Ray Johnson

CEO, Innovation Marquette SmartZone
Date - April 12, 2024, 8:51 pm
Topic - 
Sponsor - Northern Michigan University

Ray Johnson
Ray Johnson, CEO of Innovation of Marquette’s SmartZone, leads the development and execution of its strategy to support economic growth, accelerate technological innovation and further develop a growing base of entrepreneurs. With over 20 years of high-tech industry experience, Ray Johnson is recognized as a successful public company technology executive, serial entrepreneur, fund raiser and start-up CEO with a proven track-record of successfully building, financing, leading and scaling companies from the early proof-of-concept stage to successful global ramp and profitable exit. Ray’s business experience includes large company executive and board level management positions for venture-backed start-ups, raising equity financing (all rounds from a variety of investor types and entities), crowdfunding, vetting new start-ups, mentoring entrepreneurs, strategic planning, strategic partnering, business development, new technology/product development, engineering management, manufacturing build-outs, IP licensing, product marketing, corporate and product branding, sales channel development, worldwide product rollouts and M & A.
In his career, Ray has raised over $90 million in venture capital, angel and private equity investments from accredited investors and the world’s top Venture Capital (VC) firms and Private Equity (PE) investment fund.
Ray was CEO of Urban Electric Power (UEP), an early-stage technology start-up attempting to commercialize and scale a rechargeable battery chemistry for energy storage applications that was licensed from the City University of New York. Prior to joining UEP, Ray was at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business with a dual appointment as both a teaching faculty lecturer within the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship and as the Commercialization Director for CU Cleantech, a public-private partnership within the University focused on creating student-faculty engagements with industry to develop technology commercialization strategies for university-based research in the cleantech and alternative energy space.
Mr. Johnson earned his business degree from the University of Notre Dame and has been the recipient of industry awards that have recognized his leadership skills and entrepreneurial business acumen that includes being named as Colorado’s Cleantech Entrepreneur of the Year and a gubernatorial appointment to the Colorado Governor’s Venture Capital Investment Advisory Committee.



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