The University of Auckland's Entrepreneur in Residence for 2011 is likely to be American investor, academic and author Rob Adams, says the chief of Auckland business incubator The Icehouse, which is involved in the programme.

Adams' visit will follow that of US angel investor Bill Payne, who spent six months in New Zealand this year as the university's resident entrepreneur.

During his residence, Payne worked with more than 75 entrepreneurs, gave more than 40 presentations and advised 11 angel groups.

Andrew Hamilton, chief executive of The Icehouse, said Adams was an internationally acknowledged expert in start-up businesses and market validation - the process of doing interviews to assess the potential success of a new product.

Adams was a slightly different character to Payne. "He's an entrepreneur who had a couple of very big [business] successes and then has gone on to be an angel investor."

Angels are wealthy individuals, often with personal entrepreneurial experience, who band together in groups to invest in start-up companies.

Hamilton said Adams knew a lot about the commercialisation of R&D conducted in universities and research institutes.

According to his website, Adams began his career with US software firm Lotus shortly after its IPO. "Adams was instrumental in the development and launch of 1-2-3 for Macintosh and Lotus Notes," the website says.

He has been a consultant on economic and early stage business development for many governments, including New Zealand's, as well as numerous Fortune 500 companies.

Adams has authored two books - A Good Hard Kick in the Ass: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs (2002) and If You Build It Will They Come? Three Steps to Test and Validate Any Market Opportunity (2010).

These days, he teaches in the MBA programme at the University of Texas in Austin, where Hamilton says he also runs a "venture lab".

Hamilton said final terms were being arranged with Adams, and if all went well he would stay in New Zealand for one month next year. He would travel around the country.