Adam Courtney named CEO of KU Innovation Park

The KU Innovation Park Board of Directors named Adam Courtney as CEO. Courtney is a long-time employee of the Park, starting as the vice president of finance in January 2014. He most recently served as chief financial officer for the Park. He was named interim CEO in September 2023 after the passing of the Park’s founding executive chair, LaVerne Epp.

“Adam is a widely respected leader who brings both local knowledge and a fresh perspective to his new position,” said Dr. Douglas Girod, chancellor of the University of Kansas and chair of the KU Innovation Park Board of Directors. “For years, KU Innovation Park has been central to the university’s efforts to drive economic growth in the region, and I know Adam will help us continue to create new companies, jobs and technologies that benefit Kansas and society.”

During his time at the Park, Courtney led the financing efforts for the Phase III building, completed in 2022, including securing funding from the U.S. Economic Development Agency and the state of Kansas. As chief financial officer, he managed the Park’s financial and accounting duties, and capital structure and partners. He also works collaboratively with Park tenant companies in various startup activities, including scaling business operations, writing business and strategic plans, making collaborative connections and raising capital.

“It’s an honor to be able to lead KU Innovation Park,” said Courtney. “I’m thankful for the support of our founding partners and am excited to lead the Park team as we continue to drive innovation, create jobs and contribute to the economic vitality of our region.”

As CEO, Courtney will provide strategic and operational leadership of the Park, including overseeing business operations, strategic initiatives and resource management, while fostering the Park’s culture, mission and vision. Courtney will also serve as the Board’s president.

“I have known Adam since he first arrived at the Park during my term as treasurer of the board from 2010-2015. His ability to absorb the technical aspects of the many potential innovations and marketable solutions that flow from the partnership makes him a great ambassador,” said Mike Dever, vice mayor of Lawrence and Park board member. “After many years working under the great LaVerne Epp, he has acquired the understanding of what makes KU Innovation Park special and how to work with the partners to further our mutual objectives.”

“KU Innovation Park is in excellent hands with Adam at the helm,” said Bonnie Lowe, president & CEO of The Chamber, Lawrence, Kansas. “He has played a critical role in the success of the Park, which is a cornerstone of economic development and collaboration in our community. His experience, ability and leadership will be vital as the Park works toward its 15-year plan.”

“Adam brings both continuity and innovation to his new role as CEO of KU Innovation Park,” said Karen Willey, chair of the Douglas County Commission and Park board member. “I look forward to continued work with Adam, the KUIP team and its founding partners to build sustainable economic development by leveraging the research strengths of the university and amplifying community work around entrepreneurship.”