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AZ Tech Beat | March 29, 2017

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Smart entrepreneurs, good ideas, capital and a plan-Thom Brodeur talks “Commercializing Innovation”

Smart entrepreneurs, good ideas, capital and a plan-Thom Brodeur talks “Commercializing Innovation”
Marcela Palefsky

Thom Brodeurcrop

Thom Brodeur, EVP of Venture Management at Tallwave, didn’t hold back his raw thoughts on how to get Arizona’s entrepreneur scene going and boost our tech ecosystem. Known for his vigor and vibrant presentation style, Brodeur gave a talk about “Commercializing Innovation” to a sold out crowd at the Free Lunch Friday event where he shared his vision and goals for Arizona’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

To put it simply, “a commercializer is a thing that produces things with commercial value,” Brodeur said.

Brodeur emphasized the need to “create an integrated horizontal platform to help a younger market, like Arizona, to behave like a more sophisticated entrepreneurial ecosystem like Silicon Valley, New York and Boston.”

With over 18 years of startup and enterprise management experience, Brodeur has seen and heard many approaches to commercialization and has discovered three key ingredients to successfully commercialize innovation in Arizona, we need smart entrepreneurs with good ideas and enough capital to get through the hard times and develop a plan for success and a system for implementing it.

To accomplish this, innovators must “apply methodology, be rigorous in your approach, be willing to make hard decisions quickly and remake them when they are wrong and cause you problems,” he said.

Brodeur thinks Arizona is already on its way to a more sophisticated ecosystem.

“Some of the most innovative stuff I have ever seen compared to and competitive with Silicon Valley entrepreneurship comes out of the state of Arizona,” he said.

The state consistently ranked in the top 10 for inbound venture capital from Silicon Valley and other markets, and the top 10 for entrepreneurial activity in the past decade.

The Arizona market is at both a disadvantage and advantage in its journey to commercialization, Brodeur said. Because the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our state has only been effective within the last decade and a half, people are suspect of what can be accomplished. On the other hand, the youth of the ecosystem allows for it to be nimble, move quickly and get things done in order to drive an innovation economy.

By commercializing innovation in Arizona, Brodeur told the audience, we can “extract risk and deploy capital at the right time for the best outcome to manufacture sustainable companies.

Brodeur believes Arizona has the potential to become number one in the southwest in early venture and innovation economy. By growing, increasing and accelerating early venture investment and commercializing more innovation, our entrepreneurial ecosystem can mirror that of Silicon Valley and other markets.

“We should not have to pack our bags and head west to find what we need,” Brodeur said.

Watch Thom Brodeur’s talk here.

Want more Free Lunch Friday talks? Check out our past speakers on our YouTube Channel AZ Tech Beat TV here.

Come back to AZTB to see who we have in store next month!

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