Bruce Sommer joined the Department of Management in the College of Business and Management as an executive-in-residence at UIS beginning Spring 2012. In 2018 he was appointed as the Director of Economic Development and Innovation and is currently working to expand the economic impact of UIS and drive business and social incubation in Springfield and in the greater state of Illinois.
Bruce teaches graduate courses in Entrepreneurship and Family Business Management.
He has been teaching a variety of graduate courses in Entrepreneurship, Private Equity/Venture Capital and Quantitative Methods over the past ten years at the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics. His research, published in academic journals and popular press, primarily focuses on emerging business start-ups and early-stage venture investing. He began his research career in 2001 at the Center for Venture Research, the nation’s leader in business angel research, and continues to advise various state and local economic development organizations.
Bruce has founded three of his own businesses and has been a founding advisor to multitude of others. He sits on boards of both mature and early-stage companies. He is co-founder and managing director of NextGen Ventures, an investment firm focused on IT, green-tech, energy and agriculture and leads business angel groups in the Midwest and East Coast. Furthermore, Bruce is founder of the Kindle Fund, a socially responsible investment fund that promotes social community development through investments in dynamic social entrepreneurs.