Emily Gresham

AVP of Research and Economic Development and Co-Founder of StartUP FIU

Emily Gresham is the Assistant Vice President for Research, Innovation and Economic Development at Florida International University (FIU). She is passionate about using the entrepreneurial toolkit to build sustainable solutions to wicked problems. In her role, Ms. Gresham is responsible for leading the efforts to stimulate equitable economic development in the region by translating FIU’s research and scholarship into innovation and entrepreneurship, helping students develop 21st Century skills and mindsets, and leveraging the university’s unique assets to help local entrepreneurs scale their companies.

To do this, Ms. Gresham established the Office of Innovation and Economic Development in 2015 and co-founded StartUP FIU in 2016 to serve as platforms to support research commercialization, student entrepreneurship and community startups. Under her leadership, FIU’s patent portfolio grew from 12 to 327 and attracted over $10 million in research commercialization funding. Ms. Gresham also raised over $6 million in direct funding to StartUP FIU, helping the organization to support nearly 150 startups grow revenue ranging from 20 – 500%, attract $30 million in external investments, and create 500 new jobs and internships. Over 14,000 people have attended StartUP FIU workshops and events.

Ms. Gresham joined FIU in 2012 as the Assistant Vice President for Development, overseeing the fundraising efforts for seven schools, colleges, and museums before moving on to help facilitate and develop the FIUBeyondPossible2020 Strategic Plan, which set FIU on its current course of student success and research excellence. A proven fundraiser, Emily has raised over $100 million during her 13 years in development at the University of Miami, The Miami Foundation and FIU.

Ms. Gresham currently serves on the Board of BioFlorida, a network of over 6200 companies and organizations representing Florida’s life sciences industry and the Girls Scouts of Tropical Florida. Born in Bangkok Thailand, she grew up in Queens, NY and moved to Miami in 2002. Ms. Gresham received a BA in English from Hunter College and her MBA from the University of Miami.