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A Gathering Place for Business-Minded Chemists

Industry Matters Newsletter
Cal Trepagnier
Cal Trepagnier
Credit: Aaron Courter

Cal Trepagnier is a Program Specialist on the Industry Member Programs team at the American Chemical Society (ACS). His work contributes to the team's entrepreneurship programs, industry awards, and summits in pharma and the chemical sciences. Cal also serves as a staff liaison to the Committee on Technician Affairs as well as a subcommittee liaison to the Board Committee on Corporation Associates. His career has included a position at Honeywell, as well as roles as a chemist and sustainability consultant. 

An ACS member since 2010, Cal previously served as an ACS Local Section Chair. He earned an M.S. in Energy Policy and Climate from The Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia.

During this long and protracted COVID-19 pandemic, I have missed many of the gathering places that I had enjoyed in my pre-March 2020 world. Whether that was the Mexican restaurant down the street, the 2019 World Champions Washington Nationals Ballpark, the ballrooms where we've held our Industry Networking Receptions in the past, my church's Parish House, or even the living room of my parents' home. Fortunately, I have been heartened by the online community of the ACS Innovation Hub LinkedIn Group and, today, I invite you to join us.

After almost a year and a half, we have grown to almost 1,700 members and seen engagements higher than any other ACS-sponsored LinkedIn group or any other group dealing with chemistry-connected entrepreneurs. We have a special combination of four primary groups: chemistry-connected entrepreneurs, investors, tech transfer organizations, and large companies.

We have celebrated Black Chemists Week in August 2020, we had past and future Innovation Zone contributors which are now featured on the Forbes 30 under 30 lists in December 2020, and we have heard about start-ups that obtained investments from the Chemical Angel Network.

This is the go-to place to hear about conferences such as the Chemical Ventures Conference, Société de Chimie Industrielle symposia, or Entrepreneurship-focused ACS Webinars. Indeed our partnerships, ranging from the ACS Presidential Succession to the Board Committee on Corporation Associates, the Committee on Technician Affairs, the ACS Division of Small Chemical Businesses (SCHB), and the ACS Division of Business Development and Management (BMGT) have strengthened our resolve to grow and develop this network.

How do you join? If you have a LinkedIn account, click this button to request to join and someone on staff will let you in – whether you are an ACS member or not. We offer content several times a week and we always encourage group members to be brave! Introduce yourself, ask a question, write a comment on a post. For many entrepreneurs, increasing their visibility is the key to gaining partnerships, employees, investors, and customers.

What kind of posts can you expect in the group? Here are a few screenshots taken directly from the group:

Celebrating Black chemists

Shared COVID-19 chemistry resources

Nobelist curates trailblazing women article

Inaugural Virtual Industry Career Day announcement

Forbes 30 under 30 winner shares his research

Entrepreneurship webinar series announcement

The Innovation Hub is all about its members and the important work we can do together to innovate and find solutions to problems through the transforming power of chemistry. The connections we make and the conversations we have will unlock barriers and lead to exciting new science. Whether it is the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, scalable solutions to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change, or the next gadget that transforms the 21st century, chemistry is the central science. I hope to see you in the Innovation Hub soon so we can grow together as professionals and innovators to transform the world. In the meantime, have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.

Copyright 2020 American Chemical Society (All Rights Reserved)

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