May 18, 2015
ACTION's session presentation was well received at this year's NBIA conference, which overall attracted more than 600 incubation and entrepreneurial support professionals to Denver, CO in late April. Twenty seven percent of the attendees came from outside the US. With a growing interest both domestically and internationally in forming regional incubator networks, ACTION's model was of interest to many. The Power of Regional Networks:Advancing Product Commercialization through New England’s Incubator Network, used the example of its manufacturing initiative to demonstrate how ACTION brings together the diverse capabilities and infrastructure of its members to serve the product development and commercialization needs of entrepreneurs. Incubator managers Keith MacKenzie of UMass Dartmouth's Advanced Manufacturing Center and Kristine Schuman of TechPlace in Brunswick, ME co-presented the session with Joan Popolo, ACTION's Interim Executive Director. In addition, members Connecticut Center for Advanced Technologies (E. Hartford, CT), Greentown Labs (Somerville, MA) and Chestnut Innovation Center (Amesbury, MA) contributed slides which described their respective manufacturing program capabilities.
A visit to NREL, the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, CO was one of the conference highlights. NREL is the only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. NREL provided a tour of the 182,500-square-foot LEED Platinum Energy Systems Integration Facility, the nation’s first facility to help both public and private sector researchers scale up promising clean energy technologies and test how they interact with each other and the grid at utility scale. The building also houses a high-performance computing data center designed to be one of the most energy-efficient data centers in the world due to its innovative warm-water cooling system.
In addition, Galvanize, Denver's unique community of coding school, entrepreneurs and industry partners (and watering hole!) was also available to tour and for drinks at the end of a long day. Check out Galvanize's concept and space.