Victor W. Hwang, an entrepreneur who has founded and invested in multiple startup companies, will be the new vice president of entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
His appointment was announced Thursday morning to foundation staff. He is moving from Silicon Valley, Calif., to Kansas City and will begin the job Feb. 29.
Hwang’s entrepreneurial credentials include co-founding and being CEO of Liquidity, a firm that makes filters for safe drinking water. He also co-founded and is CEO of T2 Venture Creation, a venture firm that assists startups.
He has been executive director of the Global Innovation Summit, a weeklong conference dealing with building ecosystems worldwide. And he is a past president of the Larta Institute, a group that commercializes technology originating at the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies.
The vice president position has been vacant since mid-2014, when Tom Ruhe resigned.
Hwang is a graduate of the Kauffman Fellows Program, now based in Palo Alto, Calif., which is a leadership program for venture capitalists that was developed by the Kauffman Foundation.
Kauffman Foundation president and CEO Wendy Guillies said it was important to the search committee that Hwang knew the startup industry and also embraced the “principles and values” of Ewing Kauffman.
The Kauffman Foundation encourages entrepreneurship through extensive research, training and education. Its programs include 1 Million Cups, the Kauffman Founders School and the Kauffman FastTrac program.
Hwang, who grew up in Indiana, Iowa and Texas before graduating from Harvard University and the University of Chicago Law School, said he considers the Kauffman Foundation to be “one of the most important institutions in the world” and he is honored to serve in his new capacity.
He is co-author of “The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley” and a sequel, “The Rainforest Blueprint: How to Design Your Own Silicon Valley.”