An intellectual property and business startup executive—who also happens to be an alumnus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga—headlines the program for the University’s first-ever Research Commercialization Day: Inspiring the Innovation Mindset. The event is sponsored by the Clarence E. Harris Chair of Excellence in Entrepreneurship of the Gary W. Rollins College of Business with support by the UTC Commercialization Counselor and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.
Tom Waters is assistant director for startups at the University of South Florida, where he brings 30 years’ experience in product development, market intelligence and business startups to his work helping faculty and staff commercialize innovation.
Waters shares his insights on Oct. 19 in a series of events focused on startups, commercialization and developing commercialization plans. The public is welcome to Waters’ free presentation, “Commercializing Innovation Through Partnerships,” from 10:45 a.m. to noon on the second floor of the Mapp Building, 410 E. Eighth Street on the UTC campus. The event is organized by the University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), which is dedicated to connecting UTC innovators and entrepreneurs and the broader entrepreneurship community in Chattanooga and beyond. More details and registration information are here.
An afternoon workshop, “Storytelling the Market: Conveying the Value Proposition of a New Research Innovation,” is for UTC faculty and graduate students.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology at UTC in 1990, Waters began his career in research and development with the BASF Corporation. His 10 years at BASF included commissioning a product development pilot plant for the company.
In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Waters left the corporate world to join the CIA as an undercover member of its Trade Security Team. In that role, he advised U.S. companies targeted for technology theft by foreign governments, authored strategic analysis for the U.S. President’s daily intelligence briefing and presented intelligence to members of Congress.
Waters returned to the private sector to launch his own startup firm. He has achieved a dozen patents in biometrics, authentication and digital rewards programs. Waters has been featured in Government Executive magazine, interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the BBC and Fox News.
He authored a memoir, “Class 11,” on his CIA experience that has been optioned for television production by ABC and is No. 2 on the agency’s list of recommended reading for new employees.
His 2010 business strategy book, “Hyperformance,” took him on a USO Tour of U.S. military bases in the Middle East. His debut novel, “Secret Signs,” won the 2011 International Book Award for Multicultural Fiction, and his new book on startups and corporate innovation, “Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks,” comes out in November.
In addition to his UTC degree, Waters earned an MBA at Wake Forest University and completed the Board of Directors College at Stanford Law School. He is a registered patent agent admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Organization and a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.
# # #
- Public presentation: 10:45 a.m.—noon
- Registration and additional details here