October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

Jeanne Hossenlopp: Innovation — A vision for advancing research

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

Chemistry is Jeanne Hossenlopp’s stock in trade. But to describe her simply as a chemist is like calling Mozart a piano player. The diversity of her skills, interests and accomplishments set her apart.

Hossenlopp joined the faculty of Marquette University in 1989, two years after earning her doctorate in physical chemistry from Syracuse University and immediately following a two-year stint as a postdoctoral research associate at Columbia University. During her first year at Marquette, Hossenlopp received a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award, a prestigious national recognition given annually to 10 new faculty in chemistry, biochemistry or chemical engineering departments.

And that was just for starters. As Marquette President Michael Lovell observed: “A keen indicator of her importance to our university is the diversity of roles in which she serves the students, faculty and staff of Marquette.”

Those roles include serving as chair of the Department of Chemistry from 2004-08; as interim dean of the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences from 2008-2010; and as vice provost for research and dean of Marquette’s Graduate School from 2010-15. In that last role, Hossenlopp laid the foundation for what in 2015 became the university’s Office of Research and Innovation, which she has led since its creation.

In that role, Hossenlopp is charged with facilitating growth in campus research and scholarship. Toward that end, she led the development and implementation of the university’s strategic innovation fund, now called the Explorer Challenge, a multimillion-dollar venture capital fund that provides seed money to faculty and staff to explore entrepreneurial ventures.

Innovation, Hossenlopp explained, is not entirely or even primarily about inventing new things, but figuring out “how to adapt things we already knew.” What she finds fulfilling is “the privilege to help people move things forward, to harnessing the amazing capacity in the MU community.”

It was against that backdrop that Hossenlopp oversaw the build-out of the 707 Hub, Marquette’s innovation incubator, which serves as a central place to foster and leverage entrepreneurism. It already has helped create 49 startups.

Hossenlopp also has led Marquette’s President’s Challenge, a strategic initiative aimed at establishing important connections between Marquette and key research and development activities in Milwaukee. In that capacity she created the Marquette Women’s Innovation Network and leads Marquette’s participation in the Milwaukee Water Council. In the past year, she also spearheaded the creation of the Institute for Women’s Leadership, which focuses on  research in the area of gender inequality.

Lovell lauds Hossenlopp’s “vision and imagination,” which he credits for leading Marquette University forward “as one of our city’s important partners in advancing the ideas and programs that will shape Milwaukee’s future.”

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