Science Project: Venture Ready Outside the Valley
Saturday, March 14
11:00AM - 12:00PM
Hilton Austin Downtown
500 E 4th St
It is difficult to take early scientific research from universities and turn it into viable companies. The difficulty increases dramatically when the activity is taking place outside the venture capital epicenters of San Francisco/Valley or Boston, or places where resources are limited, such as the Midwest. Using the success of the University of Michigan as a case study, this panel will discuss how to take science projects (research) and leverage internal funding, regional and national talent, and the local ecosystem to turn them into sustainable, fundable ventures.
The University of Michigan resides in Ann Arbor, a town of 110,000 people, squarely in the fly-over zone of the Midwest. Yet it has launched, on average, more than ten startups a year for the past 15 years. Since 1985, roughly 75 percent of University of Michigan startups are still active, including M&A. These startups have raised over one billion in equity financing in the last 10 years.
University of Michigan
Ms. Kerr is currently a Mentor-in-Residence at the University of Michigan where she helps faculty and staff start companies with a greater focus on healthcare IT startups. Ms. Kerr has over 20 year...Show the rest
Ms. Kerr is currently a Mentor-in-Residence at the University of Michigan where she helps faculty and staff start companies with a greater focus on healthcare IT startups. Ms. Kerr has over 20 years’ experience in product development, quality, and information technology. Her experience spans across Fortune 100, mid-size, and start-up companies in the healthcare and technology industries including Beckman Coulter, Motorola, and Abbott Laboratories. She has held a variety of management positions leading numerous initiatives contributing to resulting mergers and acquisitions across multiple companies.Hide the rest
Sr Venture Specialist
University of Michigan
Michael focuses on new company formation based on the physical sciences IP discovered and developed at the University of Michigan. He has over 21 years of venture fund management, entrepreneurial a...Show the rest
Michael focuses on new company formation based on the physical sciences IP discovered and developed at the University of Michigan. He has over 21 years of venture fund management, entrepreneurial and management experience in both the public and private sectors.
Before joining the University of Michigan, Michael was the Vice President of Business Acceleration at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) where he oversaw a portfolio of over 150 early stage technology company investments and convertible loans with $250 million under management. Prior to the MEDC he managed a $50 million corporate venture fund focusing on life sciences, IT, and manufacturing opportunities. He has also been involved in several Internet related startups and exits.Hide the rest
Wesley manages the Catalyst Resource Network and student entrepreneurship for University of Michigan's Tech Transfer office. In this role he works on entrepreneurial ecosystem development and find...Show the rest
Wesley manages the Catalyst Resource Network and student entrepreneurship for University of Michigan's Tech Transfer office. In this role he works on entrepreneurial ecosystem development and finding resources (talent and funding) to help speed U-M start-ups and technologies to the marketplace. He also mentors student entrepreneurs and students interested in technology commercialization. Prior to managing these programs, Wes was a member of the New Business Formation team, helping to start companies based on technology developed at the University of Michigan.
Before joining the U-M, Wesley was an advised startups and small growth companies needing assistance with strategy, marketing, and operations. He has also performed due diligence for investors and analyzed academic programs for college deans. Prior to consulting, he spent several years in Austin, TX as an early employee of a venture backed startup that sold to a public company in 2001.Hide the rest