David Bridges

Vice President, Enterprise Innovation Institute

As the head of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology, David leads the largest, oldest, and most successful economic development organization at any university in the country. It is home to more than a dozen economic development programs which (1) build and scale startups, (2) grow existing small and medium-sized enterprises, including manufacturing firms, and (3) energize ecosystem builders (communities, governments, universities, and non-profits). These programs serve the State of Georgia, with programmatic reach across the Southeast region, the United States, and five continents around the world.

Prior to his appointment as vice president, Bridges was Director of the Economic Development Lab (EDL) within the Enterprise Innovation Institute. EDL works with communities in Georgia on projects such as workforce development, fiscal and economic impact analyses, strategic planning, and downtown redevelopment. This lab also works globally and has conducted innovation policy research and implemented innovation ecosystem building projects in 23 countries around the world.

Since joining the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994, David has worked in various practice areas serving manufacturing firms, national labs, international governments, and innovation ecosystems. He has been a Principal or Co-Principal Investigator on more than $20 million in grants and has authored, co-authored, or significantly contributed to over $40 million in winning proposals. David has won more than 100 proposals from U.S. federal agencies, plus universities, governments, and non-profits from around the world. He is a Principal Research Faculty member and a frequent lecturer and keynote speaker in China, South Africa, and across Latin America on nascent, innovation ecosystem building.

Prior to joining EI², he was a general management consultant and a brand manager at three consumer package goods companies. Bridges has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Emory University and a Master of Science in Marketing from Georgia State University.

Connect with David:

Sara Araujo

Latin America Managing Director of Development International Development

Sara Araujo has been the Director of Development for Latin America at the Georgia Institute of Technology since 2014. Under her charge, she oversees seeking and consolidating relationships with graduates, higher and secondary education institutions, companies, foundations, and government organizations in the areas of Fundraising, development of consulting projects, academic and scientific collaboration between peers and training.

Among the initiatives developed in Latin America are the development of scholarship programs for deserving students with economic difficulties to study in the United States, establishment of research programs financed by donors, construction of doctoral training programs for governments of the region, consolidation of advisory and consulting programs for governments and industrial associations in areas of technology transfer, soft landings, and specific topics of interest to the industry.

Sara Araujo has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Government from the Universidad del Rosario in Colombia, a specialization in Negotiation and International Relations from the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia and a master’s degree in Contemporary European Studies from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.

Sara Araujo has more than 13 years of work experience in the public and private sectors. She has worked in the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia and in the Administrative Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation of Colombia -COLCIENCIAS as director of the Office of International Relations.

Connect with Sara:

Juli Golemi

Director, EI2 Global

Juli Golemi is the Director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute’s EIGlobal, which fosters economic opportunity around the world through inclusive, sustainable, impactful collaborations with universities, innovators, governments, and nonprofit organizations. She is an economist with more than 15 years of experience in economic/fiscal impact analysis and compilation of qualitative and quantitative data for organizations with a focus on improving local and state economies. Juli has expertise in turning complex data into information that leads to strategic decisions and the realization of aggressive goals. She has been engaged in economic development projects for more than a decade and her recent work is focused on innovation-led initiatives, where she has focused primarily on the assessment of communities’ innovation ecosystems and entrepreneurship programming needs. In her current role, leads collaborative projects across the Enterprise Innovation Institute and its programs, including the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Center for Economic Development Research, and the Georgia Minority Business Development Agency Business Center. Prior to joining the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Juli was Director and Economist at the Economic Strategy Center, an economic development research and analysis firm. In that role, she managed a variety of projects including economic and fiscal analysis, benchmarking analysis, and program performance evaluations.

Connect with Juli:

Santiago Henao

Director of Operations

Computer Science engineer with a master’s in management, passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship. More than 15 years of experience working in different industries and on personal projects. I like to discover new ideas, new startups, and new challenges, with the ability to have a broader view as in a board of directors, but also going to detail, running a startup from zero to one. Married, father of two, and with hobbies such as running, reading, and traveling.

Connect with Santiago:

Viviana Montenegro

Program Manager, EI2 Global

In her role as a program manager and research faculty in EI² Global, Viviana assists with projects that foster and strengthen innovation ecosystems, entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, and economic development in different regions in the United States and worldwide. In this capacity, she works with an array of diverse partners and clients that include universities, university business incubators, non-profit organizations, economic development agencies, and the private sector. 

Viviana previously worked for G3ict, The Global Initiative for Inclusive Technologies, where she oversaw the data collection and analysis for the DARE Index and the CRPD Progress Report Project on ICT Accessibility. Prior to that, she served as Director of Economic Development at CIFAL Atlanta, the North American affiliate of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), where she managed the capacity building Global Airport Programs implemented for government officials, airport authorities, and business leaders from developing countries to promote economic development around the world. Viviana holds a master’s degree in public administration from San Francisco State University in California; a diploma in Business Management and Administration from Universidad de Chile; and a bachelor’s degree in Translation from Universidad Católica de Chile.

Connect with Viviana:

Alberto Ponce

Program Manager, EI2 Global, Enterprise Innovation Institute

Alberto Ponce is a Program Manager with EI2 – Global group in at the Enterprise Innovation Institute. Under Juli Golemi’s leadership he is supporting projects that develop entrepreneurship ecosystems in Latin America and is leading the Soft Landings program. In his previous roles, he leveraged his expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation methodologies, specializing in medical device and digital health development, leading multiple business incubators and accelerator programs, as well as establishing and leading a binational entrepreneurship community.

Connect with Alberto: