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Office of Advocacy U.S. Small Business Administration Region IX Symposium

September 16, 2015 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


In partnership with the University of California San Diego von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center and the San Diego State University Research Foundation, the SBA Office of Advocacy will host a symposium in La Jolla, California. The event will bring together participants from the private sector, public research and educational institutions, and the federal government to discuss the foundations of SBA Region 9’s strong innovation economy and the public policies necessary to ensure its continued success. Panel topics will include strategies for funding research and development, access to the global marketplace, and fulfilling the future potential of the region’s diverse pool of entrepreneurial talent. As the voice for small business in government, the Office of Advocacy will bring policymakers from across the government to engage in a productive conversation with regional leaders about what is needed to overcome barriers to innovation, entrepreneurship, and global growth.

Attendance is free, but space is limited. RSVP to https://goo.gl/w3wGEy by Thursday, September 10.


8:00 a.m. Registration

8:30 a.m. Welcome Remarks

Ms. Claudia Rodgers, Acting Chief Counsel, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration

Ms. Donna Davis, Region 9 Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

Dr. Sandra Brown, Vice Chancellor for Research, University of California at San Diego

9:00 a.m. Regional Innovation Trends

This panel will highlight innovation success stories from Region 9, identifying the unique challenges start-ups within the San Diego region face, and how they compare to the barriers faced by innovative start-ups throughout the rest of SBA Region 9 (California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii). Panelists will share their experiences with the audience and identify what drives key differences and similarities in each respective innovation ecosystem.

Ms. Theresa Andrews, Interim Chief Executive Officer and President, San Diego Taxpayers Association

Dr. John Crockett, Senior Director, Research Advancement and Innovation, SDSU Research Foundation

Ms. Jan Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer, Oceanit, and Trustee of University of Hawaii

Dr. Audrey Iffert-Saleem, Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiatives, Arizona State University

Ms. Jinger Zeng, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, Skyworks Aerial Systems

10:15 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m. Strategies for Small Innovators in the Global Market

This panel will feature a discussion focused chiefly on identifying the innovative strategies that regional businesses, educational institutions, investors and incubators are developing to sustain Region 9’s vibrant innovation ecosystem, identifying what is currently working, and where they see a role for federal government support or policy reform.

Dr. Rosibel Ochoa, Senior Executive Director, Entrepreneurship and Leadership, Jacobs School of Engineering, UCSD von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center

Mr. Louis Stewart, Deputy Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, California Governor’s Business and Economic Development Office

Dr. Susan Baxter, Director, California State University Program for Research and Biotechnology

Mr. Navid Alipour, Managing Partner, Analytics Ventures

Dr. Magda Marquet, Founder, Althea Technologies

Mr. Michael Firenze, President and Chief Executive Officer, CleanSpark

11:45 a.m. Lunch provided on site

12:45 p.m. Afternoon Welcome by a representative from Qualcomm

1:00 p.m. Keynote: The Honorable John Chiang, California State Treasurer

Mr. Chiang will focus on how California’s economy has turned from a period of economic recession to one of economic boom in just a few short years. He will discuss the role that green technology, startups, and innovators have played in this transformation. His remarks will highlight how California was able to foster an innovative climate during challenging times. In addition, he will include lessons learned and his advice for others dealing with similar issues, including small businesses in other states.

1:30 p.m. Addressing Barriers through Smarter Policy—Federal Government Initiatives

The focus of this panel will be to improve the dialogue between federal policymakers and small business stakeholders. Representatives of various government agencies will highlight programs that are designed to foster entrepreneurship and overcome barriers discussed in previous panels while also illustrating the challenges they face in developing policy.

Dr. Christine Kymn, Director of Economic Research and Chief Economist, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration

Mr. John Cabeca, Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Silicon Valley Satellite Office

Mr. Richard Swanson, Regional Director Pacific South Network, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

Mr. Nagesh Rao, Chief Technologist & Entrepreneur in Residence, Office of Investment and Innovation, U.S. Small Business Administration

Ms. Carrie Anderson, Assistant Chief of Casework, Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

3:00 p.m. Office Hours: Bringing Business Leaders, Student Leaders, and Government Leaders to the Table

Government representatives from the previous panel, along with Office of Advocacy staff will be available to make introductions and answer questions. Students from UCSD and SDSU will also showcase their innovative work.

4:00 p.m. End


September 16, 2015
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration
View Organizer Website


Atkinson Hall, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, #0436
La Jolla, CA 92037 United States
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