Engineering Innovation Institute Assistant Director
Melda Uzbil joined the Engineering Innovation Institute (EII) as its assistant director in August 2017. In this role, Ms. Uzbil works with Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering faculty and students to conceive, launch, fund, and operate tech-based innovation-driven companies. She also teaches Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Engineers to graduate and undergraduate Gator Engineers.
Ms. Uzbil brings a wide breadth of experience to UF, from marketing at Pfizer, to the commercialization of early stage innovations, new venture formation out of universities and to business development at start-ups. She has started, funded, and overseen new innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives in their entirety, from formation to sustainability, as well as state- and nation-wide expansions. Her expertise is in identifying the gaps in the early stages of the commercialization and innovation processes, developing an implementation strategy, and building teams around these opportunities to move them forward. She specializes in screening early stage innovations, early-stage fund management, and fund raising, and forming partnerships between universities, industry, government, foundations, and investors to create economic impact through innovation.
Before joining UF, Ms. Uzbil served as VP of Corporate Development at Variant Pharmaceuticals leading capital raising, business development, and investor relations. Prior to Variant, Ms. Uzbil was responsible for the strategy, management and implementation of multi-million dollar grants and public funds at several entities.
During her time at Duke University, Ms. Uzbil served as the Director of the Duke-Coulter Foundation Partnership and taught due diligence and venture creation at the Fuqua School of Business and the Biomedical Engineering Department to inter-disciplinary teams of MBAs, Engineers, PhD and JD students.
Ms. Uzbil holds a Master of Engineering Management degree from Duke University with a concentration in Technology Management and Entrepreneurship and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey.