Adam Smith - Portland State University


November 2010

  • Organized a record breaking Invention to Venture workshop on Feb 12, 2011. 207 people attended!
  • Attended Oregon Entrepreneurship Network events and Portland State Business Accelerator events.
  • Planning an NCIIA IdeaLab for August 2011.



Adam Smith is an MBA student at Portland State University concentrating on Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, despite countless jokes from professors that Economics seems a more appropriate calling.  Originally from Montana, Adam moved to Portland in 2001 to pursue his undergraduate degree, also at Portland State, in Sociology and Spanish.  In college, he recognized that in addition to the importance of coursework, the experiences and resources available through student leadership activities were a major source of inspiration for developing his passions.

Adam is also the Director of Membership for the PSU Alumni Association.  He was hired to create and manage the association’s new membership program.  The experience of building a complex program from the ground up led him to question what it means to be an entrepreneur.  He’s held two professional positions since he graduated with his bachelor’s degree, both of which have been newly created jobs within an organization.  He’s never filled anyone else’s shoes, so to speak, and has realized that he’s happiest when building a new program, service, or product.
Adam recently invented his first consumer product, a kitchen tool which he licensed with a major housewares manufacturer.  “One of the most encouraging things I’ve learned is that there are multiple forms of entrepreneurship”, he said, “and for me, it’s liberating to think in those terms.  No matter what your job or career goals may be, you should incorporate your own stamp on it, and you’ll become better at what you do as a result.  That’s one definition of entrepreneurship for me”. 


Adam's vision

As an ambassador for NCIIA, I hope to encourage other students and faculty to take formal steps to turn their ideas into real, innovative new ventures.