Rigved Joshi to lead UAH’s D.S. Davidson I²C incubator

Rigved Joshi

Rigved Joshi comes to UAH after recently managing new ventures, strategy and innovation at Vanderbilt University.

Michael Mercier | UAH

Rigved Joshi is the new director of the Dorothy S. Davidson Invention to Innovation Center (D.S. Davidson I2C) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

Joshi comes to UAH after career experience in venture capital, private equity, startup incubation and intellectual property monetization, and he recently managed new ventures, strategy and innovation at Vanderbilt University.

"The D.S. Davidson I2C presents a dynamic opportunity to serve as a platform to launch and develop hi-tech startups into sustainable, scalable and investable businesses," Joshi says. "It’s the first of its kind for Huntsville, and to be able to lead this initiative and leverage the intellectual bandwidth that exists within the ecosystem is tremendously exciting."

The D.S. Davidson I2C and UAH are located in close proximity to many of the most dynamic and entrepreneurial cities in the country, says Joshi, who also has worked as a senior associate at a venture capital fund. "This presents tremendous opportunities to collaborate and grow." 

An MBA holder who has served on several corporate boards and is also an engineer, Joshi’s arrival is a significant step forward in jump-starting the D.S. Davidson I2C and he will be engaged in establishing policies, networking in the community, developing processes and recruiting tenants.

"I consider myself fortunate to be a part of the D.S. Davidson I2C leadership team and I look forward to building it to be the platform for collaboration, co-working and co-creation, and furthermore to serve as a rich resource for students, faculty and the entrepreneurial community to explore jobs, collaborative research and spin off opportunities," he says. "The D.S. Davidson I2C will strive to be the primary focal point for students, faculty and the larger entrepreneurial community interested in innovation and finding a home for launching immersive experiences."

Utilizing resources at UAH to bring technologies into the marketplace through identification and funding of entrepreneurs in a 15-county region and at UAH, the incubator will provide a range of services to convert ideas, research and prototypes into viable commercial products. The resulting startups will reside there for about three to five years before launching on their own.

When complete, the nearly $14 million incubator structure will provide up to 40 startup businesses with office and laboratory space in a 45,000-square-foot building. Dorothy Davidson, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Davidson Technologies Inc., provided a $5 million gift and the D.S. Davidson I2C received an additional $3 million grant from the EDA. Other funds for the facility were obtained from the UAH Foundation, state and local government, and the Alabama Innovation Fund.

Groundbreaking is scheduled in July and projected completion is in 2019. It will be located near the College of Business Administration (COBA) building and the two will be connected by an enclosed walkway.

"The D.S. Davidson I2C and the COBA will collaborate on three key areas: entrepreneurial curriculum development, experiential learning and entrepreneurship events," Joshi says.

"The D.S. Davidson I2C’s relationship with the COBA will be highly strategic and symbiotic, where the D.S. Davidson I2C will provide support for UAH student entrepreneurs who are interested in developing early-stage business ventures by providing them faculty and student support, office space, access to mentors and subject matter experts."

Additionally, the D.S. Davidson I2C 
will leverage deep domain knowledge that UAH’s business faculty bring to the table to further support and champion the efforts of the incubator’s participants who are launching their businesses, Joshi says.

"The D.S. Davidson I2C is all about delivering a positive impact on accelerating technology development and new venture creation for students, founders, investors, mentors and other related parties."