Importance of entrepreneurship for economic development

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Nationally recognized entrepreneur and venture capital investor Paul Singh is coming to New Mexico as part of his North American Tech Tour.

While in New Mexico, he will visit Taos, Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Singh is currently an entrepreneur in residence with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He has overseen investments in more than 500 businesses in 35 countries, founded Disruption Corporation and was a partner at 500 Startups, a “super angel” fund headquartered in Mountain View, California.

Sponsored locally by UNM-Taos’s Center for Business Innovation and Taos Entrepreneurial Network, along with Taos Mesa Brewing and Taos County Chamber of Commerce, the tour will feature a free, open-to-the-public lecture on Monday (April 4) at 5 p.m. in the newly remodeled Padre Martinez Student Success Center on Klauer Campus. The lecture is titled “The Importance of Entrepreneurship for Economic Development.”

On Tuesday (April 5), from 9 a.m. to noon, Singh will hold a Morning Office Hours Pitch Event, where 10 individuals will be given 10 minutes each to pitch an idea and get feedback. This is an invitation-only event, and interested individuals can request an application from Louis Moya, director of economic initiatives at UNM-Taos. Moya can be reached by emailing him at moya.unm.edu.

“The tour isn’t just for companies that want to raise VC (venture capital) money, or tech startups trying to be the next ‘Uber for this or Uber for that,’” Singh stated in a recent email. “We want brick-and-mortar businesses too, and those who are working on their own entrepreneurial dream. It’s important to realize that technology is so interwoven into business that every startup or entrepreneur needs to understand how to make it work for them. Our goal is to bring this message to those cities and towns that so often get passed up in favor of either the East or West coasts.”

“This event highlights the commitment that UNM-Taos has in fulfilling its mission to help our community’s economic development through both entrepreneurial support and workforce development and training,” Moya said. “We are in the strategic planning phase for the Center for Business Innovation, and I believe that it is going to be very valuable for students to work in an environment where they are actually able to help improve the economic health of their own community. It also underscores what an asset our community college can be.”

Bill Knief is a project coordinator at UNM-Taos.

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