Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin has been invited to make a presentation at a Department of Commerce forum Monday (Oct. 1) in Washington, D.C., where he will outline the university’s new “Startup Aggieland” business incubator program that has become a national model for student-led entrepreneurship and innovation.
The meeting at which Loftin will speak is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship in partnership with the White House Business Council. The overall forum is titled “Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Higher Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Focus” and he will be part of a panel addressing the topic “Student and Faculty Entrepreneurship and Innovation.”
The panel session will be moderated by David Kappos, under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
In extending the speaking invitation, Nish Acharya, director of the Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and senior adviser to the Secretary of Commerce, cited Texas A&M’s student incubator as an “excellent best practice” that helps to spur innovative growth and education within an institution of higher learning.
“We were very impressed at the initiative that your students have taken to drive innovation on your campus through their efforts to create sources of support for entrepreneurship, as well as their fundamental role in shaping the design and practice of the student incubator,” Acharya said.
“Startup Aggieland” is a new learning center and laboratory for entrepreneurship that is operated by and for students at all levels of their college careers and from all fields of study. More than 50 students — at both graduate and undergraduate levels — have already taken part in some facets of the program.
Student entrepreneurs are linked with a mentor network of experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders, faculty-researchers, service providers and technical providers.
“Startup Aggieland” is located in the Texas A&M Research Park on the western portion of the campus.