Tech Transfer eNews Blog
University-Industry Engagement Advisor

Comings and goings

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: November 14th, 2018

•   The University of Iowa (UI) has named economic development consultant and start-up veteran Jon Darsee to serve as chief innovation officer. In his new role, Darsee will lead the university’s research commercialization and economic development efforts. This includes the tech transfer office UI Ventures, the UI Research Park and the Office of Corporate Engagement, and will involve enhancing research, building relationships with the private sector, managing intellectual property, and other activities related to tech transfer.

Darsee has worked as a part-time economic development consultant at UI for the past year. He has worked in medical device development and health care service, both for start-ups and global firms. He most recently worked at the Stanford startup iRhythm Technologies, helping build it into a 600-employee company with $100 million in annual revenue.

“Jon has experience building and managing start-ups from all business angles, from sales and marketing to product development, from raising venture capital to going through an IPO, and he has an entrepreneur’s drive and desire,” says UI president J. Bruce Harreld. “We’re fortunate he decided to return to Iowa to give something back to his alma mater and his home state. We look forward to his leadership.”

Source: Iowa Now

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•   The University of Wyoming’s new Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) has hired serial entrepreneur Jack Mason to serve as chief operating officer.

The IIE supports entrepreneurship across the university and the state, such as enhancing public-private partnerships, supporting tech transfer and commercialization activities and helping to launch university start-ups.

Mason has launched eight companies and led the acquisition of over 30 Fortune 1000 companies. Mason says he believes IIE, with its support from UW and the state of Wyoming, can have a broad and significant impact across the state. “About 40% of all businesses and about 27% of the workforce are involved in the knowledge economy,” he says. “With these kinds of businesses, you could live and work in Wyoming, but create value globally.”

Mason’s first task as COO is to meet with stakeholders at the university and throughout the state to develop a strategic plan for the institute, which he believes will grow and change over time. “The plan won’t be cast in concrete forever,” says Mason. “Being entrepreneurial means we have to try some stuff and see how it works out. Each year, there will be an opportunity to review progress and adjust.”

Source: University of Wyoming

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