Rob Williams

Director

Rob Williams is director at SourceLink. In this role, Rob has empowered a variety of communities—from small towns to entire states—to build and improve on their local entrepreneurial efforts. He has extensive project management expertise, including successful implementations of SourceLink consulting services and technologies from Seattle to San Juan. Many past projects have been innovations in the entrepreneurship-led economic development industry, including an analysis of inclusion and diversity within an ecosystem, the first statewide yet regionally driven entrepreneurship support network that was later scaled to three other states, and is leading the development of a pioneering collective impact system for economic developers. 

Before joining SourceLink, Rob spent nearly a decade at the University of Northern Iowa where he led and expanded multiple statewide entrepreneurship programs earning recognition from IEDC, InBIA, and UEDA. Preeminent examples included the Iowa Business Concierge, Dream Big Grow Here business grant program and an EDA-funded Entrepreneurial Regions Project. In collaboration with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Rob was the co-creator of the IASourceLink system, a statewide affiliate of SourceLink launched in 2012. Rob has also served as a practitioner small business development center consultant, providing personalized guidance to diverse entrepreneurs and was among the first trained by the National Center for Economic Gardening in both the new media and market research certifications.

Rob is a long time member of the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), where he also serves on its Board of Directors. In 2024, Rob earned his Entrepreneurship Development Professional (EDP) from IEDC, the first international certification of its kind for the field that he helped shape during his tenure with SourceLink.

Alternative headshot pictures are below. 

Blog Posts by Rob Williams