Instructor Spotlight: Patti Glaza

Patti Glaza, MBA, EVP & Managing Director of ID Ventures and National I-Corps Instructor

Patti Glaza, EVP and Managing Director of ID Ventures and a National I-Corps Instructor, learned early on in her career the importance of understanding your customer.

Starting out in tech consulting, Glaza quickly learned how to think about technology platforms and applications in industry, and most importantly the vital nature of customer connections.

“Because we were moving from client to client you had to become super proficient in speaking the language of your customer and understanding the problem from their mindset,” Glaza said. “That has carried through my entire career.”

Over the years, Glaza has held CFO, COO, and CEO positions and gained significant experience in venture investing, with her most recent position involving investing seed-stage technology venture funds into companies around Detroit. When she first got involved with I-Corps, the methodology seemed like a perfect fit. 

“I fell in love with the process and it was really corollary to the work I was doing in venture,” Glaza said. “Unfortunately, in tech there are a lot of people who feel if you build it they will come, and so the process of not starting there really resonated with my prior experience in startups, but also all the startups that I worked with over the years. So, I fell in love with it.”

Glaza started out as an adjunct I-Corps instructor, and became a nationally certified instructor in 2016. Though Glaza is the one doing the teaching at I-Corps programs for both the NSF and NIH, she said she’s also learned from the experience.

“I’ve learned a whole level of additional compassion and how to meet people where they are,” Glaza said. “When I started I wanted them to get to the right answer as quickly as possible versus what’s the right journey for that team or individual at that moment. People have so much going on in their lives, and we have to understand and make space, room, and compassion for all of that.”