Great ideas come along everyday, but many of them never make it to market. The University of New Mexico's Ramiro Jordán would like to change that.
“What we’re trying to do is take an idea from the lab to the marketplace,” he says.
But Jordán – an associate professor in the University of New Mexico School of Engineering – is not talking about a single idea or a single market. He thinks globally. As one of the creators of the Global Innovation Network for Entrepreneurship and Technology, Jordán will welcome 50 entrepreneurs, researchers, investors and government officials from around the world to the first-ever GINET workshop. The 2014 workshop will be held May 7–9 at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center. It will not be a typical conference, though, according to Jordán. “It’s about striking deals — forging relationships, forging collaborations — and then taking the next steps.”
GINET started at UNM. It was inspired by high-level meetings between the governments of the United States and Brazil in which officials agreed that high tech entrepreneurship is strategically important. The UNM team included partners at University of California at Berkeley, University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University and several other universities. They expanded the initial innovation thrust by including education and research and opening the effort to all countries.
For the first workshop, Jordán wants to create the right environment not only to introduce deal makers to each other but also to allow them to actually make deals. The workshop’s size of 40 to 50 people is just right to create effective networks of collaboration.
“By working in networks, you minimize risks,” he says. “You can penetrate markets and do business development very fast to customize products that people actually want.”
But the workshop differs from other innovation conferences in another significant way. It will aim to encourage a second kind of entrepreneur, one that Jordán calls a social entrepreneur.
“We need leaders who are aware of the amount of effort that goes into developing technology,” he says. “We need people to influence governments to help facilitate transactions and move research and capital.”
Gary Oppedahl, director of economic development at the City of Albuquerque, will give a keynote talk and is an example of a social entrepreneur. Oppedahl’s background includes management positions at Intel Corporation and several start-up companies.
“We are working to make Albuquerque the best city in the world for entrepreneurs,” Oppedahl says. “That said, to be a world leader we have to earn our place in the global network of organizations and individuals who are proving that the future of economic development lies within the hands of our innovators. GINET is an important piece to this puzzle.”
Creating a fertile regulatory environment for innovation is important for markets everywhere to thrive. “We have institutions in the United States that, whether you like them or not, they work,” says Jordán. “Other countries don’t have that.”
About Ramiro Jordán, PhD
Ramiro Jordán, PhD, is the executive vice president, founder and special advisor to the president of ISTEC (Ibero American Science and Technology Consortium). He is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UNM School of Engineering; associate chair and director of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Program; and associate dean of engineering, international programs. Jordán has over 23 years experience creating international educational programs, building multi-national educational-industrial-governmental relationships and fostering global and local entrepreneurship.
About Gary Oppedahl
Gary Oppedahl is the director of economic development for the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He comes from the private sector where he has spent much of his career fostering tech start-ups including EMCORE and most recently TriLumina, both of which are built from research conducted at Sandia National Laboratories. Oppedahl has been involved with business start-up activity in Silicon Valley and is a former Intel employee whose duties included new site start-ups.
About the GINET Workshop
The Global Innovation Network for Entrepreneurship and Technology, GINET, is focused on bringing innovations to the marketplace by creating a global network of programs through collaboration among academia, industry, research and development centers, governments, investors and mentors, multilateral organizations, and individuals visionaries and entrepreneurs (serial and first time). Our immediate objective is to accelerate the rate of bringing innovative ideas, services, applications, prototypes and products through strategic alliances to key investors, industry and government agencies and to bring these innovations to the marketplace.
The Global Innovation Network for Entrepreneurship and Technology workshop will be held in the auditorium at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center on May 7, 8, and 9, 2014. The themes for this workshop include health sciences, energy, information and communications technology and innovation. For more information visit www.ginetllc.com.