UW’s Center for Commercialization Announces New Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

SEATTLE ― The University of Washington’s Center for Commercialization (C4C) welcomes four additional industry experts to its Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) program. Since the program launched three years ago, these experts have helped build a pipeline of over 50 potential UW start-up companies.

The newest EIRs are: Rob Arnold, former president and CEO of Geospiza, Inc., chairman and CEO of Crossport Systems, and co-founder and chairman and CEO of ST Labs; Michael “Luni” Libes, a serial entrepreneur who helped build five technology start-ups, four of which he founded: Ground Truth, Medio Systems, Mforma, 2WAY, and Nimble; Ted Weiler, an executive with 35 years of experience in R&D and marketing of medical devices at ATL (Phillips), Physio-Control, and Olympic Medical (Natus); and Chris Wood, a 25-year veteran in medical image post-processing who held senior posts at Picker International and Siemens Medical Solutions and co-founded computer-aided diagnosis company Confirma.

They join current EIRs: Ken Myer, former president and CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association, who is focusing on UW software spin-outs; and Lars Johansson, a former Microsoft executive, active cleantech angel investor, and the co-chair of Northwest Energy Angels.

Through the EIR program, C4C introduces entrepreneurs with specific subject expertise and industry experience to UW faculty who are translating fundamental research results into practical applications. EIRs help identify UW technologies with commercial promise and consult with UW researchers, providing expertise about target markets, product development, and fundraising. The C4C launched the EIR program in 2009 with support from the Washington State Economic Development Commission, the Washington State Legislature, and the Washington Research Foundation.

“Our EIRs are a major reason that the companies spinning out of UW are increasingly mature, with identified target markets, venture financeable leadership in place, in addition to compelling proof of concept,” said Linden Rhoads, UW Vice Provost of Commercialization.

In the past year, former EIRs have helped launch several new UW start-ups. Among them, Tom Clement is CEO of Aqueduct Neurosciences, a company developing hydrocephalus implants; Henry Berg is CEO of ZPlasma, which is bringing to market an extreme ultraviolet light source for high-volume silicon lithography; Thomas Schulte founded Nexgenia, which develops polymer-based nanotechnology that improves tests for the diagnosis of infectious diseases, cancer, and metabolic disorders; and Terri Butler is at the helm of Soluxra, which produces advanced polymer materials for application as key components in the next generation of telecommunications, optical computing, and clean energy devices.

“The EIRs are able to leverage their experience to smooth the path to market for these promising technologies not only because they have been through the process before, but also because they know what steps need to be taken to reduce risks and raise capital,” said Clement.

About the University of Washington Center for Commercialization

UW researchers in hundreds of labs are making extraordinary innovations. As America’s leading federally funded public research universities, UW is producing innovations that have the power to change the world—from biofuel alternatives, to more effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and brain cancer, to a purification technology for drinking water in the developing world. The Center for Commercialization (C4C) is committed to turning these research outcomes into products, services, therapies, diagnostics, and cures that can impact millions of people. Since its founding, C4C has helped create some of the more than 260 start-up companies based on UW research. More information on C4C can be viewed online at: www.uwc4c.com.