Groenke new Entrepreneur in Residence at UNK

Source: Allen Groenke, 308-865-8159, groenkeaw@unk.edu; Todd Gottula, Communications, 308-865-8454, gottulatm@unk.edu

KEARNEY – Allen Groenke is the new Entrepreneur in Residence in the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s College of Business and Technology.

Under Groenke’s leadership, the EIR program identifies potential startup companies and looks for ways to turn them into commercial ventures with operations in central Nebraska. His role includes work with UNK faculty, students and outside companies to develop business models, conduct market research and help entrepreneurs prepare venture concepts for investor pitches.

Existing UNK outreach centers such as the Center for Rural Research and Development, Nebraska Business Development Center and other partnering economic development service providers in Nebraska areinvolved in the EIR program. The University Technology Development Corporation provides funding for the EIR position. UTDC is a University of Nebraska affiliate and parent company of NUtech Ventures, which supports the transfer of university technology to the marketplace.

Groenke has more than 25 years experience in patenting, invention and commercialization of new technologies. He comes to UNK from BridgePoint Medical in Minneapolis, where he was an in-house adviser to the founder of the medical startup that was acquired in 2012 by Boston Scientific.

“Allen is a patent attorney who relates well with all people, from students and faculty to farmers and engineers,” Center of Rural Research and Development Director Shawn Kaskie said. “This new pilot position greatly expands what UNK can offer to existing businesses and startup companies each year.

“The new program brings increased attention and expertise to innovative entrepreneurs in rural Nebraska, better preparing them for investment, market penetration and overall success.”

Groenke’s experience also includes work at two Minneapolis law firms, where he advised inventors and business clients in a variety of technology areas. He also founded a consulting company in 2005 and advised entrepreneurs at small startup companies.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Groenke worked in new product development for established corporations and small startups. He is a named inventor on seven U.S. patents, which inspired him to earn a Juris Doctor degree and become a patent attorney.

Those interested in more information about Entrepreneur in Residence program applications can contact Groenke at 308-865-8159 or by

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email at groenkeaw@unk.edu.

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