The UIRF has engaged two prominent current or former investors specializing in the formation and financing of university based high technology spinout companies — Buz Brown and Doug Johnson. Buz and Doug are working with the UIRF to develop a Tier 1 early stage Ventures Advisory Board, refer Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, and advise on new ventures processes.

Doug Johnson, Ventures Advisor

Currently Director for the University of Minnesota Office of Business Development, where he designed and implemented a university spinout company development group and process. Doug Johnson formulated and teaches the Carlson Ventures Enterprise; a six-credit 15-month course within the Carlson School full-time MBA program, which teaches venture capital due-diligence and investing skills. He also has 20 years experience as an investor:

  • Senior Officer and General Partner - Northwest Venture Capital, one of the oldest and most successful venture capital firms in the U.S.
  • President - Minnesota Venture Capital Association
  • Special Limited Partner - Minnesota Seed Capital, a local startup venture capital firm
  • Active investor, Director and/or Chairman - of several early-stage and/or troubled companies
  • Investment banker - Dain Bosworth
  • Current Board Member- several private high tech companies

Alfred (Buz) Brown, Ventures Advisor

Currently Managing Director for Kennebec Ventures, an early stage investment and consulting firm which was formed to assist academic institutions and organizations with the formation and capitalization of new life science ventures. Brown was previously President of BCM Technologies, an internal venture capital fund formed to commercialize discoveries from Baylor College of Medicine. Prior to that, Brown was Director of the Office of Cooperative Research at Yale University School of Medicine. Brown has over 30 years of experience in biotechnology commercialization and venture creation, including large pharmaceutical, academic, and venture roles, with emphasis on cancer, immunology, regenerative medicine, molecular diagnostics, and predictive medicine.

While at Yale, Brown co-developed the "Yale Model" of academic venture creation, which is now recognized as one of the leading academic new venture creation programs. Brown holds a BA in biology and a PhD in pharmacology and toxicology. He has been instrumental in the formation of over 50 companies, and has served on the Boards of numerous biotechnology startup companies, including Achillion, VaxInnate, Agennix, Sapphire, Molecular Logix, Oncovance, Progression, Spectral Genomics, Kardia and Bacterial Barcodes.

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