New Mexico’s rich intellectual capital base in the hard sciences has given rise to a myriad of entrepreneurial, high growth companies in the advanced materials space. Over the past decade significant attention has been paid in the State to commercializing the resources of the national labs and our research universities. These efforts have borne fruit again and again. But with looming budget cuts and a tough environment for fundraising in the State, how much longer can these resources be fertile?
No innovation occurs in a vacuum and the stories of those that have (and are currently) breaking new ground will hopefully illuminate the path for future entrepreneurs and investors alike. So come and join Coronado Ventures Forum as we profile three stories of innovation and commercialization here in New Mexico. Each of our corporate leaders will have an intimate fireside talk with a question and answer session from the audience.
Gordon Rice, PhD, Research Project Leader, Cabot Corporation
Gordon is an expert in materials chemistry and the manufacturing of nano structured materials. Gordon previously worked for Superior Micropowders, a spin-out of UNM later acquired by Cabot Corporation. Prior to his tenure at Cabot, Gordon was a chemist with Neah Power Systems in Seattle, WA. Prior to Neah, he was a Post Doctoral fellow at the University of Washington. Gordon earned a Ph.D. in physical inorganic chemistry from the University of Ottawa and a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Prince Edward Island.
Gary Oppedahl, President, CEO, Trilumina
TriLumina Corporation is a semiconductor laser company that recently closed on a $5M initial funding round with 2 New Mexico-based venture firms. TriLumina is his third startup in New Mexico after successful startups of MODE (purchased by EMCORE in 1999) and TBAB Health Care, (now run by his son, Michael Oppedahl). Gary helped startup the first Intel fab in New Mexico and has been doing startups ever since. Gary was named NM Top CEO for 2011 in the large company category. Gary’s companies have received the NM Quality Award and The Innovation Award and Best Place to Work in New Mexico Award.
Lawrence Chavez, CEO, Lotus Leaf Coatings
Lawrence is CEO of Lotus Leaf Coatings, Inc. a manufacturer and distributor of of superhydrophobic (Water Repellent) and superhydrophilic (Water Loving) coatings. Lawrence Chavez has over 20 years of finance and operations management experience in a variety of entrepreneurial and startup businesses. In addition, he has been an active investor both as an angel investor and seed stage venture capitalist. Lawrence serves as a Venture Partner at Flywheel Ventures and previously managed Flywheel’s New Mexico Gap Fund.
Matt Culler, Principal, Sun Mountain Capital
Matt is responsible for identifying new investment opportunities as well as supporting the firm’s existing investments. Matt joined the firm as an Associate in January 2008 following 3 years of investment banking experience at Bank of America in New York. At Bank of America, Matt was an analyst in the private equity placements group where he was responsible for conducting due diligence, marketing investment opportunities, structuring transactions and raising private equity and debt capital in both the PIPE and private markets. Matt has a BBA in Finance with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin.
Date: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Time: 6-8 pm (cash bar & hors d’oeuvres)
Venue: Prairie Star
288 Prarie Star Road
Santa Ana Pueblo
Cost: $22.50 in advance (credit card payments); $25 at the door (cash and check only).