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19 May 2014

GUV VIP List 2014

The inaugural VIP list of TTO managers and university-linked fund managers.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

In order to catalogue the movers and shakers in academic innovation, GUV has produced its inaugural VIP list of tech transfer office managers and university-linked fund managers. With the aim of expanding the list to 100 names next year, this year's 50 VIPs have been selected on impact of their offices and funds observed over the past year.

 

TTO Managers

 

Tony Raven, CEO, Cambridge Enterprise, Cambridge University

With the arrival of Cambridge Innovation Capital (see Peter Keen in fund managers), it has been a big year for Cambridge Enterprise, and its relatively new CEO is certainly feeling exhilarated. "With Cambridge being one of the world’s top universities with a global reach, world-changing ideas and Europe’s leading technology cluster it couldn’t be a more exciting time or place to be but it also carries with it a huge responsibility”, Tony Raven told Global University Venturing.

Having just exited his third and final company in 2000 after a successful fifteen year entrepreneurial career, Tony’s links between business and academia combined with fresh funding provided by the government presented the perfect opportunity for him to get involved in technology transfer. Prior to his December 2011 appointment to Cambridge Enterprise, Tony, an alumnus of Manchester and Oxford, completed an 11 year stretch as Southampton University’s director of Research and Innovation Services, where he managed a portfolio of 11 spin-outs with four listings on the London Stock Exchange.

The variety Tony has enjoyed over his career makes it tricky to narrow down a particular highlight: "Obviously starting your own company and seeing it grow, succeed and make a difference to people’s lives is very rewarding and when you are at the leading edge of technology as with Summit (acquired by Nestle Alcon for $893m) and Diomed (acquired by Angiodynamics), it’s a very challenging and exciting time doing things no-one has done before and seeing them crystallise into products and services people want to buy", Tony said to GUV. "But in technology transfer you get involved with some really world changing ideas from some of the smartest and most innovative people on the planet. Just being able to be a part of transitioning their ideas is both a privilege and hugely exciting and rewarding. Some of the things I have been involved in at Cambridge and Southampton will have impacts on people’s lives far beyond anything my own companies have done.  And that is what you call the ultimate job satisfaction – having fun and being part of making a difference."

Tony also remains optimistic for the future of both Cambridge and technology transfer across the country: "Technology transfer is in a good place in the UK at the moment with the link between investment in science and its impact on society and the economy a central tenet of government policy – and one that unites the political parties."

 

Lita Nelsen, director, Technology Licensing Office, MIT

 

A cornerstone of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Lita Nelsen’s near 30 year tenure at the institution’s Technology Licensing Office (TLO) has been instrumental in driving MIT’s innovation policy for over two decades.

The MIT native, awarded both the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and the Association of University Technology Managers’ (AUTM) Bayh-Dole Award for her work in technology transfer, has led the institution’s TLO since 1992 after joining the unit back in 1986. Having attained both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in chemical engineering from MIT, Lita found her first pathways into technology transfer via a spin-out founded by one of her MIT professors.

Lita found that technology transfer allowed her to combine her technical background and communication skills with her interest in small companies and her desire to do something useful for society. What keeps her interested is the quality of the people Lita gets to work with, not only at MIT, but also with her counterparts in the US and the UK, saying "we work together in what is really a mission for the research community and for the society as a whole".

Another aspect that keeps Lita intrigued in technology transfer is the variety of work MIT offers, which includes the formation and support of companies such as robotics firm Boston Dynamics (recently acquired by Google), the cycling spin-out Superpedestrian, and wireless electricity firm WiTricity. Lita’s personal favourite project comes from a joint project between the institution and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) based on an invention between a chemical engineering professor at MIT and an orthopaedic surgeon at MGH. 

Lita told GUV: "They developed a greatly improved hip-replacement material that solved the problem of fragmentation and the resulting bone dissolution ("osteolysis").  We licensed it to a large orthopaedics company and it has set a new standard for hip implants.  As the surgeon said years later in a Grand Rounds lecture:  ‘[He] had devoted his life to solving the problem of osteolysis and now, ladies and gentlemen, it is done. We changed people’s lives.’”

Moving forward, Lita sees technology-based entrepreneurship as increasingly important worldwide and critical for the maturation of university inventions. She also foresees corporates partnering with universities and their spin-outs on open innovation becoming more widespread, with research universities retaining their position as a critical component of economic growth, and technology transfer remaining an important lynchpin in the process.

 

Tom Hockaday, managing director, Isis Innovation, Oxford University

 

NaturalMotion, a computer games software firm, made some of the biggest headlines involving a university spin-out so far this year when the Oxford University company was acquired by gaming firm Zynga in a $527m deal which netted over £30m ($50m) for the institution. While it may have been the first time those outside of gaming had heard of NaturalMotion, for Tom Hockaday it was the conclusion of an Oxford story that has played out across nearly his whole tenure thus far at Isis Innovation, the university’s technology transfer arm.

Founded in 2001, a year after Tom joined Isis from a seven year stretch as head of technology transfer at Bristol University, Tom has seen the company grow from software animation tools based on NaturalMotion’s CEO’s doctoral research into one of gaming’s most recognised animation software programmes. Used in the development of highly acclaimed and world renowned games such as Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption, the company would go on to develop its own games, the success of which attracted the attention of its new owners, Zynga.

However, although watching the growing success gaming spin-out has been a career highlight for Tom, he says the real attraction to technology transfer is "variety: the variety of people, the variety of technologies, and variety of industry sectors.  University technology transfer is all about making connections between researchers and research outputs on the one hand, and people in industry, investors and entrepreneurs on the other. It makes for an ever-changing life."

The King’s College London alumnus added: "Early on I worked with a researcher in Bristol Dental School; he had seen active service as a dentist in the Royal Navy and was using then novel blue LED technology to develop a faster, portable way of setting dental composite fillings; his motivation and persistence were clear to see.  And then there are countless other amazing ideas and technologies, some make it, some do not, but helping give them a chance to attract industry investment is what it is all about."

Tom’s time at Isis has also, more recently, seen a building of links between Oxford and China, with the opening of a Hong Kong office, as well as the launch of the Oxford University Isis Fund, which looks to stimulate fresh spin-outs coming out of the university. The unit continues to perform under Tom’s leadership, with revenues up 25% over the past year. Tom sees the future of Isis in developing new ideas, finding new ways in which to develop them and transfer technology, and building an international network of platform to promote Oxford on the global stage.

 

 

Jon Soderstrom, managing director, Office of Cooperative Research, Yale University

 

Earlier this year at the Association of University Technology Managers’ (AUTM) annual meeting, Jon Soderstrom saw his peers’ respect for his near 18 year mission to promote Yale’s intellectual property become manifest when he received the 2014 Bayh-Dole award for his leadership at the institution’s Office of Cooperative Research (OCR).

Originally, the Northwestern University alumnus was attracted to technology transfer by the process of deploying technology out of universities to putting them to use by the public. "It seemed a terrible waste of public investment dollars to not see the results actually have a positive impact on society", Jon told GUV. "Thus, it [technology transfer] is a great way to help make the world a better place for all of us."

Since joining Yale’s technology transfer office in 1996, Jon and his team have overseen the creation of more than 25 new ventures, including Molecular Staging (acquired by Qiagen), Agilix, Achillion Pharmaceuticals, PhytoCeutica (acquired by Kadmon), Protometrix (acquired by Invitrogen), Iconic Therapeutics, Applied Spine Technologies, HistoRx (acquired by Genoptix), VaxInnate, Affomix, Kolltan Pharmaceuticals and Arvinas. Together, these firms have raised over $500m in external funding.

However, Jon’s highlight comes from Yale’s work with pharmaceutical firm Bristol-Myers Squibb to tackle AIDS, which has helped reduce the cost of anti-HIV drug stavudine (known as Zerit), thus making treatment more affordable and prevalent in the world’s poorest countries.

Looking to the future, Jon’s team want to further build the technology cluster situated around the university – helped in part by the OCR’s creation of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI). Since its foundation in 2007, YEI has launched over 60 new ventures led by Yale students and alumni, which have gone on to secure over $60m in venture backing collectively.

 

Cengiz Tarhan, managing director, UCL Business, University College London

Describing his current role as "much more exciting than being an accountant", former ledger lover Cengiz Tarhan now finds himself holding the reins at UCL Business. The technology transfer office forms a third of UCL Enterprise, University College London’s business-facing unit led by technology ventures veteran Timothy Barnes, and, along with peers at Isis Innovation, Cambridge Enterprise, and Imperial Innovations, is the Golden Triangle’s face for technology transfer.

Cengiz told Global University Venturing that he relishes being part of a process that creates opportunities for ideas to flourish and to become products and services that drive thriving companies and support the economy as a whole. He added that he finds particular satisfaction from "seeing those products, treatments and solutions make a real difference to people by making them live better and for longer, improving how their chronic conditions are managed and ultimately saving lives."

A particular stand out project for Cengiz for the numerous projects he has overseen is what is now known as Map of Medicine. Starting life with the somewhat cumbersome name of "The Really Useful Medical Practitioner’s Site", the Map is now used by general practitioners and National Health Service (NHS) hospitals across the UK, and assists healthcare professionals in determining the best treatments for patients via an evidence-based flowchart which leads users from diagnosis through to treatment.

"What made it more challenging was succeeding in developing the clinical pathways and embedding them into the NHS – despite sceptics", Cengiz told GUV. "We believed in the idea, invested as the sole investor, all the way from concept right through to development over a five year period (and at enormous risk). A successful exit was secured which generated a good return to UCLB and delivered significant sums to both UCL and the Royal Free Hospital as our partner hospital. But much more important was the fact the Map is now embedded into the NHS and is empowering doctors to make the best decisions for their patients by providing them with the most up to date evidence based information via the Map. Mission accomplished!"

As well as performing technology transfer for UCL, the unit is more and more focused on submitting impact case studies to support UCL’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) submission – including examples of spin-outs selling for $1bn and life-changing therapies. Cengiz said this evolving function to display evidence of UCL’s and its partner hospital’s research success adds weight to the activities of UCL Business (UCLB), adding "UCLB has been growing and evolving since its incorporation 20 years ago, its role and functions over that period have changed significantly but I believe its relevance has never been more important nor more essential."

 

Brendan Rauw, associate vice-chancellor and executive director of entrepreneurship, Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

 

Brendan Rauw, the man driving University of California Los Angeles’ (UCLA) ever growing success in technology at the institution’s tech transfer unit, the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research (OIP), is someone who draws on the thrill of his surrounds to support his work. "The most exciting aspect of technology transfer is seeing ideas today that will transform the world tomorrow, and being part of accelerating that process", Brendan told GUV. "The passion and dedication of our researchers working in labs inspire me every day, and make me look forward to a future where university technologies make the world a better, healthier place."

UCLA has led the way in the California University system in adding companies to the state, which include life sciences firms such as ImmunGene, GUV Deal of the Year 2013 award winner Kite Pharma, and submental fat treatment developer Kythera, as well as companies such as materials firm Water Planet Engineering and seawater desalinisation firm NanoH2O. However, Brendan describes the most transformative initiative he has seen on his watch as UCLA’s efforts on translational oncology.

"In 2012, we saw the launch of Xtandi, a prostate cancer therapeutic developed at UCLA", said Brendan. "We have another product candidate in Phase III trials with Johnson & Johnson, and a robust pipeline that we hope will be a part of transforming the treatment of cancer in the future for the benefit of society."

UCLA, a short walk from Hollywood and Beverly Hills, is also at the centre of a major effort to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem along with peers in Southern California to challenge Silicon Valley and the San Francisco bay area in the north of the state – an effort Brendan and his team find themselves in the middle of. Talking on the subject, Brendan added: "We are at an inflection point where I see a vibrant entrepreneurial community that capitalises on the tremendous calibre of research of local academic institutions reaching critical mass in Los Angeles."

 

 

Vinit Nijhawan, managing director, Office of Technology Development, Boston University

 

Coming from a background in building startups (five in total, CEO of three, all acquired) and venture capital, Vinit Nijhawan differs from many of his peers in this list as he was not so much attracted to technology transfer – more it was attracted to him.

Vinit was teaching entrepreneurship at Boston University’s (BU) Graduate School of Management – something he still continues to do as an executive-in-residence at BU - when he was headhunted by the institution’s Vice-Provost for Research to review the university’s Office of Technology Management (OTD) – its technology transfer unit.

"Knowing nothing about university technology transfer I looked at several other universities but did not find a model that appealed to me so I created a new model for BU", Vinit explained to GUV. "I have been starting new ventures since college and nothing excites me more than taking an idea, gathering resources, creating a product or service and convincing customers to pay for it."

 

In the four years since being convinced to stay on and implement his model, Boston’s OTD has generated more licensing revenue than the prior 34 years combined. Looking forward, the Waterloo University alumnus now plans to create a sustained base of licensing revenue and "to have fun doing it".

Part of that fun comes in the form of the OTD’s annual networking event, Tech, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll (TDRR), which looks to connect academics with entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators. Now in its fifth year, TDRR differentiates itself from the majority of conferences by not only looking to highlight innovation coming out of Boston while mixing up all parts of its ecosystem in one room, but adds a dose of excitement by closing out the event with a live band.

 

Fred Farina, chief innovation officer, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Despite its small size – with a mere 2,231 students in its 2010 intake – Caltech packs a mighty punch when it comes to technology transfer. Since 1995, the institution has generated more than 80 spin-outs, and has one of the top student startups per head rates anywhere in the world. While the nearby Stanford is seen by some as the holy grail of student startups, it still only produces one per 1,250. Over on the east coast, MIT manages 500 per head. Caltech gets one new startup per 300 students.

A central figure in Caltech’s technology transfer drive is Fred Farina, an alumnus of the institution, who leads up Caltech’s technology transfer office. Incumbent in the role since 2001, Fred has been instrumental in assisting the institution deliver its incredible results. Speaking previously on that success, Fred said: "The reality is that we are extremely effective at creating new companies and the numbers speak for themselves. An average of eight new companies are spun out each year, which is a high number in absolute terms, but if you consider our size we are off the charts. No other institution comes close in the number of startups created per faculty member or per student."

 

Jane Moores, assistant vice-chancellor, Technology Transfer Office, UC San Diego

Along with UCLA, University of California San Diego (UCSD) forms the jewels the technology transfer crown at the multi-institution UC system. Heading up the Technology Transfer Office at UCSD is Jane Moores, who has been with the unit since 1999 when she joined as a senior licensing officer.

Prior to coming to UCSD, Jane worked with Stratagene for 12 years, itself a spin-out of the institution. While with the company, Jane worked on product research and development as well as business development. Jane attained both her undergraduate and PhD degrees in microbiology at University College London, but came to UCSD to perform post-doctoral research into cloning bacterial genes.

 

Olivier Freneaux, president, Satt Sud Est

Oliver is part of the changing face of French technology transfer. In 2012, in a bid to end the fragmented approach to technology transfer seen both in France and abroad, 14 new regional tech transfer offices were established, dubbed the Sociétés d’Accélération du Transfert de Technologies (SATTs). Each SATT now has a whole region of the country to accommodate, as opposed to a single institution, giving each one much more firepower in terms of staff, intellectual property under management, and critical mass to do deals.

Olivier Freneaux, along with peers such as Nicolas Carboni at Conectus Alsace and Christian Esteve at IDF Innov (which covers Paris), is one of the new presidents to step up to lead the new collaborative unions. Oliver presides over Satt Sud Est, which received €78m ($107m) from the French Government’s Future Investment Programme – the most substantial fund of any of the SATTs – to support innovation coming out of its partners. Among its shareholders, Satt Sud Est includes the universities of Aix-Marseille, Nice Sophia Antipolis, Sud Toulon Var, Avignon and the Vaucluse, Corsica, the Central Engineering School of Marseille, the French National Centre for Scientific Research, the National Institute for Medical Research and financial services provider Caisse des Dépôts.

Oliver, who was educated at the National Institute for the Application of Science at Strasbourg and has over 30 years of director-level experience at technology transfer units, said he was pleased with progress so far at the young SATT office when GUV spoke to him late last year: "While we have been operating the company for less than two years, we are already very proud of our achievements and results. On the one hand, researchers enjoy collaborating and sending us their invention disclosures. On the other hand, we have already granted companies 12 licences, which vouches for the credibility entrepreneurs and research and development managers show us. We are quickening this pace, aiming for one licence a month on average."

 

Derek Waddell, director of research and commercialisation, Edinburgh University

While the debate over Scottish independence continues to rage, nationalists looking to separate away from the union can take heart in the fact that Scottish spin-outs are on the rise. In fact, the efforts of Edinburgh University’s TTO Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI), along with its opposite numbers at Aberdeen, Glasgow, Strathclyde and Heriot-Watt, has been behind a drive to generate more spin-outs which has made the rest of the UK look limp in comparison. All five universities are amongst the ten most active UK institutions for spin-out generation. Meanwhile, Scotland continues to take a larger slice of the overall spin-out action, with PraxisUnico reporting in 2012 that the country’s spin-outs now account for 26% of all UK spin-outs, up from 19% in 2002. A more recent report by Universities Scotland suggests that figure has now increased to 28%.

Behind the wheel of ERI is Derek Waddell, the TTO’s CEO and director of research and commercialisation at Edinburgh. Derek has been involved with ERI since its inception nearly fifteen years ago, and spent 11 years prior working as a European contract manager at its predecessor, UnivEd Technologies.

Whether or not ERI can continue to deliver results that put its UK peers to shame in an independent Scotland, which currently benefits from UK research funding, with resources it draws from itself is a question for the Scottish public to consider ahead of the referendum. However, whether the country chooses to leave or not, it can be sure that with technology leaders such as Derek at the helm, it is strongly doubtful that Scottish innovation will be disappearing anytime soon.

 

Abram Goldfinger, executive director, Office of Industrial Liaison, New York University

A 27-year veteran in technology transfer, Abram Goldfinger was first inspired to get involved with the sector by the desire to transform ideas into products that can benefit people. "I had always been interested in technology, having worked in research and development as an engineer for several years, and then had done some technology assessment work for a venture capital firm which got me interested in the business development side of technology", the MIT alumnus explained to GUV. "After business school, I was looking for an opportunity to combine technology and business development. Academic technology transfer was relatively new at the time, but seemed like a perfect way to do this."

Before joining New York University, where he has been the executive director of its tech transfer office for over 13 years, Abram also spent a similar amount of time as director of the tech transfer unit at Thomas Jefferson University. Over his career, Abram has gone on to negotiate hundreds of license agreements and participated in the formation of over 100 spin-out companies.

Speaking on those numerous projects, Abram said: "It is hard to pick one project that has been most exciting, but it is the range of different projects that makes this work exciting – from seeing treatments for inflammatory diseases and cancer coming to market to benefit millions of patients, after licensing to biotechs, lengthy development efforts, and partnerships with pharma, to electronics technologies coming to market just a year or two after starting a new company."

Moving forward, Abram sees his unit taking a more pivotal role in promoting new technologies and contributing to New York’s thriving ecosystem. "We have had an internal gap funding program for our biomedical technologies for many years", he added. "This past year we instituted a gap funding programme to advance our engineering and physical sciences technologies, and also created a virtual accelerator program for our therapeutics technologies in which we can invest in partnerships with contract research organisations, medicinal chemistry consultants and others to advance drug discovery efforts. We are excited about the opportunities these will bring to create more, as well as more successful, companies."

 

Kenneth Nisbet, associate vice president, UM Tech Transfer

Moving into the position of associate vice-president for technology transfer at Michigan University (UM) just over a year ago, Ken Nisbet probably found the seat had already been warmed up by someone – namely Ken Nisbet. The creation of the position last year was no doubt due to Michigan’s ever evolving technology transfer programme, which has been driven by Ken as head of the institution’s technology transfer office since 2001.

Since he took up the role, Michigan has had 3,869 technologies, 1,161 license agreements, 1,749 patent applications, generated 126 spin-outs, and led to Michigan earning $210m in royalties and equity sales.

Nisbet, who earned his BSc and MBA at Michigan, has also played an important role in the development of the ecosystem around UM. In 2004, he helped found Ann Arbor Spark, the city’s economic development agency, and also established the Tech Transfer Talent Network in 2011.

 

Torbjörn Bjerke, CEO, Karolinska Development

Sweden’s "Professor’s Privilege" law means that academics are free to do with their inventions as they please. Intellectual property is 100% owned by the inventor, and therefore creates an entirely different model for technology transfer than the US and UK type models where the faculty and university it is created at also have a say. A different type of technology transfer model calls for a different type of technology transfer office, such as the Karolinska Institute’s TTO Karolinska Development (KD). Rather than just being the go-to team for the institute, KD has to woe potential academics.

Leading up that effort is Torbjörn Bjerke, CEO of KD. Educated at Aarhus University, Torbjörn has built up over 20 years of executive experience in the life sciences sector, starting with a director position at UK-based pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca. He has acted as the CEO of two startups, and sat on the board of numerous others.

 

Tony Hickson, managing director, Imperial Innovations

Despite 14 years in technology transfer, Tony’s enthusiasm for the sector has not waned one bit. In fact, his passion now sees him as the managing director for technology transfer at Imperial Innovations, the TTO of Imperial College London and one of the most well-established tech transfer operations in Europe.

The unit now not only oversees innovation springing out from its parent, but has also signed agreements with University College London, Cambridge, and Oxford to manage certain intellectual property coming out of those campuses too. This has led to an abundance of intriguing projects to pass over Tony’s desk since joining the unit in 2002, such as hay fever and cat-allergy treatment life sciences firm Circassia. Involved with the firm in its early days, Tony said he has "watched with pleasure" as Circassia has expanded. The firm held its initial public offering (IPO) in March this year, which valued the company at $965m, making it the largest UK biotech IPO in years.

"As a personal allergy sufferer I have a vested interest in it being successful", Tony told GUV. "In addition, my involvement in spinning out Thiakis (obesity therapeutics) and Respivert (allergy therapeutics) and their ultimate acquisition by big pharma has been a useful learning experience as well as a highlight. At the moment it is the potential for some engine lubricant and gene therapy projects we have in the pipeline that are becoming a focal point."

Still riding high on the Circassia IPO, Tony has a positive outlook for Imperial Innovations. Spin-outs are currently being formed around wireless charging, catalytic converters, and cancer cell therapy, and the team are building up their portfolio of potentially valuable projects in the pipeline.

Tony also senses a change in the way technology transfer offices operate on the horizon: "I see a gradual evolution of technology transfer offices away from the transfer mentality (patent and try to flip to industry) into one of building value and de-risking technology first, that is  "technology development offices". This is being driven in part by the availability of new sources of finance to progress projects beyond the research phase (for example translational funds such as TSB, Catalyst, Impact funds) as well as working closely with sources of venture finance that are prepared to invest early and then stay with a project coming out of academia throughout its lifecycle (for example Imperial Innovations, Syncona, Corporate Ventures funds etc.)."

 

Katherine Ku, director, Office of Technology Licensing, Stanford University

It should come as no surprise that Katherine Ku, director of Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) since 1991, makes our VIP list. During her time at the OTL, Ku and her team have been an instrumental part in the continuing evolution of the surrounding Silicon Valley. While the projects the OTL has worked on since 1991 have been numerous in size, scope, sector, and success, to list in full, the shining jewel in Ku’s accomplishments is the emergence of Google. Since originating from research conducted at Stanford in 1996, the company, which built its first computer out of spare computer parts and Lego bricks, has become one of the most successful and globally recognisable spin-outs of all time.

Ku has also served as president of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) between 1988 and 1990, and has received the association’s Bayh-Dole award for her efforts in university licensing. The Cornell and Washington alumnus previously served as vice-president of business development at Protein Design Labs, now a publicly traded company, and has also acted as a researcher at Monsanto and Sigma Chemical.

 

Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO, Mars Innovation

Much like the UK’s Fusion IP (recently acquired by IP Group) and the SATTs emerging in France, Mars Innovation is a flagship example of collaboration in action at the research commercialisation level. Originally launching with 14 partners in 2008 (now 16), Mars represents a number of research institutes and universities in the Toronto area, including Toronto, OCAD, Ryerson, and York – which combined have an annual research and development budget of more than $1bn.

Leading the team since 2009, Weizmann Institute of Science and Hebrew University in Jerusalem alumnus Raphael Hofstein brings with him a wealth of experience and Israeli flair from the "startup nation". Hofstein is a co-founder of both the Israeli Life Science Industry Organisation and the Israeli Tech Transfer Network. Since the 1980s, Raphael has held a number of scientific director positions, including at Ecogen, a subsidiary of conglomerate Monsanto. Since 1999, he has also acted as the president of Hadasit, the TTO of the Hadassah Medical Organisation.

 

David Baynes, CEO, Fusion IP

With the recent acquisition of Fusion IP by commercialisation firm IP Group, which already held a 20% stake in Fusion, and the subsequent additional job title of chief operating officer at IP added to Fusion’s CEO David Baynes, the University of Wales Aberystwyth will see his already substantial influence on UK tech transfer grow over the coming year.

Fusion currently acts as the technology transfer office for Sheffield University, with a further commercialisation agreement with Cardiff University, and memoranda of understanding signed with Swansea and Nottingham universities. Its acquisition is a natural fit for the growing IP Group, which manages investments into numerous spin-outs from a range of UK universities and is also looking to cross over the Atlantic with the recent commercialisation agreement with Princeton University and pilot partnerships with Columbia and Pennsylvania.

David has now been the co-founder or founding member of three companies which have subsequently gone on to hold an IPO, the most recent being Fusion in 2005. Among other roles, David has also acted as the chief financial officer of Codemasters, a UK gaming company most notable for its contributions during the late 1980s and 1990s, including the critically acclaimed Micro Machines series.


Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Carl Gulbrandsen currently resides at the helm of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the go-to tech transfer company for the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWM) and one of the oldest technology transfer offices in history. The unit can trace its roots back to 1925, and found early success on the research of Harry Steenbock, a professor at UWM, who discovered that UV radiation can add vitamin D to food – a discovery that would lead to the near eradication of rickets in the US within 20 years. WARF also holds the rights to Warfarin, named after the unit, the most commonly used anticoagulant drug in the world.

Gulbrandsen, himself an alumnus of UWM, has been with WARF since 1997, originally beginning his work with the unit as director of patents and licensing. From 1981, Carl practiced law with a focus on intellectual property, until becoming general counsel for Lunar Corporation, a med-tech spin-out of UWM which went on to be acquired by GE Medical.

 

Gabriel Clerc, head of the office, EPFL-TTO

A former test pilot for fighter jets, Gabriel Clerc now flies at a different altitude as the head of École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne’s (EPFL) technology transfer office. One of the two top ranked institutes in innovation-friendly Switzerland, Gabriel, himself a graduate of EPFL, has been involved with transferring the university’s technology in one form or another since 1988. Beginning as a research contracts officer at the institution, Gabriel was an obvious choice to run EPFL’s TTO when it was founded ten years later in 1998.

Outside of the TTO, Gabriel has also contributed to the development of EPFL’s science park, as well as the Foundation for Technological Innovation, which supports EPFL startups with pre-seed loans. He is a member of AUTM, the Association of European Science and Technology Transfer Professionals, and a co-founder and past president of the Swiss tech transfer association Switt.

 

Isaac Kohlberg, chief technology development officer, Harvard University

Isaac Kohlberg, who came to Harvard in 2005, has built up nearly 30 years in management of technology transfer programmes in both Israel and the US.

Isaac started his prestigious career at the Weizmann Institute of Science at the institution’s YEDA Research and Development Company, where he negotiated royalty deals which still continue to pay dividends in the multi-million dollar range. He then moved to the US, where he acted as the vice-president for industrial liaison at New York University Medical Centre, establishing and running its office of Science and Technology Administration, before moving up to the position of vice-provost in 1999. From there, Kohlberg established and led the tech transfer programme for the entire university. In 2001, he returned to Israel where he reorganised Tel Aviv University’s TTO Ramot.

Since joining Harvard, Isaac has endeavoured to bring the institution’s tech transfer standing in line with its academic prowess. Living in the shadow of nearby MIT, Harvard has been somewhat eclipsed in tech transfer terms. However, Isaac does have one major advantage over numerous other institutions in that Harvard already has the largest endowment in the US – $32bn and $12bn ahead of second place Yale. Therefore, Isaac is not playing the tech transfer game to bring in the cash. Rather, his strategy is about getting Harvard innovation into the outside world – a goal he is accomplishing with numerous tactics, including royalty-free deals.

 

Jörn Erselius, managing director, Max Planck Innovation

While some of the tech transfer leaders on this list can be commended for their collaborative efforts of themselves and their teams, none come close to the work of Jörn Erselius. Under his watch as leader of the Max Planck Society’s tech transfer unit Max Planck Innovation, Jörn Erselius has a staggering 82 research institutes with a budget of €1.53bn ($2.1bn).

A Max Planck veteran, Jörn took over the unit in 2005 after spending 14 years prior providing inventor support and performing technology transfer for Max Planck’s life sciences sector. Jörn Erselius studied biology at Heidelberg University, and completed his MBA between 2003 and 2004 at the University of Applied Sciences, Deggendorf.

 

 

Wesley Blakeslee, executive director, Johns Hopkins University

Starting his career at Nasa as an engineer at the space agency’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in 1967, it would take until 1999 before Wesley would arrive at Johns Hopkins University, via a detour in running his own intellectual property legal practice for 15 years and a director position at the Union National Bank.

Wesley then served as associate general counsel at Johns until taking over as executive director at the institution’s TTO in 2006. Picked for this list due to the influx of news generated by Johns Hopkins over the past year, with perhaps the biggest highlight being the acquisition of Amplimmune, a spin-out of Johns formed in 2007, by AstraZeneca subsidiary Medimmune in a deal which could ultimately be worth up to $500m, figures delivered by the TTO also speak for themselves. Its most recent licensing figures, for 2012, hit $17.9m, an increase of $2m on 2011 and $4m over budget targets.

The unit also announced the appointment of Christy Wyskiel, a serial entrepreneur, as senior advisor to the president on matters of innovation and commercialisation earlier in the year, and will undoubtedly make her presence felt at the university over the coming year.

 

Alan Thomas, director, UChicagoTech

The director of licensing at Arch Development Corporation, Chicago University’s former TTO, Alan Thomas was an obvious choice to run UChicagoTech when it was formed in 2011 to take over from Arch. The University College London alumnus first came to Chicago to study his MBA in 1988. In between then and his position at Arch, Alan has also conducted technology transfer and business development work for the Institute of Applied Colloid Technology, a Germany-based tech consultant to the pharma industry, and on chemical engineering at Imperial Chemical Industries in the UK.

The university, which ranks at number nine on this year’s Times Higher Education world university rankings, has a long lineage of successful technology transfer – which even saw a venture firm, Arch Venture Partners, emerge as a spin-out of the university’s TTO and go on to manage $1.75bn in early-stage investments.

 

Robert Wooldridge, director, Centre for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation (CTTEC), Carnegie Mellon University

 

Carnegie Mellon University's (CMU) tech transfer unit, the Centre for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation (CTTEC), was founded in 1993 around the principle that "in the end, the inventor is still the hero and always will be". However, it could also be argued that the unit has another hero in the shape of Robert Wooldridge, who took the helm as director for the centre in 2002. Within three years, he turned the centre around from making a $2m a year loss – an issue that still plagues the vast majority of US TTOs – to break even.

During his time at CMU, Robert has been personally involved with negotiations of over 150 license agreements. He also instigated a programme to encourage entrepreneurship which saw a 250% increase in the number of new companies the university was generating per year, and a reduction in the time it took CTTEC to establish a spin-out of 60%. A Pittsburgh alumnus, Rob has presided over rising levels of income at the unit, which had a bumper year in 2012 when the unit took in nearly $20m in licensing revenues, and increased levels of spin-out generation, with 12 new companies formed in 2013.

 

 

Fund managers

 

Russ Cummings, CEO, Imperial Innovations

Previously describing itself as a balance-sheet investor to GUV, Imperial Innovations differs significantly from both its peers at TTOs (in that it has raised over £200m ($337m) to back its spin-outs), but also from traditional forms of venture capital (VC).

"We invest much earlier, and we are not constrained by the standard five to eight year investment horizon", Russ told GUV. "While a typical VC firm would seek to make a profit over this timeframe, we are focused on building substantial, high-quality, well-funded and well-managed businesses in which we retain a meaningful stake, and we have the flexibility to take a long-term approach in order to capture maximum value. We are also very hands-on. We always take a seat on the board of a company we invest in, and we are often a co-founder of the business, which gives us a unique and highly influential role."

Cummings, who took over as CEO at Innovations last year, has built up more than 20 years of experience in venture capital and private equity. Prior to joining Innovations as chief investment officer in 2006, Russ held director positions at venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners and private equity firm 3i.

The whole company is still riding high off the IPO of Circassia (see Tony Hickson, TTO managers list), which was the biggest UK biotech float for years, which Russ, a graduate of Imperial College London (ICL) and Stanford University, also highlights as one of his proudest achievements: "As well as being a great success for British science, Circassia highlights the potential of Innovations’ business model to identify promising technology, support its development, attract high-calibre management and support a business all the way through towards commercialisation."

Moving forward, Russ intends to keep Innovations focused on expanding its relationships with the "Golden Triangle" universities of University College London, ICL, Oxford, and Cambridge, as well as other universities in the south-east of the UK.

"We are also always looking for big markets where specific technologies can capture significant value and be highly differentiated", added Russ. "We are excited by opportunities in data analytics, cybersecurity and machine-to-machine communications, as well as energy and resource efficiency technologies."

 

Peter Keen, CEO, Cambridge Innovation Capital

Presiding over one of the largest university venture funds to have been established in 2013, Peter Keen’s appointment to Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) saw him take the reins of a £50m ($84m) investment vehicle with Cambridge University’s technology cluster firmly in his sights.

Keen has 28 years of experience in working with technology firms in a financial capacity, both as an executive and as an investor. Beginning his career with Agricultural Genetics, Peter would go on to work with a number of Cambridge-based companies before co-founding Chiroscience Group, which held its initial public offering (IPO) in 1994, raising £102m ($172m).

Keen then went on to co-found venture firm Merlin Biosciences, and oversaw multiple early-stage healthcare investments. Six of these were UK university spin-outs, four of which are now public companies.

Also either currently or previously associated with other venture capital firms, seed funds, and university challenge funds, Peter now looks to transform CIC’s £50m into a £100m ($168.5m) evergreen fund for companies in the Cambridge area with a stated aim to hold an IPO for CIC in the next three years.

 

Louis Berneman, founding partner, Osage University Partners

With more than 30 years’ experience in technology transfer, entrepreneurial activities, and business development under his belt, Louis Berneman made for a fitting candidate to form the university-focused venture firm Osage University Partners (OUP). Representing 56 universities and research institutions from across the US, OUP is backed by a $100m war chest and is looking to invest, normally as a co-investor, across all sectors with the main criteria being that the target for investment be an intellectual property licensee of one of OUP’s academic partners.

Before setting the wheels in motion for OUP in 2008, Louis, a graduate of both Pennsylvania State and Columbia University, already came from a strong background in technology transfer, having been both the former managing director of the Centre for Technology Transfer at Pennyslvania University and the former Director of Licensing and Business Development for Virginia’s Centre for Innovative Technology. Louis is also a past president of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), a founder or CEO of a number of startups, and currently the managing director of Texelerate, a technology transfer consultancy he formed in 2005 in order to work with universities on promoting their intellectual property.

 

Michael Lynch, founder, Invoke Capital

Mike grabbed headlines last year, as well as the Global University Venturing Personality of the Year Award 2013, when he launched Invoke Capital, a venture unit backed with $1bn to invest in British companies, including university spin-outs.

However, the media attention is hardly a new feather in the cap for Lynch, having been described in the past by UK newspaper the Sunday Times as the closest thing the UK has to Microsoft’s Bill Gates. The Cambridge alumnus is founder of one of the most successful Cambridge University spin-outs of all time, big data company Autonomy. During Mike’s tenure as CEO of the firm, it became one of the UK’s most successful technology firms on the FTSE100, before being acquired by computer hardware firm Hewlett-Packard in 2011 for $11bn.

Mike, who is a fellow of the Royal Society as well as the Royal Academy of Engineering and a recipient of the Order of the British Empire, has in many ways come full circle. Already with two startups under his belt before the rise of Autonomy, Mike’s $1bn at Invoke now gives him the opportunity to feed back into the same ecosystem that brought him to prominence.

 

Cameron Teitelman, founder, StartX and Randy Livingston, CFO, Stanford University

Two men, Cameron Teitelman and Randy Livingston, act as a last minute replacement for one, John Melas-Kyriazi, as news of Melas-Kyriazi, co-founder of the Stanford-StartX Fund, left the accelerator shortly before this list went to press to join Spark Capital.

Between the three, StartX launched the Stanford-StartX Fund last year, an uncapped fund where Stanford University will use the student-launched accelerator as a sounding board for new investments. Stanford startups which make it through the StartX programme, which was founded by Cameron in 2009, can become candidates to receive investment through the fund.

Randy Livingston, who acts as both Stanford’s chief financial officer and vice-president of business affairs, will ultimately control the purse strings of the fund, which will use the university’s unrestricted available funds – separate from Stanford’s endowment. Prior to his position at Stanford, from which he graduated with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, Randy spent 16 years working in the Silicon Valley ecosystem. He led two companies through initial public offerings, founded one company, sold another, and completed the acquisitions of several others.

Cameron founded the StartX programme whilst studying at Stanford. He also acted as the general manager of Stanford Student Enterprise’s venture capital fund during his final year, as well as founding a startup in 2008, which he was CEO of until 2011.

 

Arch Venture Partners

With four co-founders and eight managing directors (one now emeritus), it is impossible to place more relevance on one over the others at Arch Venture Partners. The co-founders have worked together for 25 years at Arch, itself a spin-off of Chicago University’s technology transfer unit Arch Development Corporation (now UChicago Tech), and are currently amassing the venture firm’s eighth fund, aiming for $250m, which would bring the company’s total funds under management to $1.75bn.

The company came about after Steven Lazarus, Robert Nelsen, and Keith Crandell, who all worked together on constructing and then running Arch Development Corporation in 1986, splintered off to form Arch Venture Partners in 1992 in a friendly separation agreement from the university. They were soon joined by Clinton Bybee, a colleague and experienced seed investor from Arch Development Corporation.

Since its foundation, Arch Venture Partners has maintained its focus on investing in early-stage firms, stating that "from the beginning, our approach has been to access technology in the centres of discovery versus centres of finance". Although companies from the Chicago area still benefit from Arch Venture Partners, the company has spread its wings from Illinois, and now has offices in Texas, Seattle, San Francisco, and Dublin.

 

Nick Bell and Jennifer Hsu, Wolverine Venture Fund

Unlike most of their peers on this list, the Wolverine Venture Fund’s (WVF) co-managing directors Nick Bell and Jennifer Hsu are unlikely candidates for Global University Venturing’s VIP list in 2015. However, being the first student-led venture fund, their replacements at the Wolverine Venture Fund will undoubtedly take their place.

Founded in 1997 at Michigan University, the Wolverine Venture Fund has become a template for other universities around the world looking to give their students hands on experience with venture capital before graduating into the wider world. Since its inception, the fund has invested in over 27 companies, many from Michigan University. It achieved its first portfolio exit in 1999, and saw its first initial public offering in 2004 when Intralase went public. In 2009, the fund had one of its most successful exits yet when HandyLab was acquired by Becton Dickinson, returning $2m to WVF. The fund retains its early-stage focus, and currently has capital of more than $5.5m.

Nick is currently an MBA candidate at Michigan University’s Ross School of Business, and will be heading to Wells Fargo’s Technology, Media and Telecom Investment Banking Group upon graduation. Jennifer, also an MBA candidate, has previously held senior consultant positions at Deloitte and also is a former research associate at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

 

Mark Kvamme, co-founder, Drive Capital

The last Global University Venturing heard from Mark Kvamme, the University of California, Berkeley alumnus was putting the "drive" into Drive Capital as the co-founder of the $250m venture fund hit the road in his personal RV to tour the campuses of Ohio State University (OSU), Carnegie Mellon University, and Michigan University.

Out of the total raised for the venture firm’s Drive Capital Fund I, $50m was provided by OSU. Mark, who was a partner at Sequoia Capital for 12 years and an early investor in LinkedIn, returned to Ohio to establish Drive Capital in a bid to raise venture funding for the US Midwest.

 

Martin Murphy, CEO, Syncona Partners

Syncona Partners became the first big fundraising headline of 2014 back in January when the investment company, an independent subsidiary of health-focused charity the Wellcome Trust, received £200m ($337m) from its parent to form an evergreen investment vehicle focused on developing UK life sciences firms. An obvious target for the fund is university spin-outs, and the fund’s first investment, to the sum of £12m ($20m), was Nightstar, a spin-out from Oxford University specialising in tackling inherited blindness.

Mark, who holds a PhD in biochemistry from Cambridge University, leads a team of seven partners and works in tandem with chief financial officer (CFO) John Bradshaw, a life sciences CFO veteran, at the firm. Prior to joining Syncona, Mark was a partner at MVM Life Science Partners, and was involved in a number of successful investments, such as PregLem (sold to Gedeon Richter), Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare Brands International (sold to Meda AB) and Heptares Therapeutics.

 

University Ventures

Another case of multiple founders marks the entry for University Ventures (UV), a venture fund solely focused on the higher education sector. Among its limited partners, UV counts a number of investors, founders of education enterprises, a number of university endowments, education philanthropists, and media firm Bertelsmann. The company launched in 2012 with $100m – $50m of which came from Bertelsmann.

Its four founding managing directors are Ryan Craig, David Figuli, Daniel Pianko, and Gregg Rosenthal. Yale alumnus Ryan Craig founded Wellspring prior to joining UV, which has become the largest organisation for the treatment of obese children and teens in the US. Figuli comes from a 30 year background as an attorney and business development specialist in higher education, and has also authored books on higher education management. Daniel Pianko, alumnus of Columbia and Stanford, was an investor in and advisor to education companies for ten years, having started his career as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs. Gregg Rosenthal was previously the vice-president of corporate development at Bertelsmann before joining the firm.

 

Sandra Miller, managing director of new ventures, Singularity University

Singularity University (SU) isn’t even an accredited university as yet, but the future-facing institution certainly is not letting that get in its way. Earlier in the year, the institution announced a $50m venture fund to fuel startups coming out of its accelerator Singularity University Labs, which include companies developing technologies for 3D printing in space, peer-to-peer car sharing, synthetic biology, and telepresence robotics.

Heading up the accelerator is Sandra Miller, an alumnus of San Jose State and Pepperdine universities. Prior to her position at SU, Sandra played a major role in the foundation and growth of two entrepreneurship programmes, the Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation and the Stanford Biodesign Programme. She has also advised more than 200 early-stage tech-based companies, and is a founding member of the Stanford Entrepreneurship Network.

 

Richard Henderson, managing partner and CFO, MTI Ventures

Although MTI Ventures has been around since 1983, its full relevance in the world of university venturing did not take hold until 2008 when it became manager of the £32m ($54m) UMIP Premier Fund, the university venture capital fund of Manchester University. The fund is described by MTI as a "late-seed" fund, looking to invest around £250,000 ($420,000) to £750,000 ($1.25m) per Manchester spin-out, but with the capacity to scale up to around £3m ($5m) for the more promising Manchester companies.

Managing partner and chief financial officer of MTI is Richard Henderson, a graduate of the Edinburgh University, who works closely with MTI’s Manchester liaison and investment partner Mark Rain on identifying promising Manchester spin-outs. Prior to joining MTI, Richard held a number of positions as a financial controller and director.

 

Moray Wright, director, Parkwalk Advisors

Moray Wright finds himself in a unique position this year as the investment firm he leads now manages funds for not one, but two of the UK’s most recognisable academic institutions, Oxford and Cambridge. Managed in conjunction with the universities’ technology transfer offices, Isis Innovation and Cambridge Enterprise, the hybrid enterprise investment scheme (EIS) and seed enterprise investment scheme (SEIS) funds offer investors significant tax breaks and well as supporting academic spin-outs at an early stage. Combined with other funds managed by Parkwalk, its portfolio now covers 27 companies originated from university or UK research institutions’ intellectual property, which have raised over £250m ($420m) in external fundraising between them since 2010.

Moray himself has over 25 years’ experience working for firms such as Hoare Govett, JP Morgan, Lazard and Mirabaud, and is also a co-founder of Parkwalk.

 

Gary Rieschel, founding managing partner, Qiming Venture Partners

Fresh off the heels of a $500m fund, Gary Rieschel now has over $1.1bn in assets to invest at the early-stage in economic and patent powerhouse that is China. Backing Qiming Venture Partners are a number of universities as limited partners, including Harvard University Endowment, Princeton University Foundation, New York University Foundation, Carnegie Mellon University Foundation, and University of Texas Investment Management Company.

Following his graduation from Harvard with an MBA, Gary has gone on to build over 25 years’ worth of experience in the investment space. Prior to founding Qiming, Gary was either the founder or lead investor in a number of venture capital firms, including Softbank Venture Capital, Mobius Venture Capital, SAIF Partners, and Ignition Partners. He has also been involved with numerous initial public offerings and acquisitions, including Verisign, Geocities, and Net2Phone.

 

Shlomo Nimrodi, CEO, Ramot

As the CEO of Ramot, the technology transfer unit for Tel Aviv University, Shlomo Nimrodi would normally find himself on the tech transfer managers’ side of this list. However, late last year, Ramot secured $18m, out of a targeted $20m, for its Technology Innovation Momentum Fund, giving the TTO a university venture fund of its own to support Israeli firms coming out from the institution, which Shlomo is also in charge of. The fund attracted investment from Tata Industries, SanDisk, and numerous international angel investors.

Alumnus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Shlomo came to Ramot in 2012, bringing with him 20 years’ experience in leading technology companies. Shlomo has held numerous C-level positions over the years, including at media company Vizrt, life sciences firm Raytel, communications firm Epana, printing firm Indigo, and at present is also the CEO of Storm International Consulting, which is actively engaged with numerous technology startup firms.

 

Satoshi Yamaguchi, president and CEO, Miyako Capital

Despite being an evasive mystery for our researchers and our attempts at correspondence going to the wind, Satoshi Yamaguchi, the managing partner of the recently formed Miyako Capital still makes our list, and there’s 60 million reasons why.

Launched late last year, Kyoto University has initiated a $60m university venture capital fund to be used to invest in Kyoto technology firms and startups in the surrounding area, and may even possibly invest outside of Japan.

Prior to coming to Miyako, Satoshi Yamaguchi was a general manager at venture firm Jafco, where he built up a 20 year career. He has invested in and incubated over 80 companies  internationally, and been a part of over 40 initial public offerings and exits.

 

Loren Peterson, chief financial officer and managing director, Venture Investors

Venture Investors (VI), the oldest and largest venture capital firm in Wisconsin, raised its fifth fund in September last year, closing at $80m and bringing its total funds under management to $200m. Controlling the purse strings at the venture firm, which has offices next to both the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan University, is Loren Peterson, who joined the firm in 2012 after acting as a consultant.

Loren, a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has served as either CEO or chief financial officer of numerous companies, including ZyStor Pharmaceuticals (acquired by BioMarin in 2010), Sheffield Pharmaceuticals, and Bock Pharma before its acquisition by Sanofi. Before that, he was a partner at accountancy firm Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) for 15 years.

His work at VI will now see him not only focus on academic spin-outs, but other startups in the US Midwest.

 

Patrick Chung, partner and co-founder, The Experiment Fund

In a bid to stop the exodus of Harvard students and their startups to the US West Coast (such as Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook or Bill Gates and Microsoft), Harvard has teamed up with a number of venture capital firms to launch the Experiment Fund. The $10m fund will be offered to Harvard students and graduates, but on the condition that their firms remain anchored in the Cambridge area.

Co-heading the fund is Harvard and Oxford alumnus Patrick Chung, a partner at venture firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA), one of the three venture capitalists backing the fund along with Polaris Partners and Accel Partners. On top of his duties at the fund, Chung is a director of 23andMe, Curalate, Euclid, Fanhattan, Lytro, MeCommerce, Philo, and Ravel Law, and is actively involved with Coursera, CrowdMed, IFTTT, Rock Health, and Upworthy. Prior to joining NEA, Chung helped grow Zefer, an internet services firm, to a company with more than 700 people worldwide and revenues in excess of $100m.

 

Bill Wood, founder, Silverton Partners

The launch of Texas-based Silverton Partners’s $75m venture fund sees the cventure capital firm’s founder Bill Wood join t

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