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Updated: October 3, 2022 / 2022 NextUp: 40 Under 40 Honorees

40 Under 40: Empowering tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

Photo / Tim Greenway Chris Wolfel, head of entrepreneurship and venture creation at Northeastern University’s Roux Institute in Portland, co-founded two technology companies.
Chris Wolfel, 32

Head of entrepreneurship and venture creation, Roux Institute at Northeastern University

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Significant professional accomplishment: I’ve co-founded two technology companies that I am incredibly proud of, but in this role at Northeastern University’s Roux Institute I have the opportunity to help build hundreds of companies while playing a role in developing a statewide ecosystem. My work over the past two years helping to build and scale the Roux’s entrepreneurship programs has been my most significant professional accomplishment to date. It’s incredible to come in every day and work with a team that is focused on growing the Maine economy. We have accomplished a lot already, and we are positioned to create long-term impact for generations to come in Maine.

Passion project: With two young kids and a rapidly growing team, I don’t have a lot of time for passion projects right now. But what time isn’t spent at work or with my family is spent mentoring and investing in early-stage startups.

Audacious goal: Making Maine the most exciting place to start and grow a business, an outcome that would create transformative prosperity for Mainers. My goal is that one of the companies that comes through our entrepreneurship program becomes the largest company in Maine within the next 10 years.

Favorite quote: “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” — George Bernard Shaw

Influential book: “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” by Daniel Pink.

Favorite movies/TV shows: “Top Gun” and any of the James Bond films, even the bad ones. As for TV shows, I loveMaine Cabin Masters”; I stumbled upon on it on a flight to San Francisco a few years ago, and it quickly became a favorite. A now not-so-secret dream is to buy a camp in Maine’s midcoast region and have the “Cabin Masters team” bring it back to life.

How do you recharge: Getting on the water and fishing or going for a walk around Mackworth Island with my wife and two sons.

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