Background information on the missions, objectives, key communities, industry sectors and people behind Innovate Texas.
Who We Are
Innovate Texas Foundation, The International Center for Collaboration & Commercialization, connects our state’s wealth of intellectual capital with financial capital to create abundant economic opportunity and strengthen our universities.
Texas is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and a collection of some of the most accomplished academic institutions in the world. The state possesses a diverse range of intellectual capital in areas such as energy, environment, biotechnology, information technology, and agricultural sciences. While these institutions continue to drive scientific innovation and advancement, we realized an enormous opportunity to create even greater value for society by better connecting their research to the global economy to foster businesses in Texas that will create new jobs.
We realized that Texas lacked a unified mechanism to connect its technological resources with entrepreneurs and capital. Responding to the challenge of the accelerated timeframes of technological innovation, Innovate Texas Foundation was founded to provide the rapid and coordinated response essential to capturing opportunities that would otherwise head outside of our state and create jobs elsewhere.
To gain maximum value and competitive advantage in an increasingly globalized economy, it is critical that Texas connects its researchers and innovators with the entrepreneurial and financial capital needed to produce world-class companies that create high-value jobs in the state. Innovate Texas Foundation serves as a catalyst for collaboration and transactions among the state’s academic institutions, businesses, investors and government enabling them to engage with the global economy more efficiently and effectively.
By connecting the wealth of knowledge in Texas with the entrepreneurial and financial resources of the globalized economy, Innovate Texas Foundation helps foster a culture in the state that encourages innovation and appreciates the need for strong businesses to create the high-value jobs that will form the backbone of our future economy.
Ultimately, Innovate Texas Foundation believes improving the utilization of our technology will strengthen our public and private universities through licensing, royalty, and other commercial agreements. Also, the new revenue generated by such commercialization will fund still more research, fueling a self-sustaining cycle that will benefit businesses, universities, and taxpayers for generations to come.
David G. Nance – Executive Director
David Nance serves as Executive Director of Innovate Texas Foundation, the International Center for Collaboration & Commercialization. As the founding director of Innovate Texas Foundation, Nance leads the nonprofit organization as it connects a vast network of intellectual and technological capital around the state and globe to expand Texas’ innovation-driven economy, strengthen its universities and create high-value jobs. With research, education, advisory and advocacy programs, Innovate Texas facilitates relationships and transactions between academic, commercial, financial, governmental and other communities participating in the global innovation economy.
Mr. Nance is a successful serial entrepreneur and is recognized as an expert in the technology and research economy. He has testified before the U.S Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on issues related to economic policy, medical research, the National Institutes of Health, and commercialization of government-sponsored research. Mr. Nance’s experience includes serving as CEO for a number of private and publicly-held companies across several technology sectors, notably the Texas Biomedical Development Partners, a healthcare investment and management firm, which he served as managing partner.
Mr. Nance served on the boards of directors of a number of private and publicly-held U.S. and international companies, including regulated asset management and trust firms and charitable organizations. He founded or co-founded a number of firms active in technology development and technology investment. In addition, Mr. Nance served on the following Texas civic / public institution boards and councils:
- Chair, Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Committee
- Texas Governor’s Council on Science and Biotechnology Development
- Texas Technology Commercialization Foundation
- Texas Governor’s Digital Economy Advisory Council
- Director, Emerging Technology Fund of the State of Texas
- Director, Texas Healthcare & Bioscience Institute
- Member, Board of Visitors, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
- Member, Executive Advisory Board on Intellectual Property, The University of Texas
- Executive Committee, Technology Network (Texas TechNet)
- Member, Industry and Community Affairs Committee, Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas
In 2006 Mr. Nance received the Albert Einstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Life Sciences for his work in developing less toxic cancer therapies utilizing molecular tumor suppression mechanisms. The Christy M. and David G. Nance Laboratory for Gene Therapy Research was established at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in 1999.
Ryan M. Confer - Director
Ryan Confer serves as the Director of Innovate Texas Foundation, the International Center for Collaboration and Commercialization.
Prior to co-founding Innovate Texas Foundation, Ryan was a Senior Investment Manager for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (‘ETF’), a $275 million technology investment fund that support innovation for the State of Texas. While at the ETF, Ryan focused on due diligence, operations management, and portfolio management. During his three years with ETF, Ryan oversaw investment of approximately 90 early-stage technology companies. This operating efficiency led to the ETF being recognized, in 2008, as the "Most Active Early-Stage Technology Venture Fund in the United States."
Prior to the ETF, Ryan was a financial advisor for various economic development initiatives in the Office of Governor Rick Perry. Ryan holds a degree in finance from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in Technology Commercialization at the University of Texas at Austin.