Laurie Simmons

Executive Director

Laurie Simmons serves as the Director for the Center for Innovation and Commercialization (CIC) at the College of Business and Entrepreneurship at UTRGV.

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          In this capacity Laurie works directly with student, faculty and community entrepreneurs in helping them take their idea for a product or service from “just an idea” to launching a business enterprise. She is responsible for overall center operations, including the development and implementation of business support programs to help start-up businesses maximize growth and success.  Furthermore, she works to create ecosystems that link inventors, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors.
          Prior to joining UTRGV in 2015, Laurie served as the Executive Director of the Tropical Texas Regional Center for Innovation and Commercialization, a vetting agent for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.  She was also a Development Officer for the Valley Baptist Foundation.  An entrepreneur herself, she owned and operated an award- winning advertising and public relations agency from 1985-2007.   Her broad-based background in a variety of markets brings real-world experience to the process of launching new ventures.  
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s in journalism / Public Relations, she resides in Harlingen with her husband Jim and youngest son Parker.