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College of Business and Economics News and Events

MBA Students Immersed in the Process of Commercializing Intellectual Property

technology commercialization group meetingA new program known as Tech2Market, developed for Idaho universities by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), is being piloted at Boise State University this fall with support from the Idaho Technology Council.

As part of the program, teams of students draw from Boise State’s large bank of intellectual property created by students and faculty from the College of Engineering. Four teams were selected for the pilot and are made up of MBA candidates from Boise State’s College of Business and Economics and students who are researching the intellectual property from the College of Engineering.

Paul Cooperrider, technology commercialization program director for the Idaho SBDC, said it’s estimated that the impact from commercialized technology to the U.S. GDP over the past two decades from universities and public research institutions, like Boise State, is close to $600 billion.

“We believe this collaborative and multidisciplinary approach can open the door to a greater student experience while contributing to the state’s tax base and economic vitality,” said Cooperrider.

Sydney Axtell, an MBA candidate in the program, said she’s excited to be a part of it.

“Once you learn the process of starting a business, it’s addictive. I’ll jump on any potential project I can get my hands on just to experience that process in different industries and applications.”

Eldar Sakebaev, MBA candidate, is working with fellow MBA student Sierra Morris (both are entrepreneur leads) and material science graduate student Andreas Savva is a principal investigator for the team.

“My job in the process is to figure out where the technology can be applied, find the customers’ pain points and narrow down the options,” explains Sakebaev. “We are working on improved chemistry of energy storage technology and potential commercialization of batteries. Tesla, Panasonic and other large corporations are pushing the boundaries in this arena and it is exciting to see what is happening in the battery field.”

Another students team is working on possible commercial uses for a smart antenna that allows for faster data rates, more secure connections and reuse of frequency spectrum. Team members are Billy Bateman and Ali Sharifi Shalmani are MBA candidates and entrepreneurial leads for the team; and Ahmed Kausar is an engineering PhD student and a principal investigator for the team.

If the Tech Push program is successful, the overarching Tech2Market program will be implemented at other state universities. The program is hosted and run by the Boise State Venture College through Tech Push.

Nancy Napier Receives Medal of Friendship from Vietnam

Distinguished Professor Nancy Napier receiving the Vietnam Medal of Friendship Oct. 2017

Distinguished Professor Nancy Napier received Vietnam’s Medal of Friendship.

Napier began working in Vietnam in 1994, when she taught at Hanoi-based National Economic University (NEU) in a program to “train the trainers.” The program was funded by a Swedish government agency to help the country move toward a market-oriented economy, under a Vietnamese government initiative called “Doi Moi,” while maintaining its dominant socialist government.

Napier’s first visit evolved into a nine-year, $8.5 million capacity building project managed by Boise State and funded by Sweden and USAID. The program trained Vietnamese university educators and business people, many of whom had been trained in Soviet-bloc countries, in market economics and western style business skills and practices. All of the participants in the three cohorts spent several months on campus in Boise and interned at numerous cooperating Boise-based companies and agencies. Ultimately all earned their MBAs from Boise State before commencing the next step in the program — developing and delivering their own MBA programs at the National Economics University. The program ultimately graduated 84 MBAs to graduates who now teach, do research and are in administration roles throughout the country. Several of the business people who graduated have started their own successful firms and work for foreign and Vietnamese companies. Some of the children of those graduates now attend Boise State, as well.

Napier was awarded Vietnam’s Medal of Friendship, approved by Vietnam’s president, and conferred by the National Economics University’s Rector Professor Tran Tho Dat. As Rector Dat said, “I can count the number of foreigners who have received the Friendship Medal on my two hands. It is a big honor for the Boise State University and Professor Napier.”

MBA Graduate, Ben Zamzow Named COO at Rocky Mountain Companies

image Ben Zamzow, COBE grad Boise State UniversityBen Zamzow a Boise State University MBA graduate, has been named chief operating officer at Rocky Mountain Companies.

Zamzow will oversee the commercial development process for Rocky Mountain Companies including property acquisition/disposition, construction, property management and company operations.

Previously, Zamzow  was a commercial real estate broker at Thornton Oliver Keller Commercial Real Estate.

He received the IBR Accomplished Under 40 Award in 2015.

COBE Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma Recognized for Giving Back

BetaGammaSigma students with blankets donations

The Boise State University COBE Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) was highlighted in the national BGS newsletter for their participation in BGS Gives Back service event. Our BGS members made blankets and donated them to two local non-profit organizations: The Women and Children’s Alliance and City Light (Boise Rescue Mission’s facility for women and children).

“Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) is an international honor society that recognizes business excellence. In addition to values of professional excellence, honor and leadership, the society emphasizes service through its BGS Gives Back program,” explains Mary Olson, BGS advisor. “It is a great experience for our members to give to our local community and make a positive difference in the lives of others. Mahatma Gandhi said it well: ‘The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.’ Together, we can make a difference!”


Gail Puccetti Awarded Classified Employee of the Year

Gail Puccetti, Classified Employee of the Year 2016Gail Puccetti was presented the 2016 Outstanding Classified Employee of the Year award at the College of Business and Economics’ fall 2017 back-to-school cookout. Senators and executive board members from the 2017-18 ACE Senate were there for the presentation. The award was presented by ACE president Rob Pangaro.

Puccetti is an employee of the College of Business and Economics and she is the building manager for the Micron Business and Economics Building (MBEB). Puccetti started the job just after  MBEB opened in 2012.

“Gail was chosen for her dedication, work ethic and her great attitude,” said Pangaro.”She works well with university personnel and members of the Boise community.”

ACE senators and executive board members at award presentation 2017The Association of Classified Employees has been giving this award since 1988. In order to be nominated an individual must have been employed a minimum of five years at Boise State in a permanent classified position. Recipients are selected based on their contributions to their departments and the university. Community service is also considered.

See the ACE website for past award recipients.


Daniel Rush, Department of ITSCM, Published in Journal of Cleaner Production

Daniel RushNew to COBE this fall, information technology management faculty Daniel Rush has had a paper published in Journal of Cleaner Production. The paper is title “Systems Enabling Low-Carbon Operations: The Salience of Accuracy,” and can be viewed here. Co-authors on the paper are Nigel Melville, University of Michigan and Terence Saldanha, Washington State University.

The Journal of Cleaner Production is an international, transdisciplinary journal focusing on cleaner production, environmental, and sustainability research and practice. Through published articles, they aim to help societies become more sustainable.  Journal of Cleaner Production is ranked first on Google Scholar’s sustainable development category.

Sept. 14: Ask Me Anything with COBE Alumni

Ask Me Anything! event at Boise StateAsk four COBE alumni, now business professional, anything you’ve ever wanted to know, but haven’t had an opportunity to ask.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017
in the Imagination Lab, MBEB 2302


  • Conrad Ball, Commercial Relationship Manager at Washington Trust Bank
  • Lauren Johnson, Account Manager at Clearwater Analytics
  • Lance Millington, Director of Channel Sales at Kount
  • Shannon Stith, CFO at Thomas Cuisine Management

All Majors Welcome
Free Pizza


Find more workshops and events from COBE Career Services.

(208) 426-3862 |