Update: UC Davis Green Tech Entre Academy, Networking

The deadline to apply for the UC Davis Green Tech Entrepreneurship Academy has been extended to May 16th. The Academy is for science and technology doctoral students, post-docs, and research faculty. The event will take place over a week in July in Lake Tahoe, NV.

The keynote speaker for the event is going to Armory Lovins. From their press release:

Lovins, who will speak on the evening of July 9, is a world-renowned energy consultant and physicist, as well as an author, speaker, and MacArthur Fellow. In 1979, he co-founded Rocky Mountain Institute, an independent, market-oriented, entrepreneurial, nonprofit, nonpartisan “think-and-do tank” that focuses its research on advanced resource productivity and innovative business strategies that lead to “abundance by design.” Lovins is also a member of the Board of Advisors for UC Davis’ Energy Efficiency Center.

Two thoughts come to mind when I read this. Firstly, this is a great example of an institution (UC Davis Center for Entrepreneurship) being focused on leveraging entrepreneurship, both across its own campus and onto other campuses. The Academy is only in its second year (campus entrepreneurship is new! remember?), but its program communicates quality and dedication.

Secondly, and more importantly, while the campus institution is prepping the battlefield, it will be up to each individual to take advantage of the opportunity. While I don’t know that much about Lovins (I bought his book Natural Capitalism, but never read it), for many people he is a ‘rock star’ in his field and could teach one a great deal and open many doors.

There are likely to be other great people (venture capitalists, academics, entrepreneurs) at the event and each participant has to try to take advantage of it. They must have something interesting to say/offer, must know what they want (email address, meeting, reading of a business plan, etc.), and must know when and how to ask for it. Bottom line: know your audience(s) and be prepared.

A few years back a met a key note speaker here in DC. Over the next few years that person became a mentor and friend and we have worked together on a number of interesting and productive consulting assignments. Its been and continues to be a great relationship that grew out of an academic meeting at a think-tank in DC.

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