North Star Innovation Partners About Lisa

Lisa S. Smith, President, North Star Innovation Partners, LLCLisa is the Founder and President of North Star Innovation Partners, an economic development management and consulting firm which develops strategies and programs to drive innovation and job growth in communities.  She is an experienced business incubation executive with 30 years of experience delivering business incubation feasibility studies, business incubation implementation plans and providing incubator management services nationally and internationally.  

She directed nearly 30 business incubation-related projects nationally.  Her market analysis work and other project support work led to the development of 11 incubators in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC.  These projects operated in a wide range of business, technology and community contexts.  Most of these projects involved economic development organizations and university partners.

She launched and managed five business incubation programs in the Washington, DC-Baltimore, MD area, including the Bowie Business Innovation Center (Bowie BIC) at Bowie State University.  This is the only business incubation program in Maryland located at a historically black academic institution and the only incubation program in the state co-located with an office of the Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC).

She has more than 20 years of economic development project experience ranging from innovation strategy development, programs for accessing early stage capital, incubator feasibility assessment, design, and management, to business development, marketing, and international business promotion.

Her international experience includes the development of the technology incubator strategy in the U.S. for Scottish Development, the national economic development agency for Scotland and the launch of Scotland’s US incubator network, the Scottish Technology and Research (STAR) Centers.

Ms. Smith provided initial management support or led the management teams for the Scottish Technology and Research (STAR) Centers at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, the Fairfax County BioAccelerator, the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, the Bowie Business Innovation Center and the Harford Business Innovation Center. 

Prior to founding North Star Innovation Partners, Ms. Smith served for nine years as Vice President and Director of Marketing for ANGLE Technology, an international technology commercialization and consulting firm. 

Ms. Smith is frequent speaker at regional and national industry events sponsored by organizations such as the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA), the Maryland Business Incubation Association (MBIA) and the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), formerly NBIA.   She is a featured speaker at the 30th International Conference on Business Incubation in Orlando, Florida in April 2016.

She has written frequently on business incubation program development and entrepreneurship. Lisa contributed to two InBIA best-selling publications: Developing a Business Incubation Program and A Practical Guide to Business Incubator Marketing. 

She is a member of MEDA, MBIA and InBIA. A Maryland native, Lisa earned a Master’s degree in Business from The American University Kogod School of Business in Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.

“Innovation is what distinguishes a leader from a follower.”

Steve Jobs, Apple