Innovation and Design H. Christian Hölljes

Professor, Innovation and Design

image of christian holljes

Contact Information

Brooks Hall 317
Raleigh, NC

Christian Hölljes joined NC State in 2013 as a Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program cluster hire in Innovation + Design. An award winning inventor, designer and serial entrepreneur Hölljes was brought on board (from the Silicon Valley) as a Professor of Innovation and Design to work on new programs, classes and ventures across the College of Design in conjunction with the Poole College of Management. Hölljes has pioneered, patented and created lucrative new markets including groundbreaking work and amazing, best-selling new products in the exciting area of Active-Learning Virtual Reality Edutainment.
Working with Duke University’s  head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Eric Toone, NCSU’s Chancellor Woodson and other leadership across Duke and NCSU, Hölljes has been instrumental in giving rise to the Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN) and the larger Triangle Venture Alliance which will facilitate angel-funding of Innovation and entrepreneurship at NCSU, Duke, UNC and NCCU as it fosters collaboration through innovation between these major triangle -based Universities.
Recently Christian was appointed by the Governor to the North Carolina Board of Science Technology and Innovation where he is helping to shape statewide, national and international programs that leverage Innovation and Design in to economic development.  Appointed to the board of the Carolina China Council, Hölljes has been working closely with the NC Secretary of Commerce, and private parties in NC and with  investors, State and University representatives in Sister-State Hunan Province in order to establish Sustainable Innovation + Design entities in NC and Hunan Province. These innovation and design centric facilities will spur student exchanges, innovative projects with sponsoring companies while providing opportunities for students, teachers and the respective communities to interact around Innovation and Design via sponsored labs, conferences, training sessions, “hackathons”, etc..  These facilities and their subsequent innovative ideas will be coordinated with local VC’s and Angle groups (such as The Triangle Venture Alliance).  Discussions of alternative VC resources embedded in these facilities are also possible as both “states” seek to create new technologies, markets and jobs TOGETHER!. 
Previously, Hölljes spent 17 years in the Bay Area inventing and harnessing groundbreaking technology products and markets. For seven years, as Apple’s national media specialist and QuickTime team member, Hölljes evangelized and provided technical sales support to Fortune 500 media companies and federal government agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada. With the deep knowledge he garnered regarding Apple’s unique software and hardware integration methods, Hölljes cofounded Cadmus Interactive, a pioneer in the Internet multimedia market space. He was hired by Machina, Inc., a San Francisco based high-tech product development and invention company, where he and his team invented and licensed more than 40 new consumer products before he left to run a research and development team for Radica Electronic Games. In 2000, Hölljes launched his own company, Newgent, Inc., in creative partnership with Katsuya Nakagawa of SSD, Co. Limited (inventor of the first electronic gaming platforms for Nintendo-NES, Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64). Hölljes/Newgent holds patents for the concept behind the award-winning and best-selling Smart Cycle, named Educational Toy of the Year and Innovative Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association in 2008. In the same year, Mattel/FP named Hölljes and his company Newgent, Inc. “Inventor of the Year”.  In 2011, Hölljes cofounded Wavvox Technology, which allows silent meta-data to be encoded into any audio and decoded by any smart mobile device using proprietary encoding and decoding algorithms. This technology allows second screen applications to synchronize and extract data from TV shows, radio, public address systems and other audio sources in what is estimated to be an emerging $6 billion market.
Hölljes received his bachelor’s degree in zoology, mechanical engineering and fine arts from Duke University, and his master’s degree in industrial design from NC State. While a student at NC State, Hölljes was commissioned by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife to design and build the now famous Giraffe Center and Sanctuary outside Nairobi, Kenya.