UO Startup Week highlights entrepreneurship across campus

Panel speakers

A weeklong series of events and activities highlighting UO entrepreneurship and commercialization efforts will include everything from a blockchain conference to InsomniHack, a free, 24-hour hackathon.

The event, Startup Week, happens Nov. 9-17 at more than a dozen locations. The full schedule is available on the Startup Week website.

“The University of Oregon has a proud history of innovation and entrepreneurship, and Startup Week aims to spotlight those commercialization efforts and connect the campus community to available entrepreneurial resources,” said Andrew Nelson, associate vice president and Randall C. Papé Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

At InsomniHack, UO students will collaborate to build a prototype on the fly. The week’s events also include an innovation panel discussion luncheon featuring UO faculty members who have successfully developed commercial innovations from their research.

Nelson will serve as the moderator of the panel discussion, which takes place Friday, Nov. 16, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Erb Memorial Union’s Redwood Room. The event, which is being presented by the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact in partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, features UO faculty members actively engaged in the impact cycle, moving academic research findings into the commercial arena and in some cases back to academic research laboratories.

Panelists include Robert Guldberg, vice president and Robert and Leona DeArmond Executive Director of the Knight Campus; Janis Weeks, professor emerita of biology and co-founder and chief global health officer of the spinoff company NemaMetrix; Michael Marusich, former UO researcher, founder of mAbDx Inc. and cofounder of MitoSciences; and Eric Johnson, associate professor of biology, member of the Institute of Molecular Biology and cofounder of the spinoff company Floragenex and founder of a second company, SNPSaurus. The event is free but registration is required.

Other notable activities include the Outside the Block Conference in Portland Nov. 17. The event, which is the inaugural conference of the Oregon Blockchain club, will bring a range of industry perspectives together with students for a gathering highlighting the future of the budding blockchain ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest.

The UO’s Innovation Partnership Services chapter of the National Academy of Inventors will host a free event from 4-5 p.m. Nov. 16 at Falling Sky Pizzeria in the Erb Memorial Union featuring David Peyton. Peyton is a professor of chemistry at Portland State University and the co-founder of DesignMedix, a spinout company now doing clinical trials of antimalarial drugs.

Additional Startup Week highlights include events sponsored by the Knight Library, the DeArmond Makerspace and RAIN Eugene.

Startup Week is intended for students, faculty members, staff and community members, all of whom can learn how to get started with a for-profit or nonprofit idea, navigate university and local resources and meet others with shared entrepreneurial interests. Sponsored by the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship, Startup Week also will highlight the center’s new cross-campus entrepreneurship minor available to all undergraduate students and set to launch in winter 2019.

Startup Week events are free but may require advanced registration. For more information about the week-long event, contact Kate Harmon, undergraduate program manager in the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship, at kharmon2@uoregon.edu.