Oct 8, 2013 by Amanda Bradford, NMSU News Center
A panel of experts from around the region is helping develop the strategy and priorities for Arrowhead Center’s commercialization network, with the goal of strengthening the program’s economic development potential statewide.
The Arrowhead Innovation Network’s recently formed advisory council consists of nine leaders in the fields of business, finance, investment and economic development. Arrowhead Innovation Network is an ever-growing group of top business minds in the region, who support the aspiring entrepreneurs of Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University to establish and develop an innovation pipeline that can accelerate their success in launching commercial ventures.
The network, funded through an i6 Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, is already working to boost the regional innovation ecosystem by fostering partnerships that fuel the creation and development of job-creating startups. The council’s role is to guide the program’s expansion and facilitate even more connections between industry leaders, investors and entrepreneurs.
Barbara Brazil, who chairs the advisory council, said research universities like NMSU are uniquely situated to drive innovation that turns great ideas and research into commercial enterprises. Brazil currently serves as deputy secretary of New Mexico’s Economic Development Department and has spent her career in leadership, public affairs and community relations roles with non-profits, businesses and organizations in New Mexico.
“NMSU has studied the technology commercialization process, adopted the best models and is making great progress in launching its programs that will bring additional opportunity to entrepreneurs,” Brazil said. “The Arrowhead Innovation Network Advisory Council can be a catalyst to ensure more resources are found and applied to the process that is already in place.”
The council will also help boost the awareness throughout the region of the resources that southern New Mexico has to offer, she said.
“The key to success once you have a sound model is to be persistent and inclusive, and to ensure that the effort is focused,” Brazil said. “The southern region of the state – and New Mexico in general – will be more reliant over time on converting our ideas born here into real businesses that employ our students and residents. NMSU has an important role in that transformation.”
Brazil is joined on the advisory council by Jackie Mitchell Edwards, a Charles Schwab Independent Branch Leader in Las Cruces; John Freisinger, president and CEO of Technology Ventures Corporation in Albuquerque; Elizabeth Mata, an intellectual property attorney in El Paso; Reynaldo (Reynie) Ortiz, an engineer and telecommunications executive and entrepreneur, who is investment committee chairman for NMSU’s Foundation Board; Deborah Peacock, president/CEO and managing partner of Peacock Myers, P.C., Intellectual Property Law Services in Albuquerque; Lee Rand, a partner in Sun Mountain Capital in Santa Fe; George Ruth, senior vice president of Citizens Bank of Las Cruces; and Ronald White, branch manager of Raymond James Financial Services in El Paso.
“We are extremely fortunate to have access to the ideas and insights of such a distinguished group of technology commercialization experts and leaders in the region,” said Arrowhead Center CEO Kathryn Hansen.
At its most recent meeting in September, the newly formed council got an overview of NMSU’s current commercialization efforts and began to formulate recommendations for how to move more NMSU technologies to market.
For more information about the council, visit http://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu.