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The University of Nebraska's Innovation Campus has made two new leadership hires.

Executive Director Dan Duncan said Kate Engel has accepted the position of community engagement and operations manager, and Terence Bowden will be  business accelerator director.

Engel will be responsible for programs to create a culture that allows university faculty, staff, students, industry and community members to collaborate and form partnerships with NIC, the university and the community, NU said in a news release.  Creating opportunities for people with different skill sets to meet and socialize is critical in developing a culture that embraces and sparks innovation, Duncan said.

"We need NIC to be a place where people feel welcome to come and express their ideas and dreams," Engel said.

Engel is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University and earned a master of arts in management from Doane College. She is working on a Ph.D. in human sciences with a specialization in leadership studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Bowden comes to Innovation Campus from Ireland and Dublin City University's Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs, where he ran the Propeller Venture Accelerator, the No. 7-ranked accelerator in Europe. He is responsible for surveying the startup community within UNL and the Lincoln area. 

Bowden will use the data collected to develop a business plan to support  efforts in starting and growing businesses. Lincoln has a growing and exciting startup community of which NIC hopes to be a part, Duncan said.

Bowden has a degree in industrial design, a higher degree in product graphic and interactive design, a master's in business management and a graduate certificate, master's level, in digital marketing.

The 249-acre campus is on the site of what was State Fair Park, north of UNL's City Campus.  It is to be transformed into a public-private research and technology development center.

Occupation of the first phase of construction at the campus probably will take place in April or May, Duncan said.   For now, the staff is in the Whittier Research Center, east of City Campus.

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