tenure. 

Löffler also holds two other positions at NU: associate vice president for research and associate provost for innovation and new ventures. 

In 1992, Löffler co-founded the first biotechnology master of science program in the country at NU. When the program moved to the Kellogg School of Management in 2001, she founded and directed the Center for Biotechnology, which encourages students to establish science-based startups. 

“I feel immensely grateful that Northwestern offered me a sandbox to play in and build new initiatives at the intersection of science, innovation and entrepreneurship,” Löffler said in the release. “When I started at INVO, I said my job was to put myself out of a job and support the creation of a self-sustaining ecosystem grounded in a strong culture. It is now time for me to move on to my next venture.”

NU senior leaders, including Provost Kathleen Hagerty and Executive Vice President Craig Johnson, will work with search firm Isaacson, Miller to search for INVO’s next executive director. 

Hagerty said Löffler’s impact has reached students, faculty and staff across campus. 

“Her steadfast belief that innovation not only supports, but is critical to, the mission of the University has born fruits in the form of programs and initiatives such as INVO, The Garage and the Center for Biotechnology,” Hagerty said in the release. “Alicia has changed the way we support our own innovators and entrepreneurs.”

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