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UND Center for Innovation profiled for Venture Development excellence nationwide

Posted on 6/29/2011

The University of North Dakota Center of Innovation in Grand Forks is one of just 10 programs--and one of two from rural states--profiled by the Regional Innovation Acceleration Network (RIAN) on its Web site. The profile was published on the site this week.

Innovation-driven development programs from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Kansas, Tennessee, Michigan and California are also profiled with the UND Center for Innovation.

"This profile is important because it is being done by State Science & Technology Institute that, since its inception in 1996, has developed a nationwide network of practitioners and policymakers dedicated to improving the economy through science and technology," said Bruce Gjovig, Center founder and director and entrepreneur coach.

"It is the comprehensive, prominent national organization on technology-based economic development that works on research, policy, education, communication and information for those in technology-based economic development," Gjovig said.

"Many venture programs offer bits and pieces but few offer a comprehensive entrepreneur program like the Center, integrating and connecting students, emerging and successful entrepreneurs, researchers, and investors," Gjovig said. "Our success of developing a strong entrepreneur and investor ecosystem has been part of the success and the Center has become efficient through public and private partnerships."

RIAN is publishing just 10 profiles of selected venture development organizations around the nation that exemplify how different approaches tailored specifically to their regional assets and entrepreneurial needs are all yielding significant results.

These results include impressive figures for job creation and successful innovation-based startup companies in their regional economies. RIAN's goal is to restore resilience in America's regional economies by approaching economic development strategy as a regional innovation system and create and improve the nation's community of venture development organizations.

About the Regional Innovation Acceleration Network (RIAN)
RIAN is a project of the State Science & Technology Institute funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to establish and support a virtual nationwide community of non-profit Venture Development Organizations.

EDA is supporting the RIAN effort, and EDA is the most important federal agency relating to promoting economic development, infrastructure, innovation and competitiveness, preparing Americans regions for economic growth and success.

The organizations are business-driven, public or non-profit organization that promotes regional growth by providing a portfolio of services. These services include assisting in the creation of high-growth companies, providing expert business assistance to these companies, facilitating or making direct financial investments, and speeding the commercialization of technology. www.regionalinnovation.org

RIAN profiles the best practices, lessons learned, as well as key programs that are making a significant difference looking at venture development organizations across the United States.

About the University of North Dakota Center for Innovation
The Center of Innovation was one of the first entrepreneur outreach centers in the nation when formed in 1984. The Center provides assistance to innovators, entrepreneurs, students and researchers to launch new ventures, commercialize new technologies, and secure access to capital from private and public sources throughout North Dakota and northwest Minnesota.

The Center has a track record of success in venture development and creating a dynamic ecosystem for innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors.

The Center has worked with more than 550 startups over the years that employ over 4,000 people, and have secured more than $130 million in capital. Plus the Center has teamed up with the Entrepreneur Department to develop a major and certificate program in entrepreneurship which was ranked in the top 1 percent of entrepreneur programs nationwide.

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Useful links:
*UND Center for Innovation http://www.innovators.net/innovators/public_html/
*RIAN http://www.regionalinnovation.org/content.cfm?article=about-rian
*RIAN profile of UND Center for Innovation http://www.regionalinnovation.org/assets/files/profiles/RIAN_Profiles_UND%20Center%20for%20Innovation.pdf

Contacts:
Bruce Gjovig, entrepreneur coach and director
UND Center for Innovation
701-777-3132
bruce@innovators.net

Juan Miguel Pedraza, writer/editor
UND Office of University Relations
701-740-1321
juan.pedraza@email.und.edu


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