Jeff Milanette

Jeff Milanette is a pioneer in the business incubation industry. He founded Innovative Partners Incubation in 1986 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 operational, Jeff was recruited by Rutgers University to convert an old Mack Truck manufacturing plant into a technology incubator to commercialize Rutgers’ technology, serving as President of the Center from 1989 to 1995.  

Jeff understands incubation and entrepreneurs’ needs 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 (subsequent engagement), 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, the City of West Sacramento, California, and the City of Folsom, California among others.  

Jeff’s interests and experiences extend beyond the US. He coached entrepreneurs participating in the Russian Venture Fairs (2000-2005) under the sponsorship of the US Civilian Research and Development Foundation; evaluated potential ICT incubator locations in Moldova, Mongolia and Georgia for the EBRD (2007); and designed a sustainable, replicable ICT incubator model program for sub-Saharan Africa for the World Bank’s infoDev program (2008). He also conducted business incubator manager training under a contract with the US Information Agency training student-managers from Lithuania, Estonia, and Hungary.

Jeff believes that entrepreneurial support programs and training opportunities are a key component of developing successful technology entrepreneurship. He led the New Jersey Entrepreneurs Forum for 17 years (1992-2009); formed the PortTechforum and organized the highly successful PortTechEXPO and Venture Conference in 2010, 2011 and 2012 for maritime industry clean tech entrepreneurs. In 2013, Jeff migrated to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to start the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center, which he managed for 18 months before returning to the U.S. The ECIC assists clients in commercializing technologies that mitigate the effects of climate change on the Ethiopian environment.

Jeff has led IPI Teams in diverse 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 US Naval Academy, Jeff earned an MBA in Finance from the George Washington University. He holds a certificate in Russian from New York University and is a certified facilitator for both Fast Trac (Kauffman Foundation) entrepreneur training and GrowthWheel. Jeff is a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the InterNational Business Innovation Association (formerly NBIA).

Contact Information:

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