Columbia University

Technology Ventures

2015

Diego Carranza

Area of expertise: 
Biomedical
Forest Laboratories, Roche/Genentech
Year Served: 
Bio 

Diego is a global healthcare executive with 15+ years of progressive experience in the pharma/biotech industry. He has a diverse U.S. and international expertise in business development, commercial strategy & operations and marketing/sales execution. Diego has held positions of increasing responsibility at Roche/Genentech from 1999 to 2011 and Forest Laboratories from 2011- 2014. During his career, he has spearheaded numerous business development opportunities in a variety of deal structures including licensing/M&A/opt-ins that resulted in successful partnerships. Additionally, Diego has developed commercial strategies and coordinated operations for both for pharmaceutical & consumer health businesses, led both commercial & business development teams in a variety of disease areas/markets, integrated operations post-merger as well as directed restructurings globally. Diego holds a BA from University of Buenos Aires and a Master of Science in Industrial Administration (MBA) from Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business.

George Cigale

Area of expertise: 
Tech, Energy
Tutor.com, Teachers College
Year Served: 
Bio 

George Cigale founded Tutor.com in 1998 and served as its CEO until 2013. Under George's leadership, Tutor.com became the leading provider of on-demand instructional solutions for students and professionals, with a proprietary technology platform that connects students and professionals to experts for on-demand and personalized help. Students have turned to Tutor.com over 10 million times and counting. Tutor.com was acquired by IAC/InteractiveCorp (NASD: IACI) in December 2012, and George became its Chairman in 2013. Before founding Tutor.com, George spent 15 years in education, software, and Internet industries, including executive positions at The Share Group, Adizes Institute, and The Princeton Review. George has raised over $35MM is venture capital. Since the acquisition of Tutor.com, George founded Abenaki Ventures, an advisory firm providing strategic services for early stage and growing education and internet companies. George serves as a Trustee on the Board of Columbia University Teachers College, and as a Member of the Advisory Council for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences. George previously served on the Boards of Poets House and SIIA Education Division, and Chaired the National Advisory Council for the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. George received a BA in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and currently lives in Pleasantville, New York, with his wife and three children. His blog can be found at http://ceotutor.blogspot.com/ and tweeting @gcigale.

Rick D’Augustine

Area of expertise: 
Biomedical
Cincytech, UMD Inc, Senmed Medical Ventures
Year Served: 
Bio 

Rick has over three decades of medical-industry experience in general management, venture capital investing and technology and business development in both public and private companies. He served as an Executive-in-Residence at Cincytech for almost four years through the end of 2011. Immediately prior to that, he served as president, CEO and a director of UMD Inc., a venture-backed drug-delivery company focusing on women’s health issues. Before joining UMD as its first employee, he spent five years as a group director at Senmed Medical Ventures, a private medical venture capital and business development firm. Rick spent 16 years with Johnson & Johnson and was a founding board member of Cincinnati-based Ethicon Endo-Surgery, initially serving as vice president of administration and CFO, and subsequently as vice president of business development. He was a founding board member of Enable Medical Corp., a private, high-technology medical device company, as well as Atricure Inc., an Enable spinoff focused on surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation, which is now a public company. He also serves or has served as a director on several company boards, including (locally)- Blue Ash Therapeutics, SpineForm, Ischemia Care and Enable Injections. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA in finance from Seton Hall University. More detailed information can be found here

 

Jennifer Gabler

Area of expertise: 
Tech, Energy, Biomedical
The Refinery, Marlborough Street Partners
Year Served: 
Bio 
Jennifer Gabler is a Columbia MBA, CPA and has functioned as the CFO for multiple startup and venture backed companies. Her expertise is translating business plans of entrepreneurs into financial models that can be used to drive businesses forward operationally and engage financing sources. She could be particularly helpful to those Columbia ventures that have already launched and are looking to monetize their IP in a sustainable business model. She will assist companies with modeling their revenue/gross margin, projecting their P&L and balance sheet and sizing up cash requirements under different assumptions. She can also assist Columbia ventures in locating potential sources of capital. She can assist Columbia ventures in the initial set up of their legal and accounting structure, capitalization table modeling, management reporting, internal controls and management of human resources. Her focus is to assist companies in the management of back office operations, allowing the entrepreneurs to focus on developing their IP and customer facing aspects of their business. Her industry experience spans biotech, digital ventures, software and services, engineering/hardware applications, ad/media and customer facing/retail offerings, among many others.  
 
Jennifer has and AB from Dartmouth College, an MBA from Columbia University and has worked as an independent researcher for Harvard Business School on the topic of “Controls and Governance in Private Companies.” She has been a lecturer at Harvard and Tuck Business Schools.  She is part of a CXO consulting group, Marlborough Street Partners, which helps evaluate, revitalize, operate and monetize venture-funded companies.  Her most recent startup is as Co-Founder of The Refinery which is an accelerator for women owned businesses. She is well networked in the CFO, venture and angel investor communities. Jennifer loves “building it from scratch” and is eager to meet with Columbia entrepreneurs.  More information can be found here.
 

Barry Kappel

Area of expertise: 
Biomedical
ContraFect Corporation, Sapience Therapeutics
Year Served: 
Bio 

Barry Kappel is biotechnology entrepreneur and executive. He is driven to help develop and foster the biotechnology community in New York, and actively looks for technologies from New York-based academic institution that may potentially be developed into therapeutics. Most recently, Barry was a member of the founding team of ContraFect Corporation, which he joined in 2009 as the second employee. As the Senior Vice President of Business Development at a small biotechnology company, he was involved in all aspects of the company, including financing activities, licensing of the company's key technologies, establishing scientific collaborations with academic and corporate partners, presenting to regulatory authorities, and developing corporate strategy. ContraFect Corporation is now publicly traded (NASDAQ: CFRX) and has its first drug in human clinical trials. Prior to ContraFect, Barry was a Senior Consultant at Easton Associates, LLC, a boutique life science consulting firm located in Manhattan. In this capacity, he performed a wide range of activities, including the commercial assessment of preclinical and clinical compounds for Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology companies. Easton Associates has since been acquired by Navigant Consulting.

Barry received his B.A. in chemistry from Emory University, his Ph.D. in immunology and pharmacology from the Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and his MBA from the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

Francis Lee

Area of expertise: 
Biomedical
GLG, McKinsey, Sanofi-Aventis
Year Served: 
Bio 

Francis leads the life-science Strategic Projects team at Gerson Lerhrman Group (GLG). In this role he helps clients generate strategic insights leveraging GLG’s expert network to help top hedge funds and private equity firms as well Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to GLG, Francis trained and specialized in psychiatry in the UK. He began his commercial career at Sanofi-Aventis which was followed by several years McKinsey & Co. He left to explore start-up opportunities and continued consulting for the life-science industry building his own client base and was recently asked to join GLG to help build their new consulting division which has now grown to a team of 8 people in less than one year. He has significant experience in life-cycle management through more than 7 product launches (over half were blockbusters) and evaluation of loss of expiration strategies for several brands; in particular he has a key strength in understanding medical levers to achieve commercial goals. Francis holds a MD and BSc from University of Birmingham, UK and a MBA from Columbia University.

David Murphy

Area of expertise: 
Tech, Energy
HP, Mercury Interactive, Asera, Tivoli / IBN, McKinsey, Kleiner Perkins, Blue Coat Systems
Year Served: 
Bio 

David Murphy, CTV’s “Founding XIR”, returns to Columbia after completing a several year stint as Chief Operating Officer at Blue Coat Systems. David brings a diverse entrepreneurial experience and perspective that spans thirty years:

  • President & COO, Blue Coat Systems, acquired by Bain Capital from Thoma Bravo
  • BU GM Laser Jet and Enterprise Software, HP Printer Division
  • EVP Corp Dev and later CFO, Mercury Interactive, acquired by HP
  • President, Tivoli Software, after acquired by IBM
  • McKinsey Partner, technology, growth industry focused
  • MBA - Stanford
  • Schlumberger (field engineering)
  • BSCS/MSEE - U. Louisville/Florida Atlantic U.

Currently David focuses on proprietary and angel investment opportunities. He serves on several venture boards and advisories. He is particularly adept regarding technology translation, execution on product adoption and practical growth planning. David is most often seen at 30,000 feet - flying somewhere out in the marketplace to sell a new customer on enterprise technology. At sea level, David is an avid runner, and always good for a debate or competition.

William Reinisch

Area of expertise: 
Tech, Energy
Paladin Capital Group, XIV River, Motorola
Year Served: 
Bio 

William Reinisch is a Venture Partner with Paladin Capital Group, a Venture Capital firm, where he is responsible for sourcing and managing venture investments and runs the firm’s New York office. Reinisch is also currently the CEO and Founder of XIV River Consulting LLC. XIV River Consulting specializes in strategy, venture capital, technology, due diligence and innovation for, among others, high tech startups and companies that are pioneering new markets, and venture capital firms. Reinisch is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, New York University, Fashion Institute of Technology and Stevens Institute of Technology. Reinisch previously served as the Vice President in Motorola’s strategy and technology organization. In this role, he was responsible for positioning Motorola for growth in emerging new market segments in addition to intellectual property, standards and the corporate technology portfolio. He was also part of Motorola Ventures, which is Motorola’s corporate venture capital group. Prior to that, Reinisch was vice president of strategy and new initiatives at Motorola. He joined Motorola in 2004 as a strategic advisor to the Chief Strategy Officer, working to define and develop technology, intellectual property and investment strategies for the corporation. Prior to joining Motorola, Reinisch was Senior Vice President of operations and engineering at Magnolia Broadband, where he led efforts in engineering, operations and radio frequency integrated circuit development until 2004. Before that, he led the global technology organization at Multilink Technology Corporation, a company focused on high-speed component solutions for advanced optical networks. Reinisch has also held various positions at ANADIGICS, Inc., including manager of strategic technology alliances. Prior to 1992, he worked for Analog Devices in the company’s semiconductor division. Experienced in many different aspects of the industry in both technology and operations, Reinisch has authored several publications, presentations, and six U.S. patents. He holds a master of business administration degree from Fordham University and a bachelor’s degree in microelectronic engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Javier Saade

Area of expertise: 
Tech, Energy, Biomedical
US Small Business Administration, GEM Group, Paradigm Ventures
Year Served: 
Bio 

Javier Saade was appointed by the President to be U.S. Small Business Administration’s Associate Administrator, Office of Investment and Innovation (“OII”). He left his post on October 30, 2015. He led the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) and the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition programs. He holds a seat on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Committee on Small & Emerging Companies appointed by Chairwoman White. His portfolio included: 1) capitalizing thousands of high-growth small businesses and entrepreneurial ecosystems, 2) investing billions of R&D dollars across a broad swath of America's STEM-driven innovation economy, 3) enhancing capital formation paths where investment gaps are widest, and 4) providing thought leadership on a broad set of economic issues which in turn drove making policy and executing agenda priorities.

Key multiagency collaborations he led or was instrumental to included USPTO’s Fast-Track Intellectual Property, Advanced Manufacturing Investment, JOBS Act Education, Diverse Asset Management, Rural Investing, Social Innovation, Impact Investing, Clean Energy Investing, and STEM Entrepreneurship. He regularly worked with Congress and the White House on policies that directly affect high growth small businesses across the country.

Before joining the Obama administration, Javier was in the private sector and has over 20 years of global principal investing, general management, strategic consulting and entrepreneurial experience. He was Managing Director at The GEM Group an emerging markets focused principal investing firm (PE|VC|HF) and a Principal at Paradigm Ventures, a venture capital firm. He was also an institutional client advisor at Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world with about $160 billion in assets. Javier spent his foundational career years as a strategy consultant at two firms, McKinsey & Company and Booz | Allen | Hamilton and held several operational, line management and engineering roles at life sciences giant Abbott Laboratories.

He enjoys building new companies, and has co-founded and been a top executive of three: a media broadcasting network, Air America Radio, a solar energy services company, Atenergy and a marketing & branding agency, Brand Maestro. Just prior to his public service, Javier advised two investment firms: Pacific Community Ventures, a $100 million double-bottom line and mission-driven impact VC firm in San Francisco and Aspen Grove Capital a $1.3 billion family office in Vail. He holds an MBA from Harvard, an MS in Operations & Technology from Illinois Institute of Technology, and a BS in Industrial Management & Manufacturing Engineering from Purdue University.

Bob Sheehy

Area of expertise: 
Biomedical
Foundation Medical Partners, Genstar Capital, United Healthcare
Year Served: 
Bio 

Bob currently serves as an Executive Partner for Foundation Medical Partners and as a member of the Strategic Advisory Board for Genstar Capital. He is on the boards of Kips Bay Medical, Netsmart Technologies, Univita Health and Valence Health. He also serves as an advisor for Cognizant Technology Solutions and the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Bob began his career at Peak Health Plan, a small start-up which was acquired by United Healthcare. After progressing through a series of general management roles, he became CEO of United Healthcare in 2000. In this role, he was responsible for the strategy and results of United Health Group’s insurance and health plan operations. Bob retired from United Health Group in 2009. Bob has B.S. and M.H.S.A degrees from the University of Michigan.

 

Gordon Stewart

Area of expertise: 
Tech, Energy
Bell-Labs / Alcatel Lucent
Year Served: 
Bio 

Gordon has 20 years of diverse experience in intellectual property licensing, business development, and patent portfolio management, in both corporate and university settings. He has training and expertize in both the physical and life sciences. Prior to entering the business of intellectual property he was a researcher in pediatric genetics at the University of Michigan.

As Director of Global IP Strategy and Portfolio Management at Bell-Labs (Alcatel-Lucent), he managed a global portfolio of over 50,000 patent assets, interacting with attorneys, inventors, technical experts, and business units to ensure the portfolio was aligned to maximize value. He developed and implemented strategies to protect the IP of the company by monitoring the most important technologies and the most relevant geographies. He led teams in evaluating the portfolio to identify patents for use against third parties, both defensively and offensively, and those to be pruned for cost-savings purposes. In this role he also worked with Finance to help secure loans against the portfolio, and with M&A when portfolios were acquired or divested. He negotiated patent swaps, sales, and other ownership transactions with third parties. He worked with the company’s New Ventures Group on the intellectual property aspects of venture spin-offs.

Prior to that role, he managed the Data Processing and Multimedia portfolio segments, supporting deals in excess of $500M with major multinational companies. Gordon has personally negotiated licenses for patents and technology transfers in the areas such as superconductivity, imaging, biological research tools, and telecommunications.

Joining Bell Labs a licensing manager in the New Business Development group, he mined the deep and diverse patent portfolio for monetization opportunities in medical and other non-core areas. Gordon started his career in Technology Transfer at the University of Michigan (UofM) as an Associate Licensing Specialist.

Prior to moving to this business role Gordon was a research scientist in the department of pediatrics at UofM where he was also an associate at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His research was focused on the genetics of chromosome 21 and the development of genetic research tools. He has publications pertaining to chromosome 21, Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and murine situs inversus.

Gordon has an MBA from the University of Chicago, a PhD in Medical Genetics from the University of Glasgow, and a BSc in Biological Sciences (Genetics) from the University of Edinburgh. He also received postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School.

More detailed information can be found here.

Natalie Tucker

Area of expertise: 
Biomedical
MELA Sciences
Year Served: 
Bio 

Natalie Tucker specializes in medical device commercialization and business development strategies. As the Director of Business Development for MELA Sciences Imaging Technologies, she is responsible for the strategy and results of software driven imaging products. MELA Sciences, Inc. is a medical device company that focuses on innovative medical technologies for physicians. Natalie emphasizes regulatory and reimbursement policies to drive product design and commercial success. She is a co-inventor of MELA Sciences Optical Spectral 3D Dermal Imaging System and also serves as a consultant to early stage medical device companies.

Natalie entered the field of medical device commercialization through the professional sports industry where she competed globally for eight years. She started and operated her own company where she consulted on business strategy and health management for clients. She worked in over 15 countries and was the feature of national advertising campaigns promoting future leaders.

Today, Natalie enjoys the opportunity to integrate emerging medical technologies with the needs and opportunities available in professional sports. Natalie received her B.S. in Kinesiology from Indiana University.

Nicholas Wood

Area of expertise: 
Tech, Energy
Emosyn LLC (Silicon Storage Technology), ATMI, Intel
Year Served: 
Bio 

Nicholas was the CEO and founder of Emosyn LLC, a fabless semiconductor company in the smart card and security markets. In April 2005 Nicholas sold the company to Silicon Storage Technology after growing the business to $60m on an annualized basis with 16 patents issued. Prior to founding Emosyn, he was V.P Marketing for ATMI Inc, a semiconductor materials company. Nicholas also spent 10 years with Intel Corporation in Europe. He has a BSc (Honours) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

Lee Wrubel

Area of expertise: 
Biomedical
Egon Zehnder, Flare Capital Partners, Foundation Medical Partners, Highland Capital Partners, Canaan Partners
Year Served: 
Bio 
Lee brings more than two decades of venture capital experience to his role at Foundation Medical Partners and has a passion for healthcare information and medical technology companies. 
 
Prior to co-founding FMP in 2001, Lee served as an investment professional with Highland Capital Partners and Canaan Partners where he worked closely with the management of a large number of private companies. He began his business career as a consultant at The Wilkerson Group, a healthcare-focused management consulting company.
 
Lee currently serves on the Translational Research Advisory Committee of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and is a member of the Commercial Advisory Board of the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center at the Cleveland Clinic. He is also a founder of the Coalition to Cure Calpain 3, a non-profit research organization founded to fund research into a rare form of muscular dystrophy.
 
Representative investments include CardioMEMS, Inc., Circulite, Inc., EndoGastric Solutions, Inc., IlluminOss, Rise Health, Atricure (NASDAQ: ATRC) and CardioNet (NASDAQ: CNET). 
 
Lee earned an A.B. from Lafayette College, an M.D. and Masters in Public Health from Tufts University, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University. Lee also completed a pediatric internship at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.