Photo ofNona Cheeks

Innovatyr, LLC

Nona Minnifield Cheeks is the founder and CEO of Innovatyr, LLC an applied science and technology consulting firm where she currently works with high school and college students on new product innovations/inventions and start-up companies on commercialization and technology utilization projects.  Nona is the former Chief of the Strategic Partnerships Office at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC) where she directed a team of engineers, physicists, scientists, technologists, and business analyst in executing NASA/GSFC Technology Transfer – intellectual property management decisions, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) – selections and recommending funding opportunities, and global partnerships - identifying and negotiating deals.  Nona participates as a judge for universities and non-profit organizations regarding many technology commercialization products and opportunities. She is a delegate to the International Astronautical Congress where she oversees an international symposium on technology transfer resulting from worldwide space organizations’ exploration initiatives.  She volunteers for the District, Mayland, and Virginia chapter of Our Shades of Blue, an organization which is focused on the pipeline of preparing and recruiting young minority aviators.  Nona has been invited as a guest speaker at global conferences on the topics of commercialization, technology transfer, and innovative partnership strategies. Nona is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Loyola University Maryland.  She also studied at the University of Chicago Booth Executive Education Program and Simmons University Executive Education Program. Nona enjoys exploring ways for encouraging those in society who are disadvantaged but demonstrates creativity to solve local problems through tech innovation.  She also has a keen interest in working with youth and young adults on science, engineering, arts, and mathematics entrepreneurial opportunities.