Faces of Research: Meet Brandy Nagel

Faces of Research: Brandy Nagel Graphic

Faces of Research: Brandy Nagel Graphic

The Enterprise Innovation Institute is Georgia Tech’s chief economic development arm. With more than a dozen programs, it serves all of Georgia and beyond through a variety of services and offerings that build and scale startups, grow business enterprises, and energize ecosystem builders.

This installment of the Faces of Research Series Q&A series is with Brandy Nagel, program manager and faculty researcher for the Georgia MBDA Business Center and the Southeast MBDA Business Growth Hub. Both programs serve minority business enterprises and are part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute.

What is your field of expertise and why did you choose it?
My parents started a business when I was five years old. Kitchen table conversations were often focused on the challenges of growing and scaling a business. This gave me a love for problem-solving and collaborating through to a solution. Now I work with business owners and entrepreneurs who face similar problems — and dozens of new challenges. It is not possible to “cut and paste” the answers. The problems we help to solve often need an innovative approach. The answer is not in a book, and we invent or create the solution.

What makes the Enterprise Innovation Institute's approach to economic development unique?
Our team is a mix of practitioners, academic researchers, and educators. We work with businesses — and business support organizations — in Georgia, the Southeast, and around the world as we help to build better ecosystems.

What couldn't have happened without the Enterprise Innovation Institute?
I am particularly proud of the work we’ve done with the entrepreneurship ecosystem builders in Puerto Rico. We helped business owners and entrepreneurs by helping to strengthen the entrepreneurial support organizations on the island. 

What impact is Georgia Tech's research having on the clients with whom you work?
We work with business support organizations and economic development organizations to build their capacity. The multiplier effect is remarkable.

What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not working?
I volunteer as a mentor for several business incubators and accelerators in Atlanta. I’m lucky — I get to do what I love!

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Peralte C. Paul