Craig Buerstatte

Craig Buerstatte is a former Army Officer turned entrepreneur, having first tested his innovation skills in remote areas of Iraq, developing new supply chain solutions when resources were strained. Craig received the Bronze Star Medal in 2009 for his creative combat leadership and leveraged this experience to found a technology firm in Austin, Texas, and later transitioned into venture capital before returning to public service in 2014 to help build the Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (OIE) at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Today, Craig serves as Acting Director for OIE; working to foster a more innovative economy through policy initiatives and grant programs that focus on turning new ideas and inventions into businesses that create jobs, increase competitiveness, and economic growth. This capacity-building mindset is the focus of the Regional Innovation Strategies Program, OIE’s flagship grant program that has leveraged over $165 million to support business incubators, accelerators and the creation of early-stage venture funds. These programs have created over 6,000 jobs, helped raise over $200 million in venture capital, and support the commercialization of hundreds of market-changing technologies.

Craig earned a B.S. in Economics from The United States Military Academy at West Point, and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, but learned much more from founding businesses and working with startups.