University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics Dean David W. Blackwell today announced the appointment of Warren O. Nash III as the new executive director of the college's Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship.
“Warren Nash’s extensive experience in business development and the Kentucky entrepreneurship community, and his leadership of the Lexington office of the Kentucky Innovation Network for the past five years, make him exceptionally qualified to lead the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship into its next phase,” Blackwell said. “I look forward to working with Warren to continue growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem at the University of Kentucky and throughout the Commonwealth.”
Nash officially assumes the job after serving as the center's interim director for the past several months following the retirement of Dean Harvey at the end of December 2015.
Prior to his new position, Nash served as director of the Lexington office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, a unit of the Von Allmen Center and part of a system of 13 Innovation Network offices located across the state. The Kentucky Innovation Network is funded by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development Cabinet together with local strategic funding partners located in each region.
Before coming to UK in January 2011, Nash served as deputy commissioner for the Department of Commercialization and as deputy commissioner of the Department for Financial Incentives within the Cabinet for Economic Development.
Nash is a graduate of Georgetown College and the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He is also a member of the Kentucky Bar Association.
“I am grateful for this new opportunity and look forward to building upon the success of Dean Harvey in creating a more vibrant entrepreneurial community at the university, as well as across the Bluegrass Region and throughout the Commonwealth,” Nash said.
The mission of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship is to help accelerate and grow Kentucky’s economy by assisting and guiding university faculty, researchers, clinicians, staff and student innovators in the development of ideas and commercialization of new technologies, products and services. The center also facilitates collaborations between the university and industry.
The Von Allmen Center is an Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center program. EDA-funded university centers conduct applied research, provide technical assistance to public and private-sector organizations, and conduct other activities with the goal of enhancing regional economic development.
The Von Allmen Center is also a founding member of the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (BBDP), which is an economic development initiative of UK, Commerce Lexington and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. The BBDP provides a one-stop shop for assistance to regional entrepreneurs/startup companies and promotes the regional innovation ecosystem.
Commerce Lexington Inc. President and CEO Bob Quick said, “Over the years, Warren has been an integral part of the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership team, helping entrepreneurs and innovators across the region. Central Kentucky has gained recognition nationally as a high-tech hub, and Warren’s efforts to grow the Lexington Venture Club, now known as SPARK, are paying dividends with increased participation and more opportunities for entrepreneurs. We are delighted to learn that in his new role, he will continue to work closely with the BBDP in initiatives to support technology start-ups, while engaging Lexington leaders and university students and faculty to further strengthen our entrepreneurial community.”