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Rensselaer Lally School Alumnus Makes Waves in Washington


Entrepreneur Michael Farmer, Rensselaer Lally School MBA '03, has recently been active in entrepreneurial circles in Washington D.C. The Leap2 CEO was called on to tell the story of 'Startup Life'  before the US Senate committee on High Growth Entrepreneurship (find Mike's comments at 37:15 and 130:14) in relation to the consideration of the passing of the Startup Act in March. He also participated in a White House meeting arranged by Business Forward.  Travelling with Kansas City business leaders and Mayor Sly James, Farmer was able to share an innovative economic development strategy that he created in the state of Kansas to fund a $580 million bioscience initiative with policy makers in Washington D.C. He also had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Rick Siger, COS, Office of Science and Technology Policy for the Executive Office of the President.  In April, Farmer was invited to be present as President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, representing Leap2 as one of the ten startups from across America in attendance.JOBS Act

Farmer has a career in innovation that includes:

  • Four new ventures founded
  • 10 prototypes developed
  • Five new products launched
  • Seven million dollars of seed capital raised
  • A state-wide Center of Innovation developed
  • A $580M Economic Development Act
  • 300+ new product concepts
  • 12 patents authored (Five active)

Most recently he has been working on a mobile search application, called Leap2 Navigator, that integrates a contextual navigational (gesture-based) window directly with web content.

He was a founder, investor, and board member of CAP CO2, LLC, a venture that sought to be a leader in energy production and efficiency solutions that have lower impacts to the environment. As the vice president of Carbon Strategy, he led the company’s efforts to define technological-based solutions to extend domestic energy production and reduce greenhouse gases. In late 2009, his company was awarded a DOE Phase I grant for $2.7 million for its large-scale industrial carbon capture and storage projects.JOBS Act

Throughout his entrepreneurial career, Farmer has worked at the senior manager level in business development for such firms as Kozoru, Inc. (Kansas City), Aristotle International (San Francisco), Etak-TeleAtlas (Menlo Park), and Rand McNally Corporation (San Francisco). He currently serves on the following boards: U.S. Senator Pat Roberts Science and Technology Advisory Board’s Energy Subcommittee, John O. Farmer Oil Board of Directors, John O. Farmer Investment Advisory Board, and CAP CO2, LLC.

Upon graduating from the Rensselaer Lally School with his MBA and returning to Kansas City in 2003, he worked as a commercialization consultant to Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC), where he  developed the strategy  for the $580 Million Kansas Economic Growth Act (KEGA). This act created such visionary initiatives as the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA), and the Kansas Angel Investor Tax Credit. For these efforts, he was recognized by a proclamation from the Kansas House of Representatives, and the following year awarded Ingram Magazine’s Forty Under 40 award. Farmer

Farmer has provided advisory services to a variety of Midwestern institutions that has resulted in the creation of the Kansas Bioscience Authority Center of Innovation program, and launch of the 2009 KC Area Development Council’s Advanced Energy Initiative.

Michael was quite a force in our MBA program, winning awards for projects in the Strategy course, and developing a product in DMM that resulted in the formation of Float-Tech, a company to build and market a self-inflating jacket for the maritime industry, with his teammates.  He regularly communicates with his professors, and continues to promote the Rensselaer Lally School MBA on his LinkedIn site. 

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