On September 27, 1971, Dr. George Kozmetsky shared a forward-thinking vision of what Austin could become in a speech to the Austin Chamber’s Economic Development Council. Kozmetsky remarked, “Austin could become a regional technology manufacturing center if the city could figure out how to attract and nurture entrepreneurs.” In 1977, Kozmetsky took that vision a step further by founding the IC² Institute. IC² became UT Austin’s think-and-do tank, combining technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, business development, and innovative education to bring about new economic development opportunities, starting in Austin.
Throughout the Institute’s history, the central mission has been to foster collaboration among the academic, government, and private sectors to address complex, unstructured problems in society. The IC2 Institute’s groundbreaking research defined strategies that led to knowledge and technology innovations flowing into communities to create new economic opportunities. Serving as catalyst, connector, and cataloger, the Institute defined the Austin Model for community economic growth. The Institute developed partnerships and created programs to spread the knowledge of this model across the United States and 43 countries, producing billions of dollars in overall economic impact.
In 2018, The University of Texas at Austin appointed Dr. Art Markman, as director of the IC² Institute. Under Markman’s leadership, IC2 has revisited Kozmetsky’s approach to addressing complex problems facing our nation by rethinking economic development. Markman explained his vision of what the IC2 Institute can do to rethink economic development,
“There’s a lack of work on smaller, rural communities and smaller isolated cities. These locations need to participate in economic growth, so we’ve brought together a group of researchers and developed new programs focused on that area … we have put together a community that can work together in ways they were not doing before.”
Since the Great Recession, the gap between rural areas and urban centers worldwide has expanded economically, socially, and politically. The methods that developed Austin from a college town to a leading technology city do not directly apply to regions lacking strong research universities or those far away from major urban centers. This presents a challenge and an opportunity for new approaches and tools for small, rural, and remote communities to experience economic resurgence and forge a thriving future.
The Institute has focused its research activities to comprehend challenges of entrepreneurship and economic resilience in remote or rural areas, and explore new ways for business, government, and academia to solve problems together.
About our name: In 1977 IC² was established as the Institute for Constructive Capitalism, and later the initials I, C, and C came to be associated with innovation, creativity, and capital. Today our name is simply IC² (pronounced “I C squared”) as we continue to address issues of economic development.
In the wake of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, IC2 has responded with research projects and programs to better understand the challenges and prospects for small and isolated communities as we rebuild business ecosystems.
Deputy Executive Director
Director, Operations and Project Management
Director, Bureau of Business Research
Director, Strategy and Community Engagement
Sarah Riggs Amico
Ellen RayStill Water Foundation
Mark CalhounCalhoun Bhella & Sechrest LLP
Jack MartinMartin+Crumpton Group
Faculty Advisory Board
Dr Andrew Dillon
Dr Clay Spinuzzi
Dr David Eaton
Dr Janet Ellzey
Dr John Traphagan
Dr Luis Martins
Austin Technology Incubator
The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) is the deep technology incubator of The University of Texas at Austin working with university and community entrepreneurs to commercialize their breakthrough innovations. Founded in 1989 at the IC² Institute by Dr. George Kozmetsky, ATI has used a customized approach to support entrepreneurs addressing the world’s most pressing problems by connecting startups with the expertise, relationships, and funding sources they need to succeed in the marketplace. ATI is home to a number of specialized incubators which include – circular economy, energy, food & agtech, healthcare, mobility, and water.
Blackstone LaunchPad at The University of Texas at Austin believes that entrepreneurship is for everyone. The LaunchPad is a centralized, cross-curricular, accessible hub for entrepreneurship on campus. They offer students, faculty, and staff a variety of resources at all stages of ideas and venture development
Global Innovation Lab
To meet the needs of international partners and sponsors, IC² started the Global Commercialization Group in 2001, creating and delivering technology commercialization training and international business development programs around the world. Now renamed the Global Innovation Lab, the team reports to the Senior Vice Provost for Global Engagement. Global Innovation Lab trains and supports entrepreneurs in their communities to overcome local challenges, create jobs, and drive sustainable economic development.
Human Dimensions of Organizations
The University of Texas at Austin is proud to offer Human Dimensions of Organizations (HDO), which offers an Executive MA degree, Professional Training, and an Undergraduate Major. Drawing on an innovative combination of the humanities, behavioral sciences, and social sciences, HDO meets a need not addressed by existing education options: a deep understanding of people, the key components of any organization.
Master of Science in Technology Commercialization
In 1996, the IC² Institute developed and launched the Master of Science in Science and Technology Commercialization degree program—the first ever technology commercialization degree program and the first UT Austin degree program with an option to take entirely online. Now at the UT Austin McCombs School of Business, the renamed Master of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC) program combines cutting-edge technology and hands-on entrepreneurship, resulting in the creation of innovative ventures and products.
The IC² Institute Team
|Jonathan Alba||Social Science/Humanities Research Associate III||IC2 email@example.com|
|Debra Dzwonczyk||Director, Operations and Project Management||IC2 2.110Bfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|David Gibson||Senior Research Scientist Emeritus||IC2 3.128Eemail@example.com|
|James Jarrett||Senior Research Scientist||IC2 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Matt Kammer-Kerwick||Senior Research Scientist||IC2 email@example.com|
|Bruce Kellison||Director, Bureau of Business Research||IC2 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Riffat Manasia||Director of Strategy & Community Engagement||IC2 2.110Cemail@example.com|
|Art Markman||Executive Director||IC2 2.110Dfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Gregory Pogue||Deputy Executive Director||IC2 2.110Aemail@example.com|
|Mary Rodriguez||Administrative Services Officer I||IC2 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Susan Sookram||Research Associate||IC2 email@example.com|
|Dovile Vilkauskaite||Communications Specialist||IC2 firstname.lastname@example.org|