Welcome to the University of Colorado Boulder campus.  I am very pleased to have distinguished business leaders, students, and all those who share our goals and spirit of entrepreneurship here today. We have an exciting day ahead.

I am delighted to have this event on campus, because we believe that more women entrepreneurs will bring more creativity, more competition, and even greater success to our community and to our nation as a whole.

In fact, I might just note here that as I compare notes with other chancellors around the country I have determined that I clearly have one of the more diverse cabinets in the nation—with six members out of ten in my leadership team being women.

As you may know, Boulder was ranked No. 1 for high-tech start-up density by the Kauffman Foundation last month, and was ranked in the top five in patent production by the Brookings Institutionearlier this year. The university is fundamental to the entrepreneurial fabric of this community.  Over the 137 years of our existence we have continuously spun out new companies from Ball Aerospace to Chiaro Technologies  —a 3D imaging company for robotics and automation that spun out just last year.

Three examples of CU entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is an important way of life here. It is not just an academic discipline, but a way of thinking by students and faculty in all disciplines—from the hard sciences to the arts.

 Our students and our community take advantage of a wide variety of entrepreneurship opportunities offered by CU-Boulder. Our entrepreneurship programs are too numerous to list but let me mention just three.

The Deming Center for Entrepreneurship in the Leeds School of Business is a gem that offers programs connected to the clean tech, organic and biotech industries, among others.

Not only does the Deming Center offer classes in entrepreneurship to business students, but also offers a cross-campus Entrepreneurship Certificate for non-business majors.  That means that if I am getting my major in film studies or bioscience, I could also take courses and get a certificate in entrepreneurship.

CU's New Venture Challenge is a student and community business-plan competition in its sixth year.  It connects students, faculty and staff from departments all across campus into multidisciplinary start-up teams.

  • Student organized and focused, with $10,000 in prize money.
  • Last year 60 teams entered the competition
  • The competition included 70-plus community mentors, 32volunteer judges and more than 1,000 attendees.
  • Run by Silicon Flatirons in the Law School.

This is a community effort and if you can support the New Venture Challenge please see Mystery Murphy—Director of the New Venture Challenge—who is here. 

Mysteryis the fourth woman to direct the New Venture Challenge in its six years of existence.

Finally, I'll mention the CU Clean Tech Challenge.  The University of Colorado Boulder was selected to run a regional National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition  for the Department of Energy, along with M.I.T., Caltech and others, focused on student-projects.

It's an entrepreneurial experience that not only can change students' lives, but maybe even change the world.

I feel this entrepreneurial ethos has contributed greatly to the fact that we have spun out 71 companies based on CU-Boulder technologies over the last 20 years.

Faculty embody entrepreneurial spirit

Some of our best faculty embody this entrepreneurial spirit. Let me take a moment to tell you about Kristi Anseth, a biomedical engineer, who is an example of how faculty are engaged with students.

Some of her PhD students last year helped co-found Nanoly Bioscience, which is developing vaccines that survive without refrigeration so they can be delivered to rural areas of the world.  It was one of three companies spun out here last year that was founded or co-founded by students.

She also leads a team of 32 researchers specializing in tissue engineering, in generating healthy cells to replace damaged tissue ranging from cartilage to heart valves. She holds 17 patents and in 2011 she co-founded Mosaic Biosciences.

She's one of seven CU-Boulder female researchers to spin out companies in the last fiveyears.

Office of Industry Collaboration

Let me tell you about another dynamic woman here at CU. Caroline Himes who is the director of our new Office of Industry Collaboration.

As an insider's note, on Thursday we will be announcing the new office in a press release and the web site will be going live.

The Office of Industry Collaboration will connect you to resources at CU-Boulder that can support your growing business, whether it is through collaboration around research, building or testing prototypes, or using CU facilities and equipment.

In some cases it can provide support for temporary workforce or arrange for qualified interns. Our senior design classes, sponsored by companies, can provide a way for you to sponsor a project tailored to your needs, where you retain the intellectual property. If you are interested please see Caroline Himes.

Entrepreneurship ingrained in CU's history

To wrap up, entrepreneurship is in our blood and in our history. It's the reason we are here today. We share your spirit, passion and energy.

I'm very excited this event is happening on our campus, because we strongly believe women are important in taking entrepreneurship to the next level. There are many tools that CU-Boulder offers to our students and to the community.  We hope you will engage with the university to accomplish your goals.

Thank you.