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Gordon McConnell

Gordon McConnell - Member Profile

Dublin, Ireland

MBA, National University of Ireland
Arizona State University
King Abdullah University of Science and Tech

Gordon is co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Arkane Innovation which works with large consulting firms, higher education institutions, government agencies and companies in innovation and entrepreneurship including technology scouting, innovation cluster development, startup ecosystem advancement and research commercialization facilitation.

Gordon has global experience in developing innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems, supporting economic development diversification, higher education strategic planning, assessing technology transfer and advising on new initiatives to create startup activity. He also has significant direct experience in the development of strategy and implementation of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Ecosystems during senior roles in four emerging innovation technology clusters in Dublin (Ireland), the Greater Phoenix Area in Arizona (USA), Saudi Arabia and Scotland (UK). He has developed significant teaching & learning programs for universities, helped design national university systems as a subject matter expert, implemented corporate innovation programs and has spoken extensively about the interface between innovation and the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

He has been directly involved as an investment decision maker in over a decade of seed investment rounds through startup accelerator programs in universities and government funding programs across six countries on three continents. This has included assessing and greenlighting over 250 startups and university spinout projects Gordon has held senior executive decision-making roles in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University (ASU) and at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), where he developed and launched the TAQADAM startup accelerator which is the largest in the GCC region, as well as major initiatives in Ireland and the UK. He has also been awarded Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice roles in several universities. His previous entrepreneurship ecosystem initiatives won the award for ‘Most Promising Technology Based Economic Development’ in 2013 from the State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI), and also a University Economic Development Association (UEDA) award in 2014 both in the US and another was shortlisted for ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ by the Times Higher Education (THE) in 2019/20 in the UK.

Earlier in his career he worked in Accenture and Ingersoll Rand, consulted for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and recently the Serbian Innovation Fund (SIF), Qatar University and the Innovation Fund of Montenegro. He has also co-founded three startups during this career. He has spoken extensively at conferences in the UK, Canada, USA and Saudi Arabia such as UBI Global, AUTM, the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) and the MiSK Global Competitiveness Forum.

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