Headshot of Alicia Löffler

Alicia Löffler, executive director of the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO) at Northwestern University, is stepping down at the end of the autumn quarter.

Löffler founded INVO in 2010, having first joined the university in 1995 as director
of the Northwestern University Center for Biotechnology. In addition to being executive director of INVO, she is the associate provost for innovation and new ventures, and the associate vice president for research.

During her tenure with INVO, the number of Northwestern spinouts more than quadrupled to 123. The university has seen a 63% increase in inventions since 2010, with INVO facilitating close to 2,600. The number of filed patents increased by 152% in the same period, while the number of patents issued increased by 279%.

Beyond research commercialisation, Löffler has also helped create student startup hub The Garage, which has supported more than 1,000 startups since opening in 2015. Other initiatives she helped create include the Querrey InQbation Lab, the N.XT Fund and Lakeside Discovery, the latter in partnership with Deerfield Management.

Löffler previously joined GUV’s podcast, Talking Tech Transfer, in October 2020 to share her insights and argue that a university needs to fully embrace innovation and entrepreneurship as part of its social contract.

Löffler said: “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. 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.”

Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).