Bruce Gjovig

Vice-Chairman
DEC Member since 2018

Bruce Gjovig is CEO Emeritus since May 2017 and was Founder, CEO and Entrepreneur Coach of the University of North Dakota Center for Innovation Foundation, a program focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, private investment and entrepreneur ecosystem. The Foundation was launched in 1984, under his leadership and became one of the premier venture development organizations in the nation. They received 18 national and international awards for excellence, and was one of just six entrepreneur centers nationwide featured for best practices and outstanding performance of venture development organizations. Since 2006, their two incubators were certified as a “Soft Landings International Incubator” from NBIA, one of just 25 incubators - and among the first six worldwide – for being friendly to international entrepreneurs entering a foreign market.

Gjovig is a champion for entrepreneur causes including fostering innovation, tech incubators, tech parks, venture development programs and seed and angel capital initiatives across the Upper Great Plains. He was instrumental in founding the Center for Innovation, its Foundation, the EB5 Regional Center for North Dakota & Minnesota, the Skalicky Tech Incubator, the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center, Innovate ND venture initiative, 12 Angel Funds, the Beginning Entrepreneur Loan Program, the 45% seed capital tax credit, the Great Plains Chapter of AUVSI, the Bioscience Association of ND (BioND), the UND Patent & Trademark Depository Library, the North Dakota Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, the North Dakota Business Innovator of the Year award, and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program in North Dakota – all vital infrastructure for innovation to capitalize on diversification opportunities from the downsizing of the Grand Forks AFB with the new ISR mission. He led the efforts to secure $17.5 million of from North Dakota for several initiatives including securing the nation’s first UAS tech park – Grand Sky, the first use of DASR-11 for commercial Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) for UAS, and one first six FAA UAS Test Sites Northrop Grumman and General Atomics as anchor tenants. His incubator was host to 26 UAS-related entrepreneur firms. In 2015, he was appointed to the USAF Civic Leader Program by Gen. Mark Welsh, a national committee to advise the Secretary of the Air Force, the Air Force Chief of Staff, and the Air Force Senior Leaders as well as be key communicators and advocates for the Air Force missions. Gjovig holds leadership positions in several cultural, educational and business organizations, in 2008 Sir Gjovig was presented with the Knight of the First Class, Royal Norwegian Order of Merit by HM King Harald V of Norway for 25 years of educational and business exchanges with Norway. In 2014 he was presented the national Ronald Reagan Award by CPAC for his 30 years of promoting free enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship. Gjovig has two degrees from the University of North Dakota and lives in Grand Forks.