Judith Cone

Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, UNC-Chapel Hill

A veteran of national and international entrepreneurship programming, former Kauffman Foundation executive Judith Cone brings extensive experience to drive UNC-Chapel Hill’s innovation agenda. Cone is vice chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development. She leads Innovate Carolina, a pan-university commitment to being a place where innovators thrive. A main focus is on expeditious action to help solve the most pressing problems in North Carolina and around the world. She is a co-founder of Launch Chapel Hill, Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network and Carolina Research Ventures.

Before coming to Carolina, Cone served as vice president of emerging strategies and entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, capping a 15-year career with the Foundation. During her tenure, Cone led many of the foundation’s signature education and entrepreneurship initiatives and programs, including a business startup training program that has been used worldwide by millions of entrepreneurs; an award-winning web resource for entrepreneurs; and the Kauffman Campuses Initiative, which has transformed the culture on university campuses by making entrepreneurship education accessible to students and faculty across all fields of study. As global ambassador for the Kauffman Foundation, Cone worked with leaders around the world to help transform economies.

For the previous 12 years, Cone co-founded two management consulting firms serving Fortune 500 clients. Her first career was as a learning disabilities teacher working with disadvantaged children in a low-income area, where she experienced first-hand the pervasive and devastating effects of poverty on children and families.

Cone writes and lectures nationally and internationally on entrepreneurship and innovation.