Peter Hong's first day on the job as the new director of the ISU Startup Factory was Feb. 1. In addition to leading Startup Factory, the university's yearlong accelerator program founded in 2016, Hong will help identify and develop other startup venture opportunities and manage Iowa State's role in Iowa Go-To-Market -- a soon-to-launch accelerator for more-developed research-driven startups jointly operated with BioConnect Iowa.

Hong earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and worked in the agricultural and construction equipment industry before moving in to technical and business management. He's heavily involved in the network of agencies and entities promoting public and private support of Iowa entrepreneurship, currently serving as the vice chair of the Iowa Innovation Council and as a board member at BioConnect Iowa and the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Council.

For the past 12 years, Hong has been chief operating officer and chief technology officer of New Tech Ceramics, a Boone-based startup. He's stepped away from a day-to-day role at New Tech but will continue his association with Larta Institute, where he's a principal advisor for the Los Angeles-based nonprofit's commercialization assistance programs.

Hong's office is in suite 1300 of Economic Development Core Facility. Contact him at 296-6429 or petehong@iastate.edu.