UNC School of Law’s Institute for Innovation Welcomes NC State’s Raj Narayan as Chair of the Board of Advisers

July 1, 2021
Raj Narayan is the associate director of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science at NC State.

UNC School of Law’s Institute for Innovation recently appointed Raj Narayan, associate director of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science at North Carolina State University as the new chair of its board of advisers. Narayan begins his two-year term on July 1. He succeeds Judith Cone who served as the inaugural chair and who recently retired as the vice chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Narayan joins other esteemed colleagues on the Institute for Innovation’s Board of Advisers to assist the three clinics (Startup NC Law Clinic, Community Development Law Clinic and Intellectual Property Clinic) housed within the institute with programming, networking and building partnerships.

“Raj brings over 23 years of experience in the area of technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Thomas A. Kelley, James Dickson Phillips Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law and director of the institute. “His experience teaching people how to transition their ideas and inventions into the marketplace is exactly what we need to help our law students counsel new for-profit and nonprofit ventures. We are incredibly honored to have him serve as chair of our board of advisers.”

As the associate director of the William R. Kenan Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at NC State, Narayan specializes in research, extension, and engagement initiatives regarding technology-based creation and the roles of universities, industry, and government in facilitating technology-based economic development. Narayan has also been involved with public policy efforts related to science and technology. He has served as the director of NC State’s Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization program and as an executive advisor guiding early-stage commercialization plan development of startup companies.

Narayan is a professor of the practice of entrepreneurship at NC State’s Poole College of Management and an instructor for the NC State Office of Research Commercialization NSF I-Corps Site program. He serves on the steering committee for the Wolfpack Investor Network, a network of NC State-affiliated angel investors and serves on many boards.

“The Institute for Innovation combines law, business, economic development and creativity by bringing together businesses, law students and board members who can counsel, guide and create successful businesses for our state’s economy,” says Martin H. Brinkley ’92, dean and Arch T. Allen Distinguished Professor of Law. “Having Raj at the helm of our board expands our reach across campuses and the state. We are looking forward to more successes throughout his two-year term.”

Narayan has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UNC-CH’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, a master’s degree in management with a concentration in high tech entrepreneurship from NC State’s Poole College of Management, and a juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

Carolina Law’s Institute for Innovation provides early-stage legal counsel to new for-profit and nonprofit ventures. Made possible by a generous gift from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and support from the North Carolina General Assembly, the institute serves business and social enterprise entrepreneurs on the campuses of UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, in partnership with UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and NC State University’s Poole College of Management, as well as the innovation and entrepreneurship infrastructures on both campuses. The institute also supports economic development of under-resourced communities, with an emphasis on rural North Carolina.

“Having served on the institute’s board from the beginning, I have seen the impact the institute’s programs have had on these exceptional law students empowering their leadership in service to their clients and to the benefit of North Carolina’s economy and communities,” says Narayan. “As someone who has learned from clinical educational programs myself, I know that the services these three clinics provide to new businesses is invaluable as is the relevant experience the law students are gaining. The clinics give these law students an opportunity to refine their legal skills counseling and advising entrepreneurs while also enabling and amplifying their own entrepreneurial experiences and aspirations. It truly is a win-win-win for students, businesses and North Carolina and I’m excited to remain engaged with this innovative program and the wonderful students, faculty, staff and advisers involved.”