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University of Iowa News Release

 

June 19, 2007

Randy Weiss Joins UI Research Foundation As Entrepreneur-In-Residence

Randy H. Weiss, a biotech startup company expert, will serve as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence within the University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF), helping to find, evaluate and develop UI "spinout" companies. UIRF defines a "spinout" company as a startup that has been borne out of UI teams and technologies, and "spun" out of the university.

As an entrepreneur-in-residence, Weiss will spend a few days per month on the UI campus performing "due diligence" on selected new life science company concepts, which relates to determining if the company has or can create the required success factors for the company to attract venture capital financing and a qualified management team. He will also be working closely with the UIRF, the IOWA Centers for Enterprise, and selected faculty with promising spinout concepts to identify the critical path to funding.

"Randy fills a knowledge gap within the Iowa landscape of new company formation in human life sciences. For top priorities, he'll help formulate the business and financing strategy and make connections to an extensive network of St. Louis, regional and national venture and angel investors," said Pam York, executive director of the UIRF. "This will be a tremendous asset to us, and is part of our strategy for creating a venture-based entrepreneurial ecosystem in which Iowa is a top player."

Weiss brings extensive experience to the UI in the formation of companies in the life sciences. He is a partner with Triathlon Medical Ventures, a $105 million-venture fund focused on early stage biomedical investments in the Midwest, and is a member of the St. Louis Arch Angels Network. He is also managing director and founder of Start-up St. Louis, LLC, which provides services to early stage life science companies, investors and other stakeholders. Currently, Weiss serves on the Invest Midwest selection committee, the St. Louis Capital Alliance committee, and the Venture Capital Advisory Board for the Corporate Investment and Strategic Alliance Conference to be held in St. Louis in September 2007.

Weiss has held numerous positions, including vice president of sourcing and due diligence for BioGenerator, a St. Louis not-for-profit seed fund. He was chief operating officer for ABC Laboratories, Inc., was executive vice president with Crown Capital in St. Louis, and established a consulting firm called Molecular Strategies, Inc., which provides services to venture capital and life science start-ups. He is a medicinal chemist and co-inventor of technology discovered at Monsanto/Searle that was spun-out to MetaPhore Pharmaceuticals.

Weiss has a doctorate in organic chemistry and an executive MBA degree, both from Washington University in St. Louis. He was a Robert A. Welch postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

The UIRF commercializes university-developed technologies and inventions through licensing and new venture formation and manages the subsequent revenue stream. It is part of the IOWA Centers for Enterprise, which integrates existing economic development activities at the UI. The office offers a comprehensive program that promotes economic development and technology transfer, provides assistance to Iowa startups and existing Iowa businesses and communities and helps the state of Iowa develop a creative, entrepreneurial workforce. Also, it optimizes flow of university intellectual property into opportunities for commercialization.

For more information, visit http://www.enterprise.uiowa.edu/ or http://research.uiowa.edu/uirf.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

CONTACTS: Pamela York, executive director, UI Research Foundation, 319-335-4311, pamela-york@uiowa.edu; Media: George McCrory, UI News Services, 319-384-0012, george-mccrory@uiowa.edu