Green Launching Pad

Mark W. Huddleston

Green Launching Pad Announcement
Welcome Remarks
 February 3, 2010

Good morning. I am pleased to see everyone here today and trust this means that you are all as excited about the Green Launching Pad program as we are here at the University.

Before we begin I would like to acknowledge the founders of the Green Launching Pad for their outstanding efforts in conceiving and designing this innovative program:

UNH professors George Hurtt, and Kevin Gardner; Franklin Pierce Law Center professor John Orcutt; business leaders Jesse Devitte, and Steve Bracy; Richard Ober from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; and co-principal investigators for the project, UNH professors Ross Gittell and Venky Venkatachalam.

This project also had strong support from the USNH Chair of the Board of Trustees, Ed Dupont and USNH Trustees George Epstein, Bill Ardinger and Peter Lamb. Thank you.

At this time, I would like to introduce a strong partner, great friend, and graduate of the University, Governor John Lynch.


Thank you Governor Lynch.

Yesterday at the launch of the University’s new strategic vision, I stated that UNH needs to reinvent itself as a place where collaboration flourishes and traditional boundaries are crossed. Universities routinely affirm the need for interdisciplinary approaches to solve complex problems such as the environment or community health, but too often encounter impediments in doing so. We have to remove these impediments if we are to survive and flourish. The Green Launching Pad is an example of how we will accomplish that goal.

As you heard from Governor Lynch, the Green Launching Pad is intended to maximize the economic opportunities in New Hampshire from the emerging green economy. It will stimulate the conception and development of innovative business ventures and support the efforts of existing companies positioned to expand market activities in the green economy, and at the same time produce new jobs.

How will that be done?

The Green Launching Pad will have a volunteer board of advisers with representatives from business, academia, nonprofits, and government—including the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning. The administration of the program is being managed by the University of New Hampshire.

Each year, there will be an open call for submissions from N.H. entrepreneurs, businesses, students, and researchers—anyone who has an idea or a product and could benefit from support to bring it to fruition and take it to market. Information on submitting a proposal is available on the program Web site that went live this morning: www.greenlaunchingpad.org

The advisory board will select at least three business launch teams and each will receive as much as $90,000 worth of funding and accelerated business development support, such as professional, legal, and management services; mentoring by seasoned professionals and; and opportunities to network with funders and supporting businesses.

I want to thank Senator Shaheen, and Representatives Hodes and Shea-Porter for their support in passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act last year. The Green Launching Pad is currently supported through April of 2012 through ARRA funds. By that time, the intent is to have the program be self-sustaining through industry support and private foundations. I’d like to take a moment to thank the governor, Liz Gray from the Governor’s Office, and Joanne Morin and Laura Richardson, both from the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning, for their strong support of the Green Launching Pad and their efforts to secure the funding for this important program.

We are thrilled to have this program at UNH, and excited to be able to share the resources and vast expertise of our researchers and faculty to benefit the state in this new way.

I would like to introduce to you now Matt Pierson, chair of the New Hampshire High Tech Council. For the past 25 years, Matt Pierson has been involved with numerous start-up and early stage high tech companies in New Hampshire. He is an active angel investor and was named New Hampshire Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003.

As chair of the New Hampshire High Tech Council, Matt understands the importance of bringing together representatives from the private and public sectors to establish and maintain financial, technical, and management support programs that encourage innovative research and technology-based industrial development. In short, Matt understands the important impact that the Green Launching Pad will have for businesses.

Please welcome Matt Pierson. Matt represents the private sector but we also have significant non-profit engagement with the Green Launching Pad. Now I would like to invite Richard Ober to speak. Richard is the Vice President for Civic Leadership at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and one of the founders of the Green Launching Pad.


Event Close
Thank you everyone for coming today. We hope that you are leaving with a sense of excitement for the great possibilities of this exceptional program.

I would like to remind you again that detailed information is available on the Green Launching Pad Web site at www.greenlaunchingpad.org.

I’d like to thank Governor Lynch, Matt Pierson, and Richard Ober for speaking today. I hope all of you will stay for a few moments and join us for refreshments.

I, as well as some of the Green Launching Pad founders will be here for a bit and available for questions.