Friday, December 19, 2008

The Santa Mix

One of the fun cool things about living the entrepreneurial life in Ithaca is the mix of people that you interact with on a daily basis. Not everyone here wants to be a high-tech entrepreneur. Ok, almost no one does. That's all right. This isn't Silicon Valley, nor do we want it to be. The fun part of it is bring folks together who wouldn't otherwise meet or even know the other exists.

Trees, Plastics, Hospitals, Ideas, Tennis, Investor

It's a fun place to start a business. We have community and smarts and a lot of support. In a small town, a modest holiday party brought together grad students, a film professor, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, kayaking instructors, a photographer, a nurse, a massage therapist, a banker, a lawyer, a tree salesperson, a tequila expert, and at least one person willing to harness a few reindeer:

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Business Success and Academic Peers

Within some halls of academia there is an opinion that your research peers will fault you for using your research to also seek commercial success. Recently Alan Paau dispelled that myth with the story of 2008 Nobel Laureate and serial entrepreneur Roger Tsien.

Business and Academia All Wrapped Together

Dr. Tsien is currently Professor of Pharmacology and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at University of California, San Diego, and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

He is also the founder of Aurora Biosciences. Aurora Biosciences was formed in May of 1995 by Dr. Tsien and two of his UCSD colleagues. The goal of the company was to commercialize their research into a new way of screening molecules as potential drug candidates.

The company raised $13 MM in their first round of venture financing in March of 1996, and took the company public in 1997. The company was purchased in 2001 for $592 million by Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Tsien maintains a positive relationship with industry to this day, but his focus is back in the lab where he continues his research into how researchers can us multicolored fluorescent proteins to observe the behavior of cells.

Congratulations on winning the Nobel Prize, Dr. Tsien!