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Zac Strobl Announced As Next Director of Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Zac Strobl

January 4, 2023 - Northern Kentucky University announces that Zac Strobl will be the next director of the NKU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, beginning in January 2023. 

Strobl takes over for Dr. David Schneider, who is stepping down to serve as the entrepreneur in residence at the CIE, as well as continuing as a professor of practice in the Haile College of Business. 

"I am absolutely honored to become the next director of the CIE,” Strobl said. “I was a student entrepreneur at NKU, and I really gained an appreciation for the dedication of our entrepreneurship faculty and staff. I have had the honor of being mentored by our previous directors, faculty and staff. They have invested in me, and now I'm thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead the center."

Strobl currently serves as assistant director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which ignites students’ entrepreneurial mindsets, fuels desires with the resources and education to make their dream a reality, and fosters innovation across campus and across the region. Strobl is also a lecturer in the Haile College of Business, teaching classes in entrepreneurship. 

“I am very honored to have been the CIE director over the past three years, it has truly been exciting and rewarding,” Dr. Schneider said. “The succession and growth plan for the CIE’s continued national success and recognition is a direct result of the hard work of this CIE team, particularly the work of Zac Strobl and Jeff Varrone and the entire leadership team of the Haile College of Business. As director, I have learned from direct experience with other centers that our CIE group is among the best in the country. Congratulations to Zac in his new position. He is so deserving of this. I look forward to working with everyone moving forward in my new role at NKU.” 

Since arriving on campus more than a decade ago, Strobl has served in many roles to advance the initiatives of the CIE and the Haile College of Business. He is the program director and a co-founder of the famed INKUBATOR, launched in 2011 as the university’s pre-seed stage business accelerator program. Through that program, 35 businesses have been launched, creating 64 jobs. The INKUBATOR has also provided business consulting to 94 students and 50 different start-up teams. 

“I am incredibly delighted that Zac Strobl will serve the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Haile College of Business and Northern Kentucky University in this new role of CIE director,” Haile College of Business Dean Hassan Hassabelnaby said. “Zac is a proven leader who will continue to advance the real impact the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has on our students, the university and the region.” 

To learn more about the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, visit its website.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit