+1 734.763.1021
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Kurt Skifstad

Executive Director

Bio: A product of Michigan Engineering (BSE CompE ’86, MSE CSE ’87, Ph.D. CSE ’90), Kurt brings to this role more than 25 years of experience leading successful early- and growth-stage companies.

After founding his first company following graduation and leading that business through international expansion and ultimate sale, Kurt held CEO and other senior executive roles in several innovation-driven, venture capital-backed companies. With three of those companies having their roots in university research, Kurt understands the unique challenges faced by these types of ventures. Most recently, Kurt was recruited by investors to lead a comprehensive turnaround of a healthcare analytics company, where he rebuilt the team, technology base, and go-to-market focus while quadrupling revenue over a five-year period.

Kurt’s enthusiasm for the opportunities afforded by entrepreneurship education was sparked when he taught IOE 422 (Entrepreneurship) for several semesters in the early 2010s. He is particularly drawn to the challenges and pace of change in innovation-driven startups. He is a strong advocate for the foundational importance of a company's culture.

Kurt is active in the local ecosystem as an advisor and mentor to early-stage entrepreneurs and has served on local and national nonprofit boards.

To contact Kurt Skifstad, email skifstad@umich.edu