Tech transfer professionals charged with developing high-value university start-ups face an array of challenges, but many say the biggest problem keeping start-ups from gaining traction and scaling up is a lack of quality, experienced CEO-level leadership.
In some areas of the country, there simply aren’t enough seasoned entrepreneurs to go around. And even in dense innovation ecosystems, attracting top talent to a risky start-up with little or no immediate compensation is a tough sell. Faculty founders are often not an option, or offer only very limited capabilities when it comes to the critical tasks CEOs are needed for – securing funding, negotiating deals, building out infrastructure and staff, and leading a dynamic, growing organization to a successful exit.
The leadership issue is often make or break for university start-ups. Bringing the right people on board at the right time is imperative, but when money is tight and credibility has yet to be established, missteps can be easily made and a wrong hire can bring even the most promising new ventures to a screeching halt.
So what can you do to attract and retain top talent for your start-ups?
You can start by attending this valuable webinar led by three experienced university start-up experts, who combined have decades of first-hand experience creating, managing and exiting start-up companies. They’ve spent a good deal of that time in the trenches recruiting leadership teams for their start-up, and they’re ready to share their lessons learned with you in this strategy-filled webinar:
Here’s a brief look at what our expert panelists will cover:
- Why faculty founder as CEO rarely works
- What leadership qualities to recruit for at each stage of a start-up
- How milestones, including leadership, affect funding stages and opportunities
- How start-up leadership affects start-up investibility
- Compensation expectations during each stage of a start-up including:
- Equity and other non-cash agreements
- Tapping into recruiting resources:
- Local business groups
- Events and more…
- Anticipating and dealing effectively with CEO-inventor conflicts
- How the TTO can bring researchers and entrepreneurs together early on, even at the student level, to understand and respect where their skill sets lie and how to recruit beyond them.
PLUS: Hear the recording of the original Q&A portion of the program!
Your program leaders:
Terry Opgenorth, PhD
VP and Executive Director
NewCo Launchpad for CSU Ventures
Colorado State University
Dr. Opgenorth previously worked for Abbott Laboratories (now AbbVie) as Divisional Vice President of Metabolic Disease Research, Antiviral (HCV) Research and Target-Lead Discovery Research for its Global Pharmaceutical Research and Development Division. He also served as President and CEO of Vidasym for 6 years, a company developing drugs for human chronic kidney disease. Terry holds a number of current positions, including CSO/Founder of VetDC, a veterinary oncology company, and Board Director for Vidasym, KromaTiD, VetDC, MonImmune Therapeutics, and Cetya Therapeutics. He previously served as Founder/Advisor to Colorado Center for Drug Discovery (C2D2), and Board Director for Colorado Institute for Drug, Device, and Diagnostic Development (CID4), Colorado Bioscience Association, and Keystone Symposia. Terry also serves on the Board of Directors for UNeMed.
Innovation Ecosystem Development
Office of Technology Licensing
Mike collaborates with faculty, students, start-ups, established companies, entrepreneurs, investors and IP attorneys. He has worked with over 100 start-ups, and he has spearheaded the licensing of over 100 innovations in numerous areas including biofuels, medical devices, photovoltaics, semiconductors, software, smart grid, wireless sensors, nanotechnology and biomimetics. Mike was named a recipient of the UC Berkeley 2012 Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award for: (1) developing strategies to maximize the commercialization of UC Berkeley innovations; (2) growing Berkeley’s local innovation ecosystem in ways that bolster the University’s research and education mission, as well as drive local economic vitality; and (3) changing the perception of Berkeley’s IP practices among faculty, entrepreneurs and investors. Mike has published seven peer-reviewed journal articles related to managing university IP, commercializing university innovations, and leveraging universities to drive economic development. His award winning research on how university innovations get commercialized led to his conceptualization of the 4Ms of innovation commercialization (morphed, mined, milked, and marketed) — a framework for university strategies, policies and practices.
Stephen G. Nappi
Associate Vice President
Technology Commercialization and Business Development
Stephen Nappi has over 15 years of experience in technology commercialization and currently serves as Temple University’s Associate Vice President of Technology Commercialization and Business Development within the Office of the Vice President for Research.
Mr. Nappi joined Temple in 2008 as its Director of Technology Transfer Operations and continues to lead the commercialization office through a period of rapid growth. Over the past 5 years, the university generated $15M in licensing revenue, 17 startups, 375 inventions, 120 patent filings and 44 license deals. At Temple, Mr. Nappi continues to build a flex-path runway to enable technology advancement, including the creation of a technology development program and startup venture fund. Prior to joining Temple, Mr. Nappi advanced through all levels of technology transfer at Florida Atlantic University.
Mr. Nappi holds a BBA in management and marketing from Florida Atlantic University, MBA coursework in finance, and is a member of AUTM and LES. He serves president of BioStrategy Partners, an academic-industry commercialization consortium for advancing technology in the life sciences.