Chris Kauzmann ’13 ’14G has been appointed interim director of Lehigh Ventures Lab, a partnership between Lehigh’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship and the College of Business. Focused on venture creation, Lehigh Ventures Lab offers direct support to Lehigh founders by helping students, faculty, staff and recent alumni launch companies.
In this role, a two-year appointment, Kauzmann plans to build core structural systems, including mentorship, content and policy, allowing founders to focus on what matters.
“We have incredible entrepreneurial talent within the Lehigh community,” says Kauzmann. “Lehigh Ventures Lab aims to harness this talent by offering space, mentorship and financial resources to empower current founders and ignite the passion of future ones.”
A Rich History at Lehigh
The foundations for Kauzmann’s career at Lehigh were formed when he was a student. An undergraduate and graduate Lehigh alumnus, Kauzmann earned a degree in mechanical engineering with an entrepreneurship minor and a master’s of engineering in technical entrepreneurship. After completing the master’s program, he held the position of innovations program manager for three years before transitioning to the Baker Institute’s innovator in residence.
In his role as innovator in residence, Kauzmann has taught in all four of Lehigh's undergraduate colleges on topics related to entrepreneurship and design thinking as an adjunct faculty member. In 2019, he became the faculty director of the Baker Institute’s flagship program LehighSiliconValley, putting his own signature on the immersive student experience.
“Chris has been an integral part of Lehigh’s entrepreneurship ecosystem for a decade,” said Lisa Getzler, executive director of the Baker Institute. “He brings to this role a deep understanding of not only the idea-to-solution-to-launch process but an understanding of the needs of our students, faculty and alumni founders.”
She continued, “As part of the early design team for Lehigh Ventures Lab, Chris facilitated a working group of professionals in the space who focused on how this new initiative should be designed. As director, Chris will be able to move that design, along with his own vision, into reality.”
Georgette Chapman Phillips, Kevin L. and Lisa A. Clayton dean of the College of Business and professor of Africana studies, has collaborated with Getzler on the partnership between the Baker Institute and the College of Business. The College of Business offers an entrepreneurship curriculum and minor to Lehigh students from any undergraduate college, an entrepreneurship and innovation track to management majors and the VENTUREseries to MBA students. Phillips said she is excited for Kauzmann’s innovative vision and direction.
“I welcome Chris as he joins Lehigh Ventures Lab,” said Phillips. “His experience and enthusiasm will take our endeavor to new heights.”
Kauzmann succeeds Andrew Hill, the previous director of Lehigh Ventures Lab.
The Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship was launched in 2010 to create a culture of entrepreneurship across Lehigh, promote innovative thinking, and foster the realization of entrepreneurial ideas. In addition to Lehigh Ventures Lab and LehighSiliconValley, it houses programs such as EUREKA!, The Hatchery, Design Thinking and more. The Institute has partnered with the office of the president to launch the Lehigh@NasdaqCenter; the College of Engineering & Applied Science to launch the technical entrepreneurship master’s program; and all four undergraduate colleges to pilot new courses related to entrepreneurship and design thinking for innovation.