Jeffrey C. Milanette
Jeff Milanette is a pioneer in the business incubation industry. He founded Innovative Partners Incubation in 1985 with a mission to address the need for small business development in Southeast San Diego, an area poorly served by local banks, lacking in business services, and with limited opportunities for employment.Incubation was the answer. Organizing a network of public and private stakeholders, San Diego Incubator Corporation opened its doors four years later with Jeff serving as President and Board Chairman. Once the SDIC was fully operational, Jeff was recruited by Rutgers University to convert an old Mack Truck plant to an incubator to commercialize University technology. Jeff established and served as President of the Rutgers Business Innovation Center.
Jeff understands incubation well because he has also been a successful entrepreneur and business advisor, having started and run several technology companies – three in the ICT sector. His expertise is often sought to provide incubator management training and program evaluation.
Subsequent business incubation consulting clients have included universities, and economic development organizations such as: Rutgers University, Battelle Environmental Technology Commercialization Center (ETC2), Tallinn Technology Park, Camden County College, New Jersey City University,California State University Foundation, Rowan University, Garden State Cancer Center, West Sacramento, California, Folsom, California and other clients.
Jeff’s interest and experience extends beyond the US. He coached entrepreneurs for Russian Venture Fairs under the sponsorship of the US Civilian Research and Development Foundation;evaluated potential ICT incubator locations in Moldova, Mongolia and Georgia for EBRD; designed sustainable, replicable ICT incubator model programs in sub-Saharan Africa for the World Bank’s infoDev program.
Jeff believes that entrepreneurial support and training opportunities are a key component of developing successfultechnology entrepreneurship. He led the successful New Jersey Entrepreneurs Forum for 17 years; served on the planning committee for the New Jersey Venture Fair for 10 years; recently formed the PortTechLA Enterprise Forum and organized the highly successful PortTechExpo and Venture Conference in 2010 and 2011 for maritime entrepreneurs. In 2000, Jeff partnered with the Russian Venture Capital Association to establish the Russian Venture Fair, which continued for ten years.
Jeff returned to the West Coast in 2009, serving as Executive Director of PortTechLA, atechnology commercialization center and incubator focused on assistingcompanies with innovative,maritime-related, clean technology solutions to help businesses located at the Port of gLos Angeles meet their regulatory challenges.After more than three years at PortTechLA, Jeff moved on to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is presently serving as the CEO of the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center, a clean / green tech incubation and commercialization program of the World Bank’s infoDev organization which began operations in December of 2013. One of the few incubation programs that has organic investment funding, this program is intended to serve more than 100 clients in its first three years and impact the lives of millions of Ethiopians.
Jeff has lead IPI Teams indiverse and complex projects worldwide, requiring close coordination with consulting teams, public-sector partners, private-sector stakeholders and international financial institutions. He is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of hands-on, professional experience in business incubation, technology commercialization, economic development and technology entrepreneurship.
A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Jeff earned an MBA (finance) from George Washington University. He holds a certificate in Russian from New York University and is a certified Facilitator and Marketing Administrator forFast Trac entrepreneur training series by the Kauffman Foundation.