Bruce D. Berger
Director of Innovation
Director of Innovation
Bruce D. Berger, JD, MBA, presently serves as the Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) and the interdisciplinary INNOLAB MAKERSPACE at Clark Atlanta University (CAU). Prior to joining CAU in late 2015 he served as the Associate Dean of Student Services and Administration at the Jesse H. Jones School of Business at Texas Southern University where he also taught the Global Strategic Management Capstone course in the MBA and Executive MBA programs. Before taking the position at Texas Southern, Bruce taught Business Law and experiential learning courses in both the undergraduate and MBA curricula at Western Carolina University’s School of Business where his students worked directly with the AB Tech Small Business Incubator and Blue Ridge Food Ventures in Asheville, NC. He currently serves as Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship and Business Law at CAU teaching the Entrepreneurship curriculum, Business Law and Criminal Law in the Criminal Justice program.
His instructional approach centers upon experiential learning through a practicum consulting pedagogy with student teams immersed in client companies for an entire semester while his lean startup course in Entrepreneurship turns ideation into a judged business pitch in 90 days. He developed an IP commercialization course and pedagogy in partnership with NASA that is currently part of the Entrepreneurship curriculum at the AACSB accredited Clark Atlanta University School of Business.
He served on the Board of Directors of the Houston Area Urban League’s Community Development Corporation (HAUDC) and was intimately involved in economic development, entrepreneurial ventures and university-community partnerships in Houston’s Greater Third Ward through a Texas Southern University-University of Houston-Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church community consortium.
In Atlanta, he serves on the Startup Atlanta Board, the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Diversity & Inclusion Board, the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance (GIPA) Board and is a member of the NASA/HBCU Brain-trust Group. He is the principal investigator for two grants: the $911,000 Department of Commerce/Economic Development Agency CREATE grant which develops Southwest Atlanta technology-based startups in food, urban agriculture and food distribution, in partnership with the United Negro College Fund, the Russell Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Truly Living Well, an urban farm; and, the $500,000 Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) grant to promote student and faculty opportunities in the $75 Billion Atlanta STEM-FINTECH industry at three Atlanta University Center schools—CAU, Morehouse and Spelman Colleges
Bruce also consults pro bono with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU) and NASA to develop career pathways in STEM/STEAM and design innovative entrepreneurial programs for HBCUs. He is an educational technology consultant to Digital Air, a fully integrated AI, Cloud technology and ERP firm that collaborates with HBCUs and underserved communities to develop STEM-career pathways, workforce development verticals and entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Prior to his academic career, he was a prosecutor and civil trial lawyer in Florida for over 25 years. He is an angel investor and mentors several start-ups. Bruce has started and owns several businesses including Outback Steakhouse franchises, a biomedical tech company, a business performance consultancy, and two real estate investment firms. He graduated from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Economics and later earned MBA and JD degrees at the University of Miami and The University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce Law Center, respectively. He is currently a member in good standing of The Florida Bar.