SRO at UVANY Venture Forum

UVANY Forum March 2014

More than 150 entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from throughout New York State gathered at Brighton’s ARTISANworks Tuesday evening to network and to hear some Rochester success stories. Organized by the Upstate Venture Association of New York (UVANY), the event featured an introductory presentation on “The New Rochester” by Richard Glaser and an interactive panel discussion featuring Mike Totterman (iCardiac), David Chauncey (vNomics), Tim Wilson (Arnold Magnetics), and Chris Modesti (Biomaxx). The panel was moderated by Will Hoy (Secrest & Emery). The venue perfectly captured the energy and creativity present in the room. The picture, above, was taken seconds before the UR Ventures banner stand noisily imploded.

Dr. Nedergaard’s Sleep Research Receives Worldwide Attention

Everyone is talking about Dr. Nedergaard’s discovery. We can’t blame them. This has huge potential. But don’t take our word for it . . . .


Science Magazine:

NIH News Update:

Neuroscience News:




NY Times:

“What’s Your Strategic Plan?”

Stephen Dewhurst11 January 2014

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Winston Churchill

Every organization needs a clearly articulated mission, a vision of where it wants to go, and a plan of how it will achieve that vision.  That strategic plan is the roadmap for the future – and to be effective, its implementation should be monitored continuously until goals are met.

The reality is that we live in a world of short attention spans.  All too often, we make plans, set them in motion and then walk away.  Job done.  And only much later do we look at the results – often to our dismay.


Dr. Nedergaard’s Sleep Research Featured in NY Times

Sunday Review

Goodnight. Sleep Clean.
By Maria Konnikova Jan. 11, 2014

SLEEP seems like a perfectly fine waste of time. Why would our bodies evolve to spend close to one-third of our lives completely out of it, when we could instead be doing something useful or exciting? Something that would, as an added bonus, be less likely to get us killed back when we were sleeping on the savanna?

“Sleep is such a dangerous thing to do, when you’re out in the wild,” Maiken Nedergaard, a Danish biologist who has been leading research into sleep function at the University of Rochester’s medical school, told me. “It has to have a basic evolutional function. Otherwise it would have been eliminated.”


MiniVax, Inc. and University of Rochester Enter into Option for Antibody Treatment against Pneumocystis pneumonia

NEW ORLEANS & ROCHESTER, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MiniVax, Inc. (New Orleans, LA) and the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) announce that they have entered into an exclusive option agreement with agreed licensing terms to develop a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). The antibody of interest is a product of research conducted at the University of Rochester. PCP is a life-threatening, fungal respiratory infection that affects patients with weakened immune systems such as those suffering from HIV/AIDS, receiving organ transplants, and undergoing chemotherapy.

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Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest Opens Today

Companies interested in entering should have a scalable business concept with high growth potential. Companies must be early-stage, as defined at the time of application by having less than $250,000 of outside cash investment and less than $500,000 in cumulative revenue (excluding research grants).

The first place winner receives a $25,000 cash prize plus marketing and business incubation services. Second and third-place winners receive smaller amounts of cash and services. The runners-up receive marketing and business services.

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“Startup Insider” Helps Entrepreneurs

Bennett J. Loudon, Staff Writer, Democrat & Chronicle

The business community has a new resource to get help from experienced experts.

The series, hosted by Alex Zapesochny, is an outgrowth of the efforts of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Working Group of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. The regional council is one of 10 created to develop long-term strategic plans for spurring economic growth and new jobs across the state.

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UR Ventures “Open for Business”

By Jennifer Roach

20 November 2013

The University’s Office of Technology Transfer has rebranded itself as UR Ventures with a new look, a new structure, and a renewed focus on technology development and commercialization. UR Ventures will provide the University’s technology transfer functions with an emphasis on getting research discoveries to the public through business formation and technology licensing. Scott Catlin, who joined the University as associate vice president for innovation and technology commercialization in April, talks about the recent changes and the office’s goals.

Why is it the right time to introduce UR Ventures?

I’ve been here about seven months now. Before I got here there had been two technology transfer offices at the University— one was for the science and engineering schools and one for the Medical Center and the medical school—and those were combined last December. That provided an opportunity for us to reflect on how we organize ourselves, and how we put it all together to be more efficient and better organized. Since I’ve been here, I’ve spent a lot of time out in the community and around campus, talking to faculty and entrepreneurs and investors. Being new here, I could really take the time to get feedback and reflect on what seems to work and get their perspectives on what we might improve. Are we really getting all of our great research out and in use, as we should? Being a research University and a not-for-profit, we have an obligation to get our technologies out and benefiting the world. We’ve done some of that, but there’s a general question about how we can do a better job of translating technologies so they are better able to get into the market.

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Innovation Advisors and Alumni Briefed on Tech Commercialization

ROCForward: November 2013

The University of Rochester Innovation Advisory Network gathered during Meliora Weekend in October for a conversation with Senior Vice President of Research Rob Clark and Associate Vice President for Innovation and Technology Commercialization Scott Catlin.

Caitlin updated the group on the reorganization of the Office of Technology Transfer and the launch of UR Ventures. He also provided a review of the Technology Development Fund’s progress to date:

  • The Fund has supported 11 projects since its inception, 8 of which are moving forward;
  • A total of $766,000 has been committed to these projects;
  • 60 percent of the project are in the life sciences, 40 percent in engineering;
  • The Fund receives more proposals than it can support and the quality improves with each application cycle..

The Institute of Optics also hosted its Industrial Associates meeting Meliora Weekend, celebrating “60 Years of Innovation.” Approximately 160 companies have been started by some 115 optics alumni and faculty. Panels and keynotes speakers addressed topics such as “what I wish I had known,” “why start a company,” and “developing, growing, and selling your company.” A group of about 200 came together for this event, supporting and encouraging the University’s relationship between optics and entrepreneurship, honoring the success seen thus far, and aiming towards continued achievement in the future.

In October, Peter and Kathy Landers, both University of Rochester alumni and actively involved with various aspects of the University, hosted a special George Eastman Circle event at Monroe County Club at which both Rob Clark and Scott Catlin spoke with 80 guests regarding funding opportunities within our revised Technology Transfer efforts. Several individuals who attended have since joined the George Eastman Circle and have designated their gifts to Technology Commercialization.

Rethinking the Research University for the 21st Century

by Stephen Dewhurst

Over the weekend, I read a series of newspaper articles about the high price of college and the emergence of new, profit-seeking universities that offer degree programs at low cost.

As a professor at a major research university, and the father of two high school students, these issues hit pretty close to home. I worry about how we can successfully contain the cost of college so that students and their families aren’t burdened by crushing debt. But I also worry about the future of traditional bricks-and-mortar institutions that must compete with online colleges.

Universities are among the most stable institutions that we have. Unlike many other businesses – and some sports franchises – they rarely if ever leave town for greener pastures. In fact, they form the bedrock upon which communities are built. That’s why the University of Rochester is now the #1 employer in the Rochester area.

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