Weeklong Workshop Focuses On Launching A Company

SOCORRO, N.M. March 22, 2013 – New Mexico Tech students, researchers and faculty – particularly those with an entrepreneurial spirit and an idea – are invited to enroll in an intensive one-week workshop directed toward taking ideas to commercialization.


Dr. Raul Deju

Tech alumnus will teach class on entrepreneurship

Tech graduate Dr. Raul Deju made a career of leading high-tech companies. These days, he teaches and helps develop new companies through his Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership. Now, he is returning to Socorro to lead a course called “Entrepreneurship: Turning Ideas into Enterprises.” The 40-hour, one-week workshop can be taken for three credits or audited, but only 16 spots are available. The class is June 10 to 14. A The New York Times article on March 18, 2013 featured Deju’s program and called it “MBA Lite: A New Trend.”

Students interested in earning credit will be required to submit a multimedia proposal for a start-up company in the weeks following the workshop. Click here to visit the course webpage. Questions can be directed to Michael Olguin at molguin@admin.nmt.edu.

“We have lots of good ideas here at Tech,” said Dr. Peter Anselmo, chair of the Management Department. “We are a research institution and lots of people are doing amazing, innovating research. The question is, ‘How can we assess whether these projects have something that can be commercialized?’ ”

“The idea here is to create an opportunity for people to realize their dreams. That’s what I do,” Deju said. “Traditionally, universities train people to work in the corporate setting. They work 40 hours a week for 30 or 40 years and then retire. Those days are gone and the workplace is rapidly changing.”

“If they do work for a corporation, they work for a few years, then change jobs, then change again, then change again,” he said.

Deju’s workshop – which he compared to a bootcamp for thinkers – is for the next generation of leaders. The course teaches entrepreneurship as a tool to supplement the scientific and engineering knowledge gained in the classroom.

The class will focus on selling an idea, forming a team and developing a business plan. Day 1 will be devoted to “Firming Up The Concept.” Day 2 deals with “Building the Best Product or Service.” Day 3 is devoted to building a team. Day 4 immerses students into the art of finance. Day 5 “Puts it all together.”

“Raul has graciously offered to teach this course on campus,” Anselmo said. “What’s novel about this is that you have a guy who has done this quite a few times. I think the approach is relatively standard, but it has a Raul Deju flavor, customized for New Mexico Tech to be a very high quality experience.”

Deju has taught a similar class in the San Francisco Bay Area in recent years and about 100 students will have graduated from his program by later this year. He is based at the Concord Entrepreneurship Campus of John F. Kennedy University.

Deju earned his bachelor’s in math and physics at Tech, then earned his doctorate at Tech in geosciences. For 40 years, he has built a career on launching successful businesses, taking them public and starting over again.

“Raul is perfect for this class because he has the experience,” Anselmo said. “He’s started eight or nine companies and not many people on Earth can say they’ve done that.”

Deju said five of the companies he was an executive of in the starting phase are currently on NASDAQ or at the New York Stock Exchange. His former companies have raised billions in debt and equity. Through his Institute, he is involved in almost 100 start-up companies at various stages of development.

He came from humble beginnings. He emigrated to the United States from Cuba as a teenager in the early 1960s. “My parents were still in Cuba and people helped me out,” Deju said. “Now I am helping people out.”

“You have to have a lucky moment,” Deju said. “I teach people how to respond to that lucky moment when it happens. Life is full of intersections and a lot of my satisfaction comes from multiple intersections where I can help people take their knowledge and make something happen.”

Deju and a co-author Dr. Tapan Munroe have written a book, A Planet in Conflict, on sustainability and development that is due to be published in April. Dr. Daniel H. Lopez, president of New Mexico Tech, wrote a review of the book that will be included on the book cover.

In an interview, Lopez said, “Dr. Deju is an excellent example of the value of an education at NMT. He exemplifies both the incredible technical education, as well as the spirit of entrepreneurship. This is why we urge the legislature and others to support an education that adds value to the individual as well as society.”

Deju is the chairman and CEO of Deju Management Advisors Inc. He is the author of five books and over 200 publications. He is a professor in the Graduate MBA program and Director of the Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership at the John F. Kennedy University, near San Francisco. He is a former Chairman, CEO, and COO of various public and private firms including those traded in the NASDAQ and the NYSE. Dr. Deju’s experience includes energy, entertainment, technology, basic industries, and the environmental and construction fields.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech