UB appoints director for Innovation Center

UB appoints director for Innovation Center

The University of Bridgeport has appointed Chris Hamer, a tech innovator, entrepreneur, and marketing expert as director of its new Innovation Center.

In his new position, Hamer will lead all activities related to the Student Entrepreneur Center, including the development and implementation of programs and events throughout the UB community. He also will lead industry and community outreach and fundraising to further the goals of UB’s entrepreneurship and innovation mission.

Hamer brings over 30 years of industry and entrepreneurial experience to the job. He is the founder and CEO of CrowdFlik, a mobile video technology start up. He also recently served as an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Fairfield University’s Charles F. Dolan School of Business.

Prior to starting CrowdFlik in 2012, Hamer served as senior vice president of marketing at OurStage, where he led marketing and business development. He has served as senior vice president of Clear Channel Entertainment; managing director of Oakview Strategic Advisors; and senior vice president of strategic marketing at Sony BMG Music. He has held several marketing director roles at General Motors and was vice president of marketing at Priceline.

Hamer earned a B.A. in Marketing and Finance from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in Business from State University of New York at Albany.

“We’re excited to have Chris join our team; he is an entrepreneur himself with significant experience in innovation and entrepreneurship, ” said Tarek Sobh, dean of the College of Engineering, Business, and Education. “His enthusiasm and energy make him a great fit for our team as we look to develop the Innovation Center into a focal point for innovation and entrepreneurship in our region.”

Opening later in 2018, the 8,600 square-foot Innovation Center will be located on campus, in the former estate of industrialist William Grippin. It has been renamed Bauer Hall in honor of George and Carol Bauer whose gift to UB made it possible to transform the property.

The Center has been designed to be one Connecticut’s most comprehensive support systems for student-entrepreneurs and Connecticut businesses. Its abundant resources include an International Trade Center and Professional Service Office, which capitalize on the Center’s location within one of the state’s four designated Free Trade Zones. Staff will include attorneys, experts specializing in international trade, designers, engineers, marketing professionals, accountants, and financial professionals.

Hamer said he was attracted to the job for the opportunity to work with UB faculty involved in the University’s innovation campaigns, including its Student Entrepreneur Center; the University’s reputation as a regional leader in supporting entrepreneurship; its international community on campus; and the broad involvement of academic divisions across campus.

“UB’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship is top-tier, and combined with the incredible collaboration across campus, we are creating a powerful force in university entrepreneurship. With the new Innovation Center opening later this year, we will continue to bring forces together in a very powerful way to support the entrepreneurial efforts of our students, faculty, alumni, and the community,” Hamer said.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu