Noubar Afeyan: Entrepreneurial Innovations Transforming Health and Sustainability

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YEREVAN, Armenia – On May 25, 2015, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted Noubar Afeyan, entrepreneur and innovator, for a talk on “Entrepreneurial Innovations Transforming Health and Sustainability.” The event was hosted by the College of Science & Engineering.

Dr. Afeyan drew upon his 25-year career as inventor, CEO, and venture capitalist in presenting a thorough discussion on cutting edge innovations at the intersection of technology, life sciences, and health. “My purpose here is to encourage everyone to be innovative,” said Afeyan, citing the start-up company as one of the biggest innovations in the last 50 years. “Your job as an entrepreneur is to imagine value, then demonstrate value, then create that value, and get rewarded for creating that value.”

For the many AUA students in the audience with entrepreneurial aspirations, Afeyan’s words reminded them that AUA can play a role in developing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that they can harness and use in their future endeavors. “Universities are the place where the most proximal generation that enters the work field is trained, and it’s a place for new ideas and new approaches. And innovation is all about breaking the mold and coming up with new ideas. I think AUA can play a huge role,” he said.

Afeyan is Founder, Senior Managing Partner, and CEO of Flagship Ventures, a leading early stage venture capital firm. He also leads the firm’s VentureLabs unit that invents and launches transformative startups. He is a Senior Lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management where he has taught courses on technology-entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership since 2000. Afeyan has authored numerous scientific publications and patents since earning his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from MIT in 1987. He lectures widely in the United States and internationally on diverse topics ranging from entrepreneurship, innovation and venture capital to biological engineering, drug discovery, medical technologies and renewable energy.

In addition, he serves on the board of AmeriaBank and of UWC Dilijan International School. Previously, he was a co-founder and board member of the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia, a private-public partnership dedicated to promoting economic development in the former Soviet Republic of Armenia. In 2008 he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award granted to outstanding Americans who have distinguished themselves as United States citizens and who have enabled their ancestry groups to maintain their identities while becoming integral parts of American life.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

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