Melissa Ablett is the General Manager of CIC Rotterdam,
where she is responsible for launching and leading
Cambridge Innovation Center’s (CIC) first international
location. CIC Rotterdam officially opened one year ago,
and is now home to over 220 innovative startups,
investors, and corporates in 10.000 square meters of
CIC was founded in 1999 in Cambridge, Massachusetts
and today is the largest cluster of startups in the world,
housing over 1,800 companies in approximately 70,000
square meters of premium office and co-working space
across 8 facilities. Companies started at CIC have
attracted a total of over €4 billion in venture capital with €4 billion in publicly disclosed exit value.
Prior to CIC, Melissa worked for the State of Massachusetts’ leading innovation policy agency,
the Mass Tech Collaborative’s John Adams Innovation Institute. There, she developed
public-private initiatives to stimulate the state’s tech sector and support entrepreneurship.
Following the Innovation Institute, Melissa joined Streetwise Media, a digital media startup
focused on local news and events for entrepreneurs and the innovation community. For two
years, Melissa was the general manager of the company’s flagship property in Boston and
helped the company grow to three cities. In 2012, the company was acquired by the American
City Business Journals, a part of the Cond é Nast and Advance Publications family.
Melissa currently sits on the boards of Restart Network, a non-profit that provides free coding
educations to refugees, minorities, and underrepresented populations in tech; Rotterdam
Central District, the member organization representing companies located in the central district
of the city; and the American Chamber of Commerce, Rotterdam Chapter.
Melissa graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with honors, and lives in
Rotterdam, the Netherlands.