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Courtney A. Gras

Engineer by training and entrepreneur by nature helping student entrepreneurs succeed with Techstars. #GiveFirst

In 2014, I left my “real” job at NASA to work with the startup company I founded in college. Shortly after, I discovered opportunities to build the local startup community in Ohio and help other founders succeed. After 8 years participating in the community as a founder, I followed my passion and worked on startup community growth full time, leading program development, operations, advocacy, and bridge building with stakeholders in the community.

Today, I have the incredible honor of going back to my roots as a student founder to help student entrepreneurs succeed through the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars entrepreneurship program, which connects students across the globe to the Techstars Network.


I love sharing stories of founding a company as a student, discovering the entrepreneur mindset, and finding my “dream” job. I published the book "Entrepreneur is a Verb" in 2018 for young professionals who are interested in a career in entrepreneurship.


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Presentation Topics

Applying the entrepreneur mindset to launch your dream career

Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship

Building Innovation Ecosystems

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Recent Presentations

IEEE Future Leaders Forum, 2018

TEDx Danubia - Budapest, Hungary, 2017

IEEE International Women's Leadership Conference - San Jose, CA, 2017

Pioneers Festival - Vienna, Austria, 2016