Kristel Smith serves as a Director at Eastern Kentucky University. Her specific role includes serving as Director for both the Kentucky Innovation Network at Richmond and the EKU Business & Technology Accelerator. In her roles, Ms. Smith has assisted hundreds of companies and prepares businesses, communities, and industry clusters for strategic growth and development. She creates business models, and integrates innovation and intellectual property to deliver solid financial business positioning and growth. Kristel is skilled in developing key partnerships, advisory boards, and educational models for startups, businesses, and other organizations. Entrepreneurial in experience and thinking, Kristel connects universities, communities, businesses, and government leaders. Her educational background includes a bachelor of computer science, an MBA, and an international economics study at the School of Economics in Austria. She completed Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaching and Leadership Institute (Scotland) administered by the University of Kentucky and Venture Capital Institute at Emory University, and has several certifications, including as FastTrac administrator and facilitator through the Kaufmann Foundation, as well as, through the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA). Among other accomplishments, her strong background and experience at Procter & Gamble and IBM, and various boards and community service projects provide Kristel with a well-rounded and exceptional ability to analyze, lead and position organizations for growth and change. She serves on the Kentucky Commission for Small Business Advocacy, as well as other small business and work force councils.