This month, Judy Fox was introduced as the new Director of the Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property initiative. Prior to joining Michelson IP, Judy worked as the Regional Director of the Business & Entrepreneurship Sector for the Los Angeles Region. In this role she served as a connection, voice, and innovator between industry, K-14 education, and government entities to grow economic development within Los Angeles county, optimize community college partnerships, and prepare the workforce for living-wage opportunities identified within the state/region’s Business & Entrepreneurship Sector.
She is originally from Mio, Michigan and is a graduate of Northwood University. She has three dogs, Oakley, Milk, and Calvin, and a 36-year-old tortoise, Dinky. She also has a 22 year old daughter, McKenzie, who makes a great “sister” to them all.
What are you most looking forward to accomplishing as the director of this initiative?
It is such an honor to serve as the director of the Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property. I look forward to connecting education, industry, and community creators to the knowledge needed to protect and commercialize their ideas and inventions. This includes addressing the gap in IP exposure, curricula, tools, and guidance through our OER, training and programming, and the utilization of our expansive network of partners and IP professionals. Being in this role allows me to continue my efforts to stimulate innovation, reach underserved populations, and help accelerate the advancements of mankind—and that’s very motivating.
What drew you to Michelson IP’s mission given your background?
I have been passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship since I started my flavored toothpick business in 7th grade (my first entrepreneurial fail). Since then, my studies and career have always been aligned with business, the arts, innovation, and educational leadership. Most recently, as the Regional Director of the Business & Entrepreneurship Sector-LA, I was exposed to the very real need for IP education in academic, workforce, and community settings—and this is not unique to LA. In this role I worked directly with innovators, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs of all ages. Their first concern was almost always, “How do I protect my idea?” I was drawn to Michelson’s mission to close the IP gap because it’s not just about the idea. It’s about the power of an idea transforming into real-world impact. Michelson IP equips those who want to teach, and those who want to learn about intellectual property with the knowledge and confidence needed to do so. To continue to serve as a catalyst in this capacity, and to find my own intrapreneurial ideas embraced within the organization, is personally and professionally rewarding.
How do you see entrepreneurship curriculum and intellectual property education evolving or growing in the future?
IP drives new developments and advances the greatest achievements in science, technology, business, and the arts while also making us more competitive as a nation. I see more integration of IP curricula in K16 business and entrepreneurship career pathway courses, and in workforce/economic development initiatives. IP intensive industries are a growing part of the economy and workforce they employ. This demonstrates the value IP knowledge has in the future of work. I also expect more resources and incentives for aspiring inventors, especially in the bio and tech spaces.
The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property, an initiative of the Michelson 20MM Foundation, provides access to empowering IP education for budding inventors and entrepreneurs. Michelson 20MM was founded thanks to the generous support of renowned spinal surgeon Dr. Gary K. Michelson and Alya Michelson. To learn more, visit 20mm.org.