BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- IU Ventures has launched the inaugural class of its Executive in Residence Program with a talented cohort of business leaders who have deep experience spanning high-potential startup companies to Fortune 500 corporations.
An affiliate of Indiana University, IU Ventures helps students, faculty, staff and alumni advance startups and new companies through financial or other forms of support. Members of the Executive in Residence Program will help accelerate the development of these new ventures by sharing insights and real-world experience with the founders and leaders of companies in the IU Ventures portfolio. They will also work directly with IU Ventures staff in evaluating new investment opportunities.
This dual-level engagement is designed to enable the Executive in Residence Program to have even greater impact than more traditional executive programs that may only focus on founder mentoring.
"Our EIR program is actually an EEEIIR program: Executives, Entrepreneurs, Experts and Investors in Residence," said Teri Willey, managing director of IU Ventures and fund manager for the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund and the Innovate Indiana Fund. "Our program might be somewhat different from others in that this group is focused on helping the founders and companies in our investment portfolio versus serving as mentors and advisors in general; however, many have been generous in reviewing new opportunities and advising founders of companies in our pipeline as well."
The inaugural class will bring their unique voices and lend a wealth of knowledge to this program. Members are Cate Brady, Diala Ezzeddine, Jim Fielding, Samantha Ginther, Katherine Moynihan, Avalyn Quick and Vince Wong.
Brady, who describes herself as a serial entrepreneur, has two successful exits of business-to-business companies and over 20 years of experience working as an entrepreneur in digital technologies and digital health. Brady's expertise includes bringing to market new health care technologies like dementia-focused, AI-driven decision support and behavioral telehealth for those with multiple chronic conditions.
Ezzeddine is a board member for IU Ventures portfolio company NERx Biosciences and CEO of IU spin-out Airbase Breathing Co. In 2010, she helped found X-Chem Pharmaceuticals and was appointed its chief business officer. She was instrumental in crafting the company's business strategy and in establishing multiple revenue-generating partnerships with top-tier pharmaceutical companies -- including AstraZeneca, Bayer, BMS, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Roche and Sanofi -- with a cumulative deal value surpassing $2 billion.
Fielding is a veteran executive in consumer products, media and retail whose positions have included president of consumer products and innovation for Fox Television Group and 20th Century Fox Film Corp.; global head of consumer products and retail at DreamWorks Animation; and CEO of Claire's Stores Inc. Fielding also served as president of Disney Stores Worldwide during his 12-year tenure with the firm. He is currently a partner in Archer Gray, an independent media company best known for film and Broadway productions, specializing in talent from historically underrepresented voices.
Ginther is a venture associate at High Alpha, a leading business-to-business software-as-a-service venture studio in Indianapolis. She was previously a senior associate and head of platform for IU Ventures. Ginther began her career in marketing and business development for the behavioral health care industry. She is a board member for the Venture Club of Indiana and a board observer for The Bee Corp.
Moynihan is chief commercial officer of Genezen Laboratories, a contract development and manufacturing company focused on good manufacturing practice in the cell and gene therapy space. Moynihan's previous experience includes working as associate vice president of IU Ventures and acting director of the Innovation and Commercialization Office at IU. She served the same role at the University of Michigan's Office of Technology Transfer.
Quick is the owner of Avalyn Quick Enterprises LLC, which develops plans and processes to help individuals or organizations achieve goals and unlock potential. She brings over 30 years of combined corporate, entrepreneurial and nonprofit board experience to her coaching consultancy practice that serves multiple industries and functional areas. Her experience spans startups to Fortune 500 corporations, where she drove the development and execution of strategies and helped launch an in-house training program focused on entrepreneurial skills, increasing the scalability of minority-owned businesses and establishing peer-to-peer best practices.
Wong is chief commercial officer of Geneoscopy, a venture-backed developer of gastrointestinal diagnostics. Wong forged a successful 17-year career at Roche Diagnostics, where he held senior leadership roles in strategy, business development, marketing, communications, market access and sales. At Roche, he was general manager of a $600 million business unit, leading 350 employees serving a broad range of customer segments, from BioPharma firms to individual patients.
"Our hope is to expand the EIR program so we can engage with even more successful business professionals for the benefit of our portfolio companies and to amplify existing resources in reviewing new company ideas with founders," said Tony Armstrong, president and CEO of IU Ventures. "These seasoned professionals will also be supportive in helping us identify venture-backable business co-founders to work with IU faculty when starting a company."
What the participants are saying
"I've seen first-hand how IU Ventures can have a galvanizing impact on early-stage companies. I'm excited to participate in initiatives that move these companies forward. The EIR program gives IU entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to learn from the insights and experiences of these talented individuals and apply that to their ventures." -- Katherine Moynihan
"As an executive coach, business consultant and thought partner, I want to help entrepreneurs reduce the barriers they face as they work to accelerate their strategic business plans. My commitment is to support the portfolio companies in expanding their 'self-awareness’ learning to a transformational journey while achieving their professional goals and business performance growth." -- Avalyn Quick
"It is extremely important for Indiana to expand the opportunities for entrepreneurship, especially for people who so far who have been underrepresented as founders: women and people of color." -- Cate Brady