Inventors and Entrepreneurs Workshop Culminates With 'Wolves Den'

April 10, 2018

Third annual event features panel discussions and keynote speakers revolving around commercialization of inventions, entrepreneurship, and launching start-ups


SOCORRO, N.M. – New Mexico Tech is looking for a few good inventors. And investors are waiting. The 2017 Inventors Workshop will culminate with the “Wolves Den,” similar to the popular Shark Tank television show.

Inventors will present their ideas to a panel of successful, experienced investors and entrepreneurs. The Wolves Den competition, which requires an application (details on the website), is open to all New Mexico university students, NMT alumni, and Socorro County residents.

2017 Wolves Den winner Andrew Miller with event organizer Larry Udell and NMT president Dr. Stephen WellsSpeakers and panelists are coming from Silicon Valley, New York, and around New Mexico. Registration is nearly full, but a few spots remain. To register, go to Students can register for $25, seniors and veterans for $45, and $95 for all others.

(Picture are 2017 Wolves Den winner Andrew Miller (center) with event organizer Larry Udell (left) and NMT president Dr. Stephen Wells.)

Event co-organizer and management professor Dr. Peter Anselmo said the event committee has put together an exciting slate of speakers. The event attracted more than 150 attendees last year and he expects to have many more this year.

KOB-TV Channel 4 recently aired an interview with Anselmo on the Good Day New Mexico program. Click here to listen and watch the interview with host Khalil Ekulona. 

“We were overwhelmed by the positive response from our first Inventors Workshop two years ago,” said Anselmo, who is also the executive director of the new Center for Technology Commercialization at NMT. “This event offers excellent instruction for budding entrepreneurs and inventors who need guidance on how to take their intellectual property to market. This event is not just unique to New Mexico, but it’s also an innovative effort nationally as well.”

The basis for the Wolves’ Den is intellectual property (IP). All presenting inventors will be showcasing commercialization ideas that are built around IP that is either protected or protectable.

The event kicks off Friday, April 13, with three talks and four panel discussions. R. Terry Dunlay, founder of IntelliCyt and serial entrepreneur will deliver the first keynote address, titled “From University Innovation to Commercial Success and Acquisition.”

The first panel is “Can My Idea Turn Into a Company or a License?” moderated by Anselmo.

The second panel of experts is “Investing in Inventions, Research, and New Technologies – the Decision Process,” moderated by Bruce Jenett, senior counsel at DLA Piper in Palo Alto, Calif.

Friday’s schedule will feature a special presentation by Hope Shimabuku, director of USPTO in Dallas.  William Seidel, CEO of America Invents Inc., will deliver the keynote talk, followed by a networking reception and a western barbecue dinner. In his talk “Inventrepreneurship,” Seidel will discuss his decades in the creation and marketing of $2 billion worth of new products. He will also discuss his latest book, “Myths and Mastery: Why Most Ideas Don’t Work and What To Do About It.”

After the dinner, NMT Regent Deborah Peacock will lead a panel discussion on “Women Entrepreneurs: You Dan Do It Too.” Peacock is a professional engineer and a patent attorney based in Albuquerque.

The session on Saturday, April 14, starts with a special presentation by John Garcia of the U.S. Small Business Administration and Ross Cummins of the N.M. Small Business Investment Corp. The following panel discussion is “Solutions to a Problem Developing and Exercising Your Path to Success,” moderated by NMT Regent David Gonzales, president of Bison Oil and Gas.

The 2017 winner of the Wolves Den, Andrew Miller, will deliver a talk before lunch. He will present “From Teenage Inventor to Entrepreneur.” Miller not only won the $5,000 prize, but also found an investor to help him launch his company, Battery Savers Inc. Miller will discuss his transition from creative youth to the launch of his own company.

The main event – the Wolves’ Den – kicks off at 1:45 p.m. Five teams of presenters will compete for the top prize of $5,000, funded by the Kaufman Foundation of Kansas City. The competing students will also be seeking funding and/or in-kind services that may be used to advance their innovation to commercialization. The Wolves’ Den panel is set to consist of prominent investors and early- stage commercialization experts from New Mexico, New York City, and Palo Alto, Calif.

– NMT –