Entrepreneurship

    

    

Market design involves bringing market innovations to practice. As such, in addition to my academic positions at the University of Cologne and the University of Maryland, I have a number of entrepreneurial and board activities that keep me close to practice. These activities complement my market design research in many industries (Innovative Auctions and Cramton Associates), including electricity (ERCOT), communications (Rivada), transport (Arpent), and finance (Tremor and BANKEX).

Current roles

Board of Directors, ERCOT, the independent system operator of the Texas electricity system. ERCOT has a straightforward mission: “To serve the public by ensuring a reliable grid, efficient electricity markets, open access and retail choice.”

Founder and Chairman, Cramton Associates, a consulting firm that since 1993 has provided expert advice on auctions and market design to clients worldwide in many industries. For over two decades, I have advised governments in the design and implementation of simple and effective auction markets. I also have advised bidders participating in high-stake auction markets in many countries and in many industries.

Chief Economist, Innovative Auctions, a premier provider of online auction systems and auction facilitation services. Innovative Auctions has over 17 years of experience with high-stakes auctions, and has been involved in over 100 auctions in a variety of functions ranging from auction design and software development to provision of software-as-a-service, auction administration, training, and stakeholder communication.

Chief Economist, Rivada Networks, a communications company introducing an open access wireless market to promote competition and support public safety.

Chief Economist and Director, Tremor, a company creating a smart market for trading risk in reinsurance.

Director, Arpent Technologies, a company developing a market for road use to eliminate congestion through scheduling, routing, and real-time road pricing.

Senior Adviser, BANKEX, a company using a proof-of-asset protocol that enables a new generation of assets and contracts, creating decentralized capital markets.

Prior roles

Chairman, Market Design Inc. (with Lawrence Ausubel, R. Preston McAfee, Paul Milgrom, Alvin Roth, and Robert Wilson), a consulting firm that worked with governments and companies in designing and implementing state-of-the-art auctions, 1995 to 2016 (President since 1999, Chairman since 2003). Major projects:

  • Design auction market for rough diamonds.
  • Design auction and suggest market reforms for British Columbia timber market.
  • Design and implement auction to sell electricity capacity in France for Electricite de France and in Belgium for Electrabel.
  • Design and implement auction to sell gas capacity in Germany and France.
  • Design and implement U.K. auction to procure greenhouse gas emission reductions.
  • Design and implement spectrum auctions in U.S., Canada and Mexico.
  • Comment on design of spectrum auctions in Australia and U.S.
  • Design and implement electricity auctions in California and New England
  • Design auctions to divest electricity generation plants and power purchase agreements in U.S. and Canada.

Chairman and Founder, Spectrum Exchange (with Lawrence Ausubel, Paul Milgrom, and Market Design Inc.), a firm to create value for the public by promoting the efficient exchange of spectrum. 1999 to 2009. Although Spectrum Exchange was unsuccessful in organizing the exchange of TV broadcast spectrum at the turn of the century, the idea is now a central part of the U.S. national broadband plan. The plan calls for  incentive auctions, which will address the key regulatory problems, especially holdup by individual broadcasters, that made success impossible ten years ago.

Founder, Criterion Auctions, a consulting firm that provides auction support services to governments and companies in high-stake auctions. December 2000 to June 2007. Criterion Auctions has now merged with Navigant Economics.