Los Alamos Business Incubation


LABi, a New Mexico company, aspires to have a positive impact on the economic health of Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico by maximizing the rapid identification and success of emerging companies.



How Does LABi Fit In?


By any reasonable analysis, Los Alamos is unique, being the home or work place for so many of the World’s top scientists and engineers; in fact, the alumni pool here comprises more talent in science and technology than “normal” communities many times the size of Los Alamos typically would have.  Moreover, given that scientists and engineers often tend to marry people from very similar backgrounds, the potential spousal  talent pool is larger than you would see in total in a much bigger “normal” community. The result is that Los Alamos and the surrounding environs contain a tremendous intellectual ore that needs to be thoughtfully mined and, in the vast majority of the cases, standard methods will not get the job done.


Happily, we have a number of entities that currently do provide many services to the local entrepreneur, have led to successes and are, indeed, a great value to the region.  However, these resources usually encounter those locals who have that rare combination of a great idea and the personality that will allow them to persevere through the often long, entrepreneurial process. More commonly, highly talented scientists and engineers disdain the more mundane, pedestrian aspects of business development; the standard approach to entrepreneurial development is simply too slow. Consequently, many of them will never enter the process or will just evolve from entrepreneur to hobbyist. When this happens, they and the local communities lose out on great economic potential.


LABi has been developed to work with the existing resources by filling in the gap that exists in the support and development of the potential entrepreneur we have in Los Alamos.  LABi will treat our potential entrepreneur base as a natural resource and it will be intelligently mined to not only identify potential candidates, but also products, ideas or inventions of significant merit and deserving development.  In the case of deserving “orphaned” technologies, LABi will recruit and form entrepreneurial teams. Then,  LABi will proactively walk these potential entrepreneurs through the process, providing help in those areas the individual may not excel at and using strong mentoring and coaching to get them through the process fast enough to keep them from becoming hobbyists.


The approach will be to develop these new businesses and entrepreneurs quickly — over a year or, at most, two years — and get them access to the funds they need to proceed at the earliest possible stages.  In today’s business climate, first to market is incredibly important and this accelerated process will help make more frequent successes. In so doing, LABi will partner whenever possible with the other resources available in the area and, avoid wasteful duplication of effort and competition, allowing all to contribute what they are good at, and enable to community to benefit from the entrepreneurial successes.



Principals of Los Alamos Business Incubation


Andrew E. Andrews (President): Generalist, engineer, MBA, former art gallery owner, Internet marketer, skilled negotiator, and college instructor are among the words describing Andy Andrews.  He has over forty years of experience in general management; research and development; information technology; line, program and project management; engineering and systems analysis; simulation; internet marketing, international negotiations, and military operations.  A true creative, he started and ran a cognitive systems engineering group to develop bleeding edge computer-based training and was a leader in the early development of distance learning.  A West Point graduate, Andy is a retired Army officer with three graduate degrees and the president of the Los Alamos Entrepreneurs’ Network.


Ralph E. Chapman (Vice President for Operations) is a paleontologist, geologist, technologist, data analyst and statistician. For 18 years he ran the Applied Morphometrics Laboratory, the main laboratory at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History for data analysis and the development of technology in support of research. He later founded the Idaho Virtualization Laboratory out of Idaho State University. He has significant experience in acting as a mentor and coach to scientists, artists and technologists.


Damon Giovanielli (Senior Advisor): Chairman of the Board of Sumner Associates, Inc., a science and technology consulting company contracting to agencies of the U.S. Government. He is also on the Board of Directors of Sigma Labs, Inc.  Sigma Labs is parent company for Sumner Associates and adds materials science capabilities to bring new materials and process technologies to market for advanced applications in aerospace, defense, energy, and other areas.


At present, Dr. Giovanielli is himself a consultant to Los Alamos and Livermore National Laboratories.  He is also a consultant to the Radiation Effects and High Energy Density Science Foundation at Sandia National Laboratory, and a member of the Site Directed Research and Development Review Committee for the Nevada Nuclear Science Site. He has served on numerous other boards and committees in the past.


Prior to joining Sumner Associates as President in 1993, Dr. Giovanielli was Physics Division Leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory (1987-1993.) He went to the Physics Division after serving as Program Director for Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Policy, Liaison and New Programs. He served in various other management and research positions at Los Alamos from 1972 to 1993.


After receiving a Ph.D. in physics in physics from Dartmouth College in June 1970, he taught mathematics at Yale University as an instructor until September 1972.  He is a graduate of Princeton University.



Robert L. Nolen (Vice President for Technology): Ph.D.in chemistry in 1970 from the University of Houston; Post-doctoral fellow at Wayne State University performing a 16 step synthesis of a today used anti-tumor agent (two years); Materials Scientist synthesizing target materials (18 refereed publications and four patents) at KMS Fusion performing laser fusion for energy purposes (nine years); Member of the Board of two other international boards of directors and VP of one and elected to be president in 2013-2015; past president of a nine state boards of directors; past president five years of a state affiliate of a Title 9 sports organization; Materials Scientist, Program Manager and Project Leader at LANL for 23 years in Weapons Division; owned the largest sporting goods store in Los Alamos; owns two home businesses paying both Los Alamos license and state taxes; retired from LANL in 2008 and continues to work for a small firm in town, Mosaic VTR on a part-time basis.

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