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“It is both inspiring and impactful to have such top executives and entrepreneurs work with UW teams and technologies. We are delighted to have them!” Vikram Jandhyala
UW Vice-Provost for Innovation


CoMotion’s New Ventures team has created a vibrant network of expert advisors, including entrepreneurs, business executives, angel and venture capital investors, attorneys and others. This network is an invaluable resource for UW researchers as they are developing their business ideas.

Our highly effective Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) program invites veteran industry experts to join CoMotion for six to nine months at a time. During this period, they help identify technologies with commercial promise, and provide UW researchers with real-world insights about the commercialization process along with expertise in target markets, product development, and fundraising strategies. See current EIRs below.

Our new Capitalization Table Board of Advisors program will help UW start-up companies ensure that the structure of the start-up is appropriate for the business model and plan for the company. And it will help ensure the company is fundable and operational moving forward. See current advisors below.

Current CoMotion EIRS

  • Stead Burwell has been working with Alliance Health to help its founder, Geoff Swindle, build and strategically grow its business since 2006. Stead has worked with startups in several different capacities as an operating executive, founder, venture board member and angel investor. He was also the catalyst behind Pinger, a Kleiner Perkins funded startup in the consumer voice space. As Interim CEO for Venafi, an early stage startup company, Stead built the early management team and oversaw the closing of initial customers including several Fortune 100 customers. He was a technology investor at UV Partners, an early stage venture capital firm based in Salt Lake City that also invested in the healthcare sector, and before that he was an equity research analyst at Lehman Brothers covering the Internet sector in the late 90s.

    A recognized thought leader in consumer online health, Stead has been an invited speaker at the Health 2.0 Conference, the Symposium for Connected Health at Harvard Medical School, and the National Summit on Personalized Healthcare. For the past 4 years, he has served on the State of Utah’s Air Quality Board helping to manage and monitor the State’s air quality programs and policies. Stead is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he later received his MBA.

  • Mike Connolly

    Mike Connolly has 25 years of medical technology experience, serving in a variety of roles including entrepreneur, venture capital, and CEO. He cofounded several medical device companies (including 2 exits worth a combined $365 million), led the state office for a $400 million venture capital firm, and led a medical device company (as CEO) from concept to advanced clinicals. Earlier in his career, Mike was a Navy officer aboard a destroyer and taught physics at the U.S. Naval Academy. He has an MBA from Stanford, M.S. from MIT, and B.S. from the Naval Academy.

  • Will Daugherty has more than 20 years of business experience with a track record of success in entrepreneurial, high-growth and turnaround situations. In addition to strategy, operations, finance and general management, Will has expertise in software & services, e-commerce, digital media and mobile. He spent more than ten years as an executive at DoubleDown Interactive, Amazon, Expedia and AT&T Wireless, consistently growing revenue and profits. Will began his business career with McKinsey & Company, working for ten years in Asia, Europe and North America and becoming a partner in the firm’s high-tech practice. Will has served on numerous boards of directors for more than 15 years.

  • Brian Howe

    Brian Howe is the founder and CEO of Impact Hub Seattle, a launch pad for purpose-driven ventures that has more than 500 active and paying members. At Impact HUB, Brian raised $700,000 in seed capital and grew monthly gross revenues to 600 percent in a one-year period. He also has developed partnerships with top sustainable MBA programs and social investment groups to launch a new center for impact entrepreneurship, with plans to open three expansion sites in 2014.

    Brian is also a co-founder and senior partner with, formerly known as, where he co-developed the concept for a social innovation firm offering revenue financing and technical services to early growth-stage impact businesses. He is a founding partner and advisor at business incubator, where he continues to provide advice to investee companies. Brian founded the Seattle law firm Vox Legal in 2009, which was sold to Apex Law Group in 2011. Today, he provides acquisition of new business clients for Apex, as well as limited counsel to clients. He received his law degree from Seattle University Law School and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL.

  • Robert V. Masterson‘s cultivation of innovative ideas has led to two life science startups and multiple biotechnology products. His entrepreneurial expertise spans product idea generation, development, and commercialization; startup business models and leadership; and presentations and messaging for investors to secure angel and venture capital backing.

    Under his leadership as founder, CEO, and CSO of Tessera Diagnostics, the company explored cancer diagnostics (now Onconome, Inc.). In 2006, he co-founded and served as CEO of medical device company Prevencio, Inc., advancing its technology through the development stage. In 2014, he led the hand-off to new management and continues to provide leadership with analysis and new ideas.

    Robert earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from Iowa State University. A postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne, Germany, he directed a molecular and cellular research program.

    Giving back to the Northwest life science community aligns seamlessly with his past history of collaborating with fellow scientists in basic research, and in encouraging fellow entrepreneurs to commercialize applied research. Robert has been a member of Life Science Washington (formerly WBBA) since 1994.

  • Craig W. Philips has over 25 years of pharmaceutical experience in the US and overseas with both big and small pharma companies. He has experience with development and commercialization of both small molecules and biologic agents in a variety of health sectors including: oncology and hematology, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disorders, antiviral, dermatology, allergy and others. Craig spent the early part of his career with Bristol Myers, and then held senior positions at both Schering Plough (now Merck), and Bayer Schering . Most recently, Craig was President at Cell Therapeutics, a company focused on the development and commercialization of new cancer therapies. Craig has broad industry experience and an extensive record in lifecycle management, commercializing new drugs and in both business development and partnership management.

    Craig received a BSBA and MBA from The Ohio State University. He has been actively involved in the pharmaceutical industry organization in the US and overseas and was an industry Board member in Canada, Thailand and Australia. He was chairman of the Intellectual Property Rights Committee with the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok, Thailand. He currently sits on the Board of the Hope Heart Institute, a non-profit organization focused on the research and education of cardiac health issues.

  • Steve Runnels has more than 28 years of successful and proven international business management experience in the healthcare industry. He has held the position of President and CEO of several start-up biopharmaceutical companies, in the U.S. and Internationally. He was executive vice president and Board member of publicly traded NeoTherapeutics, Inc. (NEOT: NASDAQ) and Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Sigma-Aldrich, a Fortune 500 company.

    He has led drug discovery and in vitro diagnostic product development activities in the therapeutic areas of Central Nervous System, Oncology, Clinical Cytogenetics, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Immunohematology and Diseases of Bone and Cartilage.

    Most recently, Steve was CEO of ProteoTech, Inc., a private, clinical stage Company focused on the development of therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and AL Amyloidosis. He is a Senior Industry Advisor for the National Institutes of Health Commercialization Program (NIH-CAP), managed by the Los Angeles Regional Technology Association (LARTA). He was on the Advisory Board for Extension Courses in Medical Product Development, at the University of California – Irvine and is on the Board of Directors at Biosome, Inc.

    Steve holds a B.S. in Cell Biology and certification from the American Society of Clinical Pathology as a specialist in Immunohematology. He is an MBA and Ph.D. candidate in Management.

  • Amanda Twiss

    Amanda Twiss is a seasoned executive and serial entrepreneur with experience in all aspects of founding, financing, building and exiting successful companies. She co-founded three technology start-ups and participated in leadership roles and on multiple boards in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. She is currently a Principal at Garnet Advisors, a boutique consulting organization focused on healthcare and technology innovation. Amanda co-founded and led OCS, a pioneering SaaS analytics company serving the health care industry, growing the company from a start-up to the recognized industry leader named among the Deloitte “Fast 50” fastest growing technology companies for seven consecutive years. She also co-founded and led an innovative analytics company serving payers and the dental industry (Dentra), along with a pioneering firm measuring physician and hospital performance. She serves as board chair for Dentra and OCS.

  • Mohan Vaghul

    Mohan Vaghul is a seasoned Semiconductor executive with over 30 years of experience in engineering and leadership. Most recently, he was the Director of Flat Panel Display business segment at Pixelworks, a fabless semiconductor company based in Silicon Valley, where he was responsible for the display video processors for consumer electronics devices like TVs, Projectors, and Monitors. His role at Pixelworks helped advance the emergence of 4K solutions at Tier 1 consumer electronics companies across the world.

    Mohan started his career at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), where he spent over 14 years in several management roles in the Alpha Workstations group. He moved to Seattle in 1996 to help build a stronger connection with Microsoft in the areas of Multimedia and Graphics and also to work closely with the University of Washington on DEC sponsored research. He founded Ensid in 1999, a startup focused on programming-on-demand for streaming video content over internet. He also worked at a couple of local Seattle startups prior to joining Pixelworks, where he spent the past 9 years.

    Mohan received a BSME from College of Engineering, Pune and a MSME from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has also done several management programs, including Managing Innovation at Babson University, and Software Strategies (part of University of Washington’s Management Executive Education Program).

    Mohan is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation in Education, is an avid runner, and enjoys watching Bollywood movies.

Emeritus EIRs:

Rob Arnold, former President and CEO of Geospiza, Inc., a leader in cloud computing solutions for genetic analysis
Stephanie Amoss, healthcare and medical device consultant
William R. Baker, senior pharmaceutical executive at Gilead Sciences
Robert Barry, medical devices expert
Patricia Beckmann, bioscience expert in research, operations, law and venture capital
Henry Berg, engineering executive and former director at A3 Alliance, LLC
Ronald Berenson, medical oncologist who founded biotechnology companies HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals, Xcyte, and CellPro
David Bluhm, founder and director of more than 20 high achieving start-ups
Gino Borland, serial entrepreneur and energy angel investor
Terri Butler, technology entrepreneur, former product developer at 3M Company
Jeff Canin, energy angel investor, former venture capitalist, investment banker, and wall street analyst and co-founder of three energy related companies
Tom Clement, co-founder and former CEO of Pathway Medical Technologies and board chairman of the WBBA
Brian Crowley, expert in building technology products, services and companies
David Croniser, former pioneer of diagnostic imaging at Siemens
Michael Cockrill, managing partner of Atlas Accelerator and former CTO of QPass
Jacob Colker, Entrepreneur, co-founder of HUB Seattle, and political campaign consultant
Tom Dawson, expert with more than 30 years experience managing, developing and commercializing new products, implementing operational best practices, lean enterprise systems for medical device, sensor & instrument, telecom and electronics firms
Steve Dimmer, co-founder and former CEO of Holaira and founding Vice President at Calypso Medical
Perry Fell, board chairman and former CEO of NanoString Technologies and co-founder of Seattle Genetics
Bjorn Frogner, Silicon Valley expert in technologies related to energy and IT
Steve Jackson, an entrepreneur and early Internet executive
Lars Johansson, an active Cleantech angel investor and the co-chair of Northwest Energy Angels
David Kaplan, electric vehicle entrepreneur previously at GridPoint
Deborah Kessler, former senior executive at Acucela and Rosetta Inpharmatics
Michael “Luni” Libes, serial entrepreneur and advisor to early-stage companies
Tom Malone, entrepreneurial manager specializing in environmentally sustainable innovation
Richard Mander, former executive at Apple, Human Ware, and Big Screen Live
Mark Mendel, founder and principal of Mendel Consulting LLC
Ken Myer, former CEO of the WTIA, co-founder of Interval Systems, and executive at Active Voice Corp and IBM
Rhonda Rhyne, industry leader and former CEO and VP in the health care field Thomas Schulte, veteran of medical device research and development at Becton Dickinson & Co.
Derek Streat, co-founder and early partner of four venture-backed technology companies
Ted Weiler, a veteran of R&D and marketing of medical devices at ATL (Phillips), Physio-Control, and Olympic Medical (Natus)
Bob Wilcox, former senior biomedical executive at EKOS and LifeSpex
Chris Wood, a 25-year veteran in medical image post-processing and former executive at Picker International and Siemens Medical Solutions and co-founder at Confirma

Commercialization Board of Advisors

  • Alan-Frazier

    Commercialization Board Overall Chair

    Alan Frazier is the founder and managing partner of Frazier Healthcare. Mr. Frazier assists with evaluating Growth Equity and Biopharma Venture investments. He has been integrally involved in growing several successful early-stage life science companies into national prominence, including Immunex, Affymax and Affymetrix. Mr. Frazier has led several successful investments for the firm such as Tularik and CV Therapeutic. Recently he has led the development of successful growth equity companies such as TridentUSA Health Services.

  • Mike-Gallatin

    Therapeutics & Diagnostics Co-Chair

    Michael Gallatin joined Frazier Healthcare in 2006 as Venture Partner to the Biopharma team. Previously, Dr. Gallatin was Vice President and Scientific Director of ICOS corporation, a former public biopharma company. Dr. Gallatin’s management responsibilities at ICOS included discovery, preclinical research, medchem and process chemistry groups including those that helped generate and support the worldwide registration and launch of Cialis. Subsequently, Dr. Gallatin helped found two Frazier portfolio companies: Cambridge, MA.-based Stromedix, which focuses on novel treatments for chronic fibrotic diseases, and Seattle, WA.-based Calistoga Pharmaceuticals, the first company to demonstrate clinical benefit of isoform selective PI3 kinase inhibition.

  • Carol-Gallagher

    Therapeutics & Diagnostics Co-Chair

    Carol Gallagher is the immediate past president and CEO of Calistoga Pharmaceuticals which developed a portfolio of delta-selective PI3 kinase inhibitors for the treatment of patients with cancer and inflammatory diseases. Gallagher joined Calistoga Pharmaceuticals in September 2008. During her tenure as CEO, Gallagher raised $80M in venturing financing, securing top-tier investors Frazier Healthcare, Alta Partners, Three Arch Venutres, Amgen Ventures, Quogue Capital, and Latterell Venture Partners. She advanced their lead molecule, CAL-101, into full development and secured a successful exit with the $600M acquisition by Gilead Sciences in April, 2011. Gallagher has over 22 years of experience in commercial and drug development roles at large and small biopharmaceutical companies.

  • Trevor-Moody

    Medical Devices Co-Chair

    Trevor Moody has over 25 years of experience in the development, commercialization and funding of innovative, growth-oriented medical technologies. He was most recently a General Partner at Frazier Healthcare Ventures, a leading healthcare venture capital and private equity investment firm with $1.8 billion under management. For 8 of his 10 years at Frazier, Mr. Moody co-led the medical device team and became known as an active and well-regarded investor with particular depth in medical subsectors.

  • Wayne-Wager

    Medical Devices Co-Chair

    Wayne C. Wager has been the Co-Chairman of WINGS since June 2012. Previously, Mr. Wager was a Managing Partner at Encompass Ventures. He has more than 19 years of venture capital experience, with a primary interest in medical information technologies. Prior to co-founding Encompass Ventures, he was a General Partner at Cable and Howse Ventures. From 1982 to 1983, Mr. Wager was a Venture Capital Associate with Hambrecht & Quist. From 1978 to 1981, he worked with Hewlett-Packard’s medical products group. He was also the Chief Executive Officer at Confirma from 2004-2009.

Capitalization Table Board of Advisors

The capitalization table board of advisors is offered as an opt-in resource to UW start-up companies. C4C has recruited a panel of top venture attorneys and other veterans representing the different roles in the innovation ecosystem to informally counsel founders on their initial decisions around allocation of equity in their start-up. These advisors are experts on best practice, current market norms, and deal terms.

Decisions on equity allocation and capitalization structure need to be appropriate for the start-up’s business model. They must be made such that the resultant company is fundable and will have the best opportunity to execute on its plan. Issues with the capitalization table can cause serious problems for start-ups when decisions were made without the benefit of conferring on best practice.

The C4C New Ventures group helps to prepare each team that presents to the board by providing foundational materials on capitalization table construction, coaching on advance preparation of a presentation on the contributions of founders to date, and the expected and needed contributions from founders, advisors, consultants, start-up management, and employees going forward. The format of each meeting is an open dialogue between the start-up team and the board of advisors.

  • David-Clarke

    David Clarke, a Partner in Perkins Coie’s national Business Practice, focuses on the representation of emerging growth companies, middle market businesses, public companies, venture funds and private equity funds. David’s practice emphasizes mergers and acquisitions, private equity and growth equity transactions, venture capital financings, public offerings and corporate governance. David works with privately held clients at all stages of development, serving as outside general counsel and as a key advisor on M&A and corporate finance transactions. In addition, David represents leading venture and private equity funds in portfolio company investments. David is a regular speaker on M&A, venture capital and private equity topics. .

  • Craig-Sherman

    Craig Sherman is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he focuses on corporate and securities laws, representing companies, venture capital firms, and investments banks in private placements and public offerings. Craig also has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, technology licensing, and domestic and international joint ventures. Craig began private practice in 1989 with Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York and Paris, and joined Perkins Coie in Seattle in January 1995. He became a director in the Kirkland office of Venture Law Group in December 1996 and was managing director of the Kirkland office from May 2000 until August 2002, when he joined Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He has been a member of the firm’s Policy Committee, Compensation Committee, Nominating Committee, and Finance Committee.

  • Sonya-Erickson

    Sonya Erickson is a partner in Cooley’s Emerging Companies and Life Sciences practice groups and a member of the Firm’s Business department. She joined the Firm in 2008 and is resident in the Seattle office. Ms. Erickson’s practice encompasses the representation of emerging growth companies, established technology businesses and venture capital funds. Ms. Erickson has represented issuers and underwriters in numerous public offerings, has substantial experience in venture capital and other private financing transactions and has worked on technology-based strategic partnerships, collaborations and mergers and acquisitions. In addition, Ms. Erickson is corporate counsel for numerous private and public companies including Alder Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., ARZEDA Corporation, Blue Nile, Inc. (NILE), EKOS Corporation, EndoGastric Solutions, Inc., Ground Truth, Inc., Seattle Genetics, Inc. (SGEN), Varolii Corporation, and Zumobi, Inc.

  • Joe-Wallin

    Joe Wallin is an attorney and partner with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. He focuses his practice on emerging, high growth, and startup companies. Joe frequently represents companies in angel and venture financings, mergers and acquisitions, and other significant business transactions. Joe also represents investors in and acquirers of businesses, and provides general counsel services for companies from startup to post-public. Joe is the founder and editor of

  • Patrick-Stayton

    Patrick Stayton currently serves as the Washington Research Foundation Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington. He received his B.S. in Biology (summa cum laude) from Illinois State University in 1984, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois in 1989, and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, also at the University of Illinois. Dr. Stayton’s eclectic research group works at the interface of fundamental molecular science and applied molecular bioengineering. His laboratory has fundamental projects aimed at elucidating the basic principles underlying biomolecular recognition, and connected projects applying these principles to medical applications in the drug delivery, point-of-care diagnostics, and regenerative medicine fields. He has published over 200 scientific papers. Dr. Stayton has a strong interest in translating the group’s research, has been awarded several patents, and is a co-founder of the startup companies PhaseRx Inc. based on his group’s drug delivery work, and Nexgenia based on their diagnostic work.

  • Scott-Jacobson

    Scott Jacobson joined Madrona in 2007 and currently serves on the boards of Haiku Deck, Indochino, LUMO BodyTech, RewardLoop, and Yieldex, and is a board observer for AdReady, Animoto, BuddyTV, Decide, Mercent, Optify, Redfin, Sewichi, and ShopIgniter. Scott also served on the board of Jambool prior to its acquisition by Google in 2010. “I was attracted to Madrona because of the firm’s partnership approach to investing. As an early-stage investor, we are truly rolling up our sleeves and partnering with the entrepreneurs we back on a day-to-day basis. We really do invest a lot of ourselves in our companies.” Scott is particularly interested in consumer web, digital media, and mobile technologies that present opportunities for major disruption of large, established markets.

Innovation Advisors

  • Sam-Chugtai

    Sam Chughtai is an industry leader in Data Science and Cyber Security with over 25 years of experience working with global corporations and Big 4 consulting firms. Sam is recognized in his field as an advisor to C level management in the Fortune 500s. He has held major leadership positions with IBM, Microsoft, Price Waterhouse Coopers, KPMG, and Lawrence Berkeley Lab. He lives in Seattle and is passionate about volunteering for non-profits to support education, veterans, and children with special needs, and currently serves on multiple non-profit and for-profit organizations boards.

  • Nikesh Parekh

    Nikesh (Niki) Parekh is an Innovation Advisor for CoMotion, dedicated to accelerating and scaling UW innovations. He served as VP of New Ventures at the real estate technology company Trulia (acquired by Zillow in 2015), where he was responsible for emerging businesses in rentals, mortgage and new construction. Nikesh was the EVP of Product & Strategy at the largest SaaS real estate sales and marketing platform, Market Leader, and CEO of the largest real estate blogging network and professional social network called ActiveRain. Both were purchased by Trulia in 2013. Nikesh also served as CEO and first employee of Bio Architecture Lab (BAL), a clean tech company spun out of the lab of David Baker, UW professor of biochemistry and director of the Institute for Protein Design. BAL developed a unique technology to convert seaweed into low-cost sugars for biofuel and renewable chemical development.

    Nikesh led performance marketing for the real estate industry HouseValues, which went public in 2004 and grew to more than $100M in annual revenue. He also has worked for Second Avenue Partners, where he focused on seed stage technology investments in the Pacific Northwest, and with CVC Capital Partners, where he evaluated late stage growth equity and technology/telecom buyouts in Europe. Nikesh earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and his BA in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College.