Helder is currently a Principal Innovation Strategist with the IDEAS Team within Product Design & Development at Target, and is also a member of the national faculty for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) I-Corps program, which provides training and mentoring in the customer discovery process for scientists assessing the commercial potential of scientific discoveries. Helder has recently accepted an invitation to teach the capstone course in the entrepreneurship program at the University of St. Thomas.
Helder has advised start-ups in successfully applying action-oriented and means driven entrepreneurial thinking and lean launch principles to new products / ventures via workshops, training, and mentoring. He developed a Lean Liftoff program which assisted very early stage innovators and entrepreneurs in the process of moving from idea / concept to developing a viable business model. The program provided tools, training, and mentoring for relatively quick and cost-effective viability assessments, and accelerated the preparation of innovators / entrepreneurs to take advantage of the resources and services provided by their local ecosystems. The payoff for ecosystems was a fuller and better prepared “pipeline” of promising ventures.
Helder spent a decade in academia researching, teaching, and mentoring startups. Before earning his PhD at the University of Oregon, Helder worked for fifteen years as an entrepreneur, consultant, director of economic development and entrepreneurship programs, marketing and advertising professional, and electrical engineer. Helder also earned an MBA from San Francisco State University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University.