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Nevada Gov. Gibbons to Talk to 'Green' Entrepreneurs at UC Davis Event at Lake Tahoe

March 23, 2007

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons will speak to about 50 researchers from 14 states as they learn how to take their environmental solutions from the lab to the marketplace at a weeklong UC Davis program beginning Monday, March 26, at Lake Tahoe.

Gibbons will discuss the importance of energy initiatives when he talks to participants of the Green Technology Entrepreneurship Academy on Wednesday, March 28, in Incline Village, Nev.

"One of the biggest challenges facing this nation is the issue of energy production," the governor said. "In order to meet our current needs, and reduce our dependence on foreign resources, we must expand our current production capabilities to include alternative and renewable sources.

"However, science and research is only as good as our ability to bring it to the forefront of an innovative marketplace," he added. "I am pleased that we will be able to address both aspects of energy development and commercialization."

Gibbons will speak at 6:30 p.m. (updated) at the Chateau restaurant, located at the Championship Golf Course, 955 Fairway Blvd., Incline Village. His talk will be followed by a keynote address by William Rosenzweig, co-founder of Physic Ventures of San Francisco.

The academy, hosted by the UC Davis Center for Entrepreneurship, is at the forefront of an effort by universities to accelerate the transformation of research into businesses that solve real-world problems.

Andrew Hargadon, director of the entrepreneurship center and the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, says the need for practical solutions to energy and resource conservation has become a major issue with the growing global environmental crisis. "The challenge lies in translating environmentally sustainable technologies and research into viable business ventures," said Hargadon, an associate professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management and its director of technology studies.

Science and business students and professors from two dozen institutions will work under the guidance of UC Davis faculty, technology transfer experts, entrepreneurs and investors from environmental science and technology-based ventures.

Projects they bring with them will include those that could produce environmentally friendly packaging, improve inventory methods for forestlands, significantly reduce electricity usage for air conditioning and eliminate the use of drinking water for evaporative cooling.

The program will integrate lectures, exercises, team projects and informal fireside chats. Hargadon said students will learn to manage the dynamics of entrepreneurship, evaluate technology and market opportunities, pursue patent and licensing strategies, write business plans, manage interdisciplinary teams and find funding.

Guest speaker Rosenzweig is co-founder of Physic Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on health, wellness and sustainable living investments. He is also managing director of Great Spirit Ventures, a portfolio of health and wellness investments. Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki is expected to visit during lunch on March 30.

The five-day intensive academy is modeled after the UC Davis Graduate School of Management's yearlong and weeklong programs in which doctoral science students develop skills to commercialize research.

UC Davis' Hargadon oversees the academy. A former design engineer for IDEO Product Development and Apple, he studies innovation and new product development. He is author of "How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate."

Academy sponsors include the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the National Science Foundation, PG&E, Sierra Angels and the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment.

The academy will be held at the new Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences in Incline Village. A $24-million green building that houses research and teaching programs, the facility is a collaboration of UC Davis and Sierra Nevada College in partnership with Desert Research Institute and the University of Nevada, Reno.

The building was designed and built with a goal of achieving a Platinum Rating from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program (http://www.usgbc.org/). It would be only the second such building in the University of California system, the ninth in the state of California and the first in Nevada.

For additional information on the academy, including a detailed schedule, please visit the academy's Web site at: http://entrepreneurship.ucdavis.edu/green/.

Additional information:

Media contact(s):

  • Andrew Hargadon, Graduate School of Management, (530) 752-2277, abhargadon@ucdavis.edu
  • Nicole Starsinic, Graduate School of Management, (530) 220-2394 (This is a cell number.)
  • Julia Ann Easley, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-8248, jaeasley@ucdavis.edu

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