Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Comings and goings


By David Schwartz
Published: September 9th, 2015

Idaho State University (ISU) has hired patent attorney Christopher Fasel as its new director of technology transfer. Most recently, Fasel served as tech commercialization manager at the Mercy Hospital System, a seven-state hospital system based in St. Louis. Prior to that, he worked at UAMS BioVentures and MitoGene for over five years, serving as associate director and intellectual property counsel at both. Fasel also has experience practicing patent law in Washington, D.C., and as a licensing associate for the University of Missouri tech transfer office. He says his key goal at ISU will be economic development. “We have an obligation to try to make everyone’s lives better,” says Fasel. “Whether it is a new battery or storage device, a new way of communicating, a medical device or a pharmacy discovery, we have an obligation to make sure ISU’s discoveries benefit the greater public.” Source: Idaho Business Review

• Ken Russell, a major proponent of public-private partnerships at Wichita State University (WSU), has been placed on administrative leave by the school and is leaving his post next month for unexplained reasons. Russell served as executive director of WSU’s Applied Technology Acceleration Institute, where he formed and strengthened relationships to create more partnerships between the university and outside companies and organizations to commercialize WSU technologies. Although WSU hasn’t commented on his departure, scheduled Oct. 2nd, Russell says he has made “great relationships” in Wichita and at WSU, but that the timing wasn’t right for what he was trying to do. He says he plans to leave the city and work on similar types of projects elsewhere.Tracee Friess, director of communication for research and tech transfer at WSU, says Russell’s institute will now be managed by Ennovar, a WSU organization that promotes emerging technologies and market solutions. Source: Wichita Business Journal

Northwestern University announced Melissa Crounse, an ex-Googler and entrepreneur who recently moved to Chicago from San Francisco, will be the first executive director of the Garage, the school’s new incubator. Crounse’s tech resume includes stints at Google, YouTube, Polyvore, and her own consulting start-up. Reflecting on her years working with Silicon Valley icons and her own consulting for social media influencers, she says “you can only teach so much entrepreneurship…. A lot of entrepreneurship comes through action and doing. If you’re selling a product, it means talking to your customers and understanding what they want…. I think that your business is only as strong as the network you build around you. Having strong mentors and advisors who are subject matter experts [is key].” Adds Crounse: “That is the kind of thing I want to see happening in the Garage. Great ideas are a dime a dozen. The really exceptional ideas are timing and luck, and scrappiness.” She views the Garage as a “pre-accelerator,” a place to perfect the tinkering stage so companies can confidently move forward. “There is a big decision point between an idea and a company,” Crounse said. “What I want students to take away is the process of evaluating and tinkering with an idea….Being able to think entrepreneurially and creatively about problems is really important.” ChicagoInno

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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