Amerine to Participate on Innovation Panel at Southern Governors' Association Meeting

Jeff Amerine
Photo by University Relations

Jeff Amerine

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Jeff Amerine, director of Technology Ventures, the University of Arkansas’ technology transfer office, will address commercialization of university research during a panel discussion at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Southern Governors’ Association, to be held Aug. 14-17 in Little Rock.

The panel, titled “Creating Communities of Innovation,” is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 15, at the Marriott Hotel. Amerine was invited to speak by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, who as chairman of the Southern Governors’ Association is serving as conference host.

The conference’s theme is “Lab to Market: Accelerating the American South's R&D Network.” Its business sessions will focus on various aspects of research and development occurring in the South, the potential impact of those technological developments, and the ways that governors can support the continued growth of research and development activities.

“I am honored and humbled to be part of the panel,” said Amerine, who will also speak about the importance of angel investment. “This will be a rare opportunity to discuss the best practices for building lasting knowledge and technology-based economies from business leaders, academics and policymakers from all across the South.”

In 2010, Amerine helped found a 21-member, tech-focused, angel investment fund called Gravity Ventures Arkansas, which has made investments in high-tech, high-growth startups in the state. His other recent activities have included the statewide deployment of the Gone in 60 Seconds Elevator Pitch contest, Natural State Angel Association and the successful creation of the ARK Challenge startup accelerator.

Dan Berglund, president and CEO of the State Science and Technology Institute, will moderate the panel. Other panelists include: Brian Darmody, associate vice president of corporate and foundation relations at the University of Maryland; Randy Woodson, chancellor of North Carolina State University; Adam Klein, chief strategy officer for the entrepreneurial hub American Underground in Durham, North Carolina; and Justin Fishkin, chief strategy officer for Local Motors, an micro-manufacturing company headquartered in Phoenix.

Amerine joined the university as a technology licensing officer in 2008 after a successful 18-year career as an executive and builder of technology businesses. He held senior leadership positions in seven startup ventures and three Fortune 500 companies and teaches entrepreneurship in the university’s Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Amerine is also an adviser to Innovate Arkansas, an initiative operated by Winrock International for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission that grows and sustains knowledge-based companies in Arkansas.

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in physical science in 1984 and he also holds a master’s degree in operations management from the U of A, conferred in 2009.

The Southern Governors’ Association, founded in 1934, is the oldest and historically the largest of the regional governors' associations. The association uses the power of connection, collaboration and communications in a bipartisan manner to solve regional problems, improve quality of life and secure an economically vibrant and prosperous American South.


Jeff Amerine, director
Technology Ventures

Chris Branam, research communications writer/editor
University Relations


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