On April 17, 2014, the Auburn University Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) held its 4th annual luncheon at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. The keynote speaker for the event was Samuel G. Bonasso, a registered civil engineer, entrepreneur and inventor, and public servant. Bonasso is an adjunct professor of civil engineering at West Virginia University and was formally the Secretary of Transportation for the State of West Virginia. He also served as acting administrator for Research and Innovative Technology at the U.S. Department of Transportation. The inventor of Mechanical Concrete®, Bonasso holds five U.S. Patents, and is the president and founder of The Reinforced Aggregates Company located in Morgantown, W. Va. His talk entitled “This is it! The Realities of Entrepreneuring and Invention Commercialization,” was very well received by the attendees.
Bonasso’s talk dealt with three key issues faced by technology entrepreneurs and inventors who are commercializing new products and inventions; obstacles to market entry, sales and marketing focus, and the decision making process. Bonasso has started more than a dozen businesses during his career. “I know what it means to succeed and to fail. Both are important experiences. Success isn’t a once and done thing. And failure usually occurs due to incomplete or poor information.”

John D. Weete, PhD, Executive Director, Auburn Research & Technology Foundation said, “I have received some very positive comments about Sam’s talk. It was well received.”

Bonasso discussed the importance of entrepreneuring to society as a key creator of jobs and livelihoods for people. According to Bonasso “The independent entrepreneur/ inventor with a new idea can cause positive change to occur and benefit not only his customer, but also his employees and everyone who stands to gain from his success.”