Venture Summit: A Celebration of Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Rensselaer’s entrepreneurial community has reason to celebrate. On April 12, the Emerging Ventures Ecosystem hosted two dozen venture investors at the 2012 Venture Summit, a day-long series of events designed with a dual purpose: to draw investors to campus to learn about the entrepreneurial culture and opportunities at Rensselaer, and to inform the Rensselaer community about invention from the investor community and from the government policy perspective. Twenty-one student/faculty teams showcased their business ideas and research initiatives and participants had many opportunities for networking and education.
After lunch, the group moved to the auditorium in the Biotechnology building for "Entrepreneurship at Rensselaer," a brief overview given by Dr. Gina O'Connor of how far entrepreneurship has come in the last 20 years on campus. Dr. O’Connor, Director of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship, compared today’s campus culture to the culture prevalent at the time the original "Entrepreneurship at Rensselaer" presentation was given by Paul Severino ’69 over twenty years earlier. A lively panel discussion with four venture capitalists drew a crowd of over one hundred students, faculty, alumni and community members. Questions touched on topics such as how to get the attention of an investor and whether engineers can be CEOs. Following a short break, an even larger crowd filled the auditorium beyond capacity to hear keynote speaker, David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), speak on the, “Impact of the America Invents Act on Universities."
Rensselaer has invested heavily in a number of strategic initiatives over the past decade, but two are particularly important when it comes to innovation. The first is our research enterprise. With the advent of the institutionalization of Faculty Constellation Chairs and the increase in number of research centers on campus, discovery and invention have become even more regularly occurring activities at Rensselaer.
The second initiative is our renewed focus on entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. In the past two years we have instituted the Emerging Ventures Ecosystem at Rensselaer. The Vice Provost of Entrepreneurship, and the Directors of RPI’s Entrepreneurship Center, Incubator program, Office of Technology Commercialization and Technology Park, along with representatives from the Office of Research and Office of Community relations meet biweekly as the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council, working together to help faculty and students who are interested in bringing their innovations to the marketplace. In the spirit of develop relationships with the venture investment community, Rensselaer organized its first Venture Summit with much success
Featured Centers of Excellence and Advanced Research Areas
Gallery of (20) Emerging Ventures
Throughout the morning, a number of startup ventures will be showcased in the atrium. Our companies span a variety of industries, from sustainability and gaming to automotive, nano-manufacturing, healthcare and more.
Invention and Entrepreneurship at Rensselaer
"Entrepreneurship at Rensselaer"
Paul Severino '69 and Gina O'Connor, Director, Paul J. and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship
“Working with Early Stage Startups”
Ric Fulop, Partner, North Bridge Venture Partners
Bela Musits '75, Venture Partner, High Peaks Ventures and Dean, School of Management - Union Graduate College
Graham Brooks, Principal, .406Ventures
John Cococcia ’94, Partner, FA Technology Ventures
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)