Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation


Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation

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Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Mines

The Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Colorado School of Mines was established in 2017 to help students explore their innovative and entrepreneurial potential.  We help to grow and connect the resources already available on campus as well as to launch new initiatives led by faculty, students, and our own staff.  From new courses to innovation competitions, student groups to grants, think of us as the catalyst for anything entrepreneurial or innovative on-campus that needs an extra spark to achieve maximum results.  Our office now has two branches with the McNeil Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation housing our academic courses and programming, and Beck Venture Center as Mines incubator to lunch and fund Mines student, faculty, and alumni startups. 


One, to educate our students in modern entrepreneurial thinking, and two, to provide the opportunity for our students and faculty to explore the commercialization of their science and technology ideas.


An integration of entrepreneurial and innovative solution-oriented mindset in all academic departments at the Colorado School of Mines, where entrepreneurs are seamlessly connected with the infrastructure, resources, and funding they need to achieve their goal: developing sustainable and successful commercial entities based on either Mines-derived or individual-derived technologies.

Fostering the E&I spirit

It provides an entire ecosystem where you start as a freshman in McNeil, and if you have some serious ideas, you can experiment and prototype in Labriola, and if you make it to the next stage, whether you’re faculty or a student or just live in Golden, you have the Venture Center, which is where the ideas meet the real world.

Mike Beck

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Ecosystem

Our ecosystem, an interconnected system of state-of-the-art facilities and programming, establishes needed infrastructure to carry out a bold new vision for Mines students as creative, business-savvy thinkers prepared to enter a fast-paced global workforce.

Meet the Team



Werner received his BS & MS in Chemistry from the Stevens Institute of Technology, and a PhD in chemistry & neuroscience from Indiana University. Previously, he served as the Technology Commercialization Director and the founding Director of the Stevens Venture Center at Stevens Institute of Technology. Prior to this, he was Vice President of Research at ZettaCore, Inc., a company he founded and sold into the semiconductor and printed circuit board industry. ZettaCore was based on research performed while he was Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Riverside. At UC Riverside, he ran a research program that graduated 25 Ph.D. and MS students in fifteen years, published roughly 100 papers (H-index = 60) and received extramural funding in excess of $8 million. He has participated in the formation of five start-up technology companies, several of which were based on translation research in protein diagnostics and genomics. Werner loves dachshunds, travel and teaching entrepreneurial thinking.





A former Apple product manager and entrepreneur, Sid’s practical experience enriches his teaching and informs his research. He is a versatile and innovative educator who teaches entrepreneurship, strategy and leadership. Having taught diverse students and managers in the U.S. and Asia, Sid recently designed and taught a popular collaborative creativity course at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. In terms of practical impact, Sid conducted over a hundred conjoint analysis studies for innovation-seeking high-tech organizations including Apple, Best Buy, CEA, IBM, Motorola, Philips Medical and others. Sid serves on boards and is an award-winning author who published over 90 trade articles.

jenny Crawford

Assistant DIRECTOR of Communications


Jenny adds her passion for creativity to the office of E&I, with a professional background that includes higher education, non-profits, the arts, research and statistics, project manager, course development, adjunct professor, and administration. She tackles problems from a creative and experienced place. If she can’t solve your problem, she’ll find out who can and help you contact them. 

Jenny is currently an Educational Doctoral student conducting educational research and inventing a new conceptual arts-based research method at the University of Denver. She earned a MA in Art & Design and MA in Education Leadership & Policy Studies from the University of Northern Colorado.   

Bud Rockhill

Lead, Entrepreneur in Residence


Bud has been involved in Mines Entrepreneurship and Innovation since 2016, starting by leading business model workshops for students competing in industry-sponsored innovation challenges. At the Beck Venture Center, he works with founders to coordinate support from mentors, advisors, and fractional executives, many of whom are Mines alumni. He helps build partnerships with other players in the startup community, including government, corporations, industry associations, and investors.

Previously Bud has been the CEO/President or owner of four companies, three of which were sold to outside investor groups. His track record for managing growing enterprises has been profiled in several case studies used in the MBA program at both Stanford and Harvard, where he earned his MBA following an undergraduate degree at Lehigh. Bud is also the Managing Partner of the Traxion Venture Network in Golden that has provided more than 70 companies, several of which were led by Mines alumni, with education, advisor support, and access to capital.

Contact Us

Mines Entrepreneurship and Innovation


1600 Jackson St., Golden, CO 80401