Andrew Nelson appointed executive director of RAIN at UO

Andrew Nelson, associate professor of management in the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business, will assume the role of executive director of Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN) activities at the UO in July.

Oregon RAIN is leveraging community, university and business resources to build the startup ecosystem in the state’s south Willamette Valley and mid-coast region. UO is a key partner in RAIN as one of the providers of innovation and human capital to help our region create high-growth, technology-based startup companies.

As executive director of RAIN at the UO, Nelson will build awareness about activities and programs already underway on campus and will identify new resources and activities to support innovation and entrepreneurship at UO. He will work closely with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) as well as with his colleagues in the schools and colleges on campus.

“There’s tremendous innovative activity taking place in every corner of our university,” Nelson said. “I’m excited to facilitate new connections between these groups and individuals.”

Nelson will also work with local and state partners through the RAIN network, including the City of Eugene and the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, which partner with the UO to support RAIN Eugene and its affiliated programs.

“For the past 15 years, Nelson’s research and teaching has focused on ways to spur innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Chuck Williams, associate vice president for innovation at the University of Oregon. “Nelson understands and works with leaders in Silicon Valley and across the globe and his years of experience will greatly benefit faculty and students at the UO as well as startup founders from the community.”

Nelson presented some of his ideas on innovation as a featured speaker at the UO’s inaugural TEDx Conference, where he argued that authentic innovation happens in places that house diversity and pull together different disciplines, people and perspectives.

His ongoing research projects focus on the fields of digital music, information technology, green (sustainable) chemistry and biotechnology and have been recognized by the Academy of Management, the Industry Studies Association and the Kauffman Foundation.

Nelson is the academic director of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship and is the UO’s Bramsen Faculty Fellow in innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability. He received his doctorate in management science and engineering from Stanford University, where he subsequently served as a lecturer. Nelson also holds a master’s degree in economic and social history from Oxford University and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

You can read an interview with Andrew Nelson to learn more about his vision for supporting innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Oregon.