UNM Rainforest Innovations

UNM Rainforest Innovations, the technology-transfer and economic development organization for the University of New Mexico, is launching a new campaign to support entrepreneurial activity in Albuquerque and statewide to further develop our innovation ecosystem called the Right to Start movement.

Right to Start is a campaign to rebuild the American economy by making entrepreneurial opportunity a top priority in every community. Entrepreneurship is important because it creates jobs, improves standards, allows for upward mobility, and acts as a driver for innovation and change. While entrepreneurs add tremendous value to our economy, they also face a lot of challenges when getting started.

“The Right to Start campaign is important, because it helps level the playing field for up-and-coming entrepreneurs and their pursuits,” said Lisa Kuuttila, CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer of UNM Rainforest Innovation. “For the past eight years, we have been carrying out the economic development vision of the University of New Mexico with the goal of driving economic growth in New Mexico. By intentionally designing systems that support serendipity and collaboration, like the Innovate ABQ site and Lobo Rainforest Building, we are fostering the growth of individual entrepreneurs who in turn grow our economy. As Victor Hwang says, ‘systemic innovation drives systemic wealth’ and supporting entrepreneurialism is a big driver of that wealth for our community.”

Victor Hwang is an economic growth expert and Founder and CEO of Right to Start. He is the former CEO of T2 Venture Creation, a Silicon Valley firm that builds start-up companies, and is the co-author of the book, “The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley,” which analyzes Silicon Valley’s success and why innovation happens best in environments that operate like rainforests. His book was also the inspiration behind UNM Rainforest Innovations’ company name and mission to Foster a Rainforest in the Desert.

UNM Rainforest Innovations is currently launching the Right to Start campaign in collaboration with the City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department and has big plans over the next year. Together we can change minds, policies and communities in order to give every entrepreneur the right to start.

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