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Investors and Ideas Will Meet at U.Va. Venture Summit

Written by University of Virginia on 12 March 2010.

The University of Virginia, which last year hosted a summit that brought together venture capitalists representing nearly $20 billion in active capital funds, will hold its Second Annual Venture Summit on March 25 and 26.

"The U.Va. Venture Summit is a unique event that attracts the nation's leading investors to engage directly with thought leaders in frontier research being done at U.Va. – this year with a focus on information and computer science, sustainable design, and systems biology and personalized medicine," Thomas C. Skalak, vice president for research, said.

Media are invited to cover the summit, which will feature informational panels as well as presentations by U.Va. thought-leaders, entrepreneurs and student innovators.

Robert F. Bruner, dean of U.Va.'s Darden School of Business, said entrepreneurial activity is critical to America's economic recovery and job creation. "This summit goes right to the heart of that challenge and is the kind of contribution to recovery that a university is ideally suited to make," he said.

Virginia U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner will be on hand via videoconference for a special session on federal regulation of venture capital. U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello of Charlottesville will participate via videoconference in a special panel discussion on energy.

The summit will also showcase U.Va. start-ups and student concepts. All six of the U.Va.-based start-ups showcased in 2009 found funding following their presentations at the summit.

U.Va. has rapidly become a destination for sourcing new technology-based ventures.

• U.Va. innovators have spun 77 new technology-based ventures out of the University, including 61 over the past decade. U.Va. start-ups have helped to establish Charlottesville as a hotbed for new ventures (ranked 18th "Best City for Living and Launching a Business" by Fortune and Money magazines and ninth "Best Small Market for Business" by Forbes in 2008).

• Over the past five fiscal years, U.Va. researchers have reported the invention of 885 new technologies, 302 (34 percent) of which have been licensed to companies and institutions for further development and commercialization – well above the national average.

• U.Va. has recently entered into strategic research partnerships with major corporations and industry leaders such as AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Rolls Royce.

• Over the past five years, U.Va. has attracted significant innovation funds and generated high returns on investment via private translational research funding through the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Research Partnership, the Ivy Foundation, the Thelma R. Swortzel Collaborative Research Award, the Launchpad Program and others.

Interviews can be arranged before or during the event with:

• Thomas C. Skalak, Vice President for Research
• Miette H. Michie, Executive Director and CEO, U.Va. Patent Foundation
• Robert F. Bruner, Dean and Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration, Darden School of Business
• David Chen, Director of Translational Research and Coulter Program Director
• Michael J. Lenox, Samuel L. Slover Research Professor of Business; Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Darden School of Business
• A.G.W. "Jack" Biddle III, General Partner, Novak Biddle Venture Partners
• Stephan Dolezalek, Managing Director and Group Leader, VantagePoint Venture Partners
• Frank Levinson, Founder and Managing Director, Small World Group
• J. Sanford (Sandy) Miller, General Partner, Institutional Venture Partners
• Robert Paull, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Lux Capital
• Participating U.Va. thought leaders, faculty entrepreneurs and student innovators.

Additional details and online registration can be found at www.virginia.edu/vpr/venture_summit.html.