Frankel Commercialization Fund
The Frankel Commercialization Fund (FCF) is a “pre-seed” investment fund made possible thanks to the support of
Stanley Frankel, whose overarching vision is to leverage the Stephen M. Ross School of Business talent and
resources to help increase the number of successful commercial ventures coming out of the University of Michigan.
The goals of the FCF are to:
Accelerate the commercialization of research and ideas generated within the University community.
Create a financially self-sustainable process of research commercialization, by which successful past
investments will provide the funds needed to make new ones.
Provide a stimulating, hands-on educational experience for students, thus reinforcing the Ross School of
Business’ commitment to action-based learning.
Build excitement within the University community about the prospects of research commercialization.
The Fund is made up of Ross MBA students (“Frankel Fellows”) selected because of their domain knowledge of the
health care or technology industries and their experience and interest in early-stage company formation. The Frankel
Fellows are divided into two teams, one specializing in health care investments and the other on technology
investments. Each of the teams will invest up to $100,000 under the guidance and mentorship of Tom Porter, the
fund’s managing director and executive-in-residence at the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the
Ross School, and an advisory board, consisting of experienced executives in health care and information
technologies and early-stage company formation and investing. Advisors serve as a board of directors for each
Frankel Fund team.
In order to be considered by the fund, projects will need to meet the fund’s criteria for investment. Most importantly,
Address an unmet need within the marketplace, or provide at least an order of magnitude performance
improvement compared to existing solutions.
Sport products or technology that are advanced, proprietary (depending on the market served), scalable,
and that benefit from a sustainable competitive advantage.
Be driven by a team that is committed and able to carry them to fruition.
Have a U-M connection and benefit the University, if successful. To satisfy this requirement, the team
should include at least one U-M student, staff member, faculty or alum, or make use of technology
developed within the University. Technology or products owned by the University need to be disclosed to
the University’s Technology Transfer Office prior to submitting an application.
Interested companies/projects will need to submit a short application. Applications must be submitted by March
15, 2006, to be considered for investment by May 2006 and by Oct. 15, 2006, to be considered by the end of 2006.
Please send questions to email@example.com and completed applications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Frankel Fund investment teams will review and respond to submissions within two weeks of receipt. The final
investment decision for Winter Term will be made by April 15, 2006.
Benefits of the Fund for University Inventors
Frankel Fund teams will apply their skills and wealth of experience to analyzing the commercialization potential of
each project. They will then share their research and conclusions with inventors who have high-potential ideas to
assist them in the development of their plan for commercialization. Finalists (one per sector) will, in addition to
being considered for an investment, get the benefit of the Frankel Fund team’s recommendation on the optimal path
to commercialization and have the opportunity to present their business plan to the FCF team and the advisory
board, which includes a number of successful angel investors and venture capitalists.
Frankel Fund Fellows
Before attending the Ross School of Business, Gregg was co-founder and President of Techstreet Inc. The business
was founded in 1994 to provide engineers with the technical standards and specifications needed in their work.
Gregg’s responsibilities included all operational aspects of the business, management of technical staff, oversight of
finance and accounting activities, as well as investor relations. Average revenue growth exceeded 30 percent per
year as the company expanded to a staff of 13 and revenue of $4 million in 2003. Gregg was instrumental in
securing angel investment in 1998, strategic investment (from Thomas Publishing) in 2000, and negotiating the sale
of the company in 2003 to Thomson (NYSE: TOC). Gregg holds a B.S. in materials science engineering from the
University of Michigan.
A former Partner in her family’s video production company, Ratiera brings a decade of startup and entrepreneurial
experience to the Frankel Commercialization Fund. Prior to matriculating at the MBA program, she worked at
MGM Studios as a buyer in its award-winning Home Entertainment Operations group, having been assigned
$75MM in purchasing power. This Ann Arbor native is a member of the Detroit Economic Club and the Los
Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce. Ratiera holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Southern
California (cinema-television and humanities) and an MBA from the University of Michigan (dual emphasis in
entrepreneurship and finance), where she serves as both co-president of its Entertainment, Media & Sports Club, and
as secretary of its Black Business Students Association.
Carl is a first-year MBA student at the Ross School of Business focusing on international strategy, technology
marketing and entrepreneurship. Prior to Ross, Carl worked as a computer crime analyst for Sonnenschein, Nath &
Rosenthal in Washington, D.C., where he pioneered the first computer crime lab in a U.S. law firm. In addition to
general lab development, he also worked with network design and protocols, hardware components, operating
systems and programming languages. Additionally, Carl co-founded Share the Health Inc., a Washington, D.C.-
based nonprofit founded to promote physical fitness and well-being in local communities. Carl holds a B.S. in
education from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, and an M.A. in kinesiology from San Jose State
Hector is a first-year MBA student at the Ross School of Business focusing on marketing, corporate strategy and
entrepreneurship. He joined the MBA program from Qualcomm, the foremost leader in wireless telecommunications,
where he reached the level of staff engineer. He brings to the Frankel Commercialization Fund seven years of
technical experience in research and development and standardization in the areas of positioning/geo-location and
wireless protocols. He has a strong track record of innovation with 19 U.S. patents to his name. Hector holds an
engineering diploma from the Ecole Polytechnique at the Free University of Brussels and an M.S. in electrical
engineering from the University of Michigan.
Medical Technology/Life Sciences Team
Mark is a first-year MBA student at the Ross School of Business focusing on general management and
entrepreneurship within health care and the life sciences. Previously, Mark worked for six years as a scientist on
pulmonary drug delivery (i.e., inhalable insulin) for Alkermes, a drug-delivery company located in Cambridge, Mass.
In this role, he supported early-phase development and feasibility programs, evaluated new analytical methods to
support Alkermes’ IP position, performed technical due diligence on new technologies, and trained and monitored
clinical site staff and patients to ensure proper use of Alkermes’ pulmonary delivery system. Mark holds a B.S. in
chemical engineering from Penn State University.
Jafar is a second-year MBA student at the Ross School of Business. He also has an undergraduate degree in
computational mathematics from Albion College and an M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School. He
is a resident surgeon in plastic and reconstructive Surgery at the U-M Medical Center. His clinical training has
included rotations in plastic and reconstructive surgery, general surgery, trauma/burn surgery, head and neck
surgery, transplant surgery, vascular surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthopedic surgery, and neurosurgery.
Scott Peterson is a first-year MBA student at the Ross School of Business, where he is focusing his studies upon
corporate strategy and marketing. Scott was previously a director and equity partner with Andcor Companies Inc., a
venture catalyst specializing in executive recruitment, consulting and angel funding for emerging companies in the
health care and technology sectors. As an undergraduate, Scott spent three years as an engineering intern for Deltec
Inc., a medical device company specializing in drug delivery technologies. He earned both a B.S. in biochemistry
and a B.S. in management from the University of Minnesota.
Michael is currently employed as a research associate in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of
Michigan Medical School and is an evening MBA student at the Ross School of Business. He has nearly 20 years
experience in life science research in the areas of applied photochemistry, photo medicine, biochemistry and
molecular biology. He worked on adaptations of military laser technology to medical applications (dental,
surgical, endovascular) and has five years experience in research and development of biomedical devices,
including those for medical phototherapy and non-invasive optical diagnostics (using both broad-band and coherent
light sources). He earned both a B.S. and M.S. in physics from St. Petersburg University, Russia, and a Ph.D. in
optics/biophysics from Vavilov State Optical Institute, Russia.
Alex is a second-year MBA student at the Ross School of Business focusing on general management and
entrepreneurship. In his MAP project, Alex worked with management team in Ethicon Endo Surgery at Cincinnati
on the growth strategy of MAMMOTOME Breast Biopsy System. Prior to Ross, Alex was part of the pilot team in
UMCi to build the first 300mm semiconductor wafer Fab in Southeast Asia and he also contributed his efforts to
build the first MTD team (Manufacturing Technology Department). Earlier, he led various teams to overcome
technology challenges on yield improvement and process development during the 0.18um to 0.11um technology
migration for Micron Technology. Alex holds a B.Sc. in chemistry from Fudan University and M.Sc. in chemistry
from National University of Singapore. His research interest in NUS was on asymmetric organometallic synthesis of
P-chiral phosphine ligands, which led to potential anti-cancer Gold drug complexes.
Fund Managing Director
Tom is general partner for Trillium Ventures in Ann Arbor. He has a broad range of experience in founding,
managing and advising successful technology growth companies. Tom co-founded and is a general partner emeritus
in EDF Ventures, an Ann Arbor-based venture capital firm investing in early-stage market-driven companies in
health care and information technology.
Formerly a partner at EDF Ventures, Jim is now the managing director of RidgeLine Ventures, a new venture capital
firm focusing on early-stage technology investments. He has extensive experience in various operating and strategic
roles as well as in structuring licensing deals. As a member of Ann Arbor Spark and of several startup boards, he is
very active in fostering local technology commercialization efforts. Jim also currently serves as the co-founder and
CEO of Tissue Regeneration Systems Inc., a company launched based on U-M technology.
Al is a former vice president of the Critical Technologies Group at Cap Gemini/Ernst & Young, most recently
focusing on enterprise integration services and the development of eCommerce strategies. He has extensive
experience in the software, automotive, telecommunications, financial services and health care insurance industries.
Al is currently an independent management consultant and an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan’s
computer science department.
Chuck is a retired General Motors executive. His background includes 30 years of experience as the sales
leader/manager of sales teams for computer systems. Chuck has founded two entrepreneurial companies and
currently serves as president of the Ann Arbor Spark initiative. He has previously advised the Ross School of
Business’ Wolverine Venture Fund as a member of the board.
Shelby served as the budget director for the state of Michigan. He is currently president of the U.S. subsidiary of
ETAS Inc, a global supplier of hardware and software engineering tools for the automotive industry. Shelby is also
an active angel investor in locally based companies.
Ron is the former U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia. In addition to his diplomatic responsibilities, he worked with the
embassy to organize three international investment conferences attended by investors representing hundreds of
companies. Ron has served on the boards of directors of numerous domestic and foreign companies and nonprofit
organizations, including the University of Michigan President’s Advisory Board. He also is the founder of McKinley
Properties, a national real estate investment company, and served as its chairman and chief executive officer until
Medical Technology/Life Sciences Board
Mary is a general partner and founder of EDF Ventures. She has been an active investor both in health care and
technology companies and also leads the firm’s fund-raising efforts. Mary is a director of HandyLab Inc. and has
been active with the Ross School of Business, serving as an advisor to student-run venture activity, the Wolverine
Fund and as a member of the Board of Visitors.
Larry is a recognized leader in the health care information industry. A successful entrepreneur, he led Ann Arbor-
based MEDSTAT Group Inc. through tremendous growth as the company’s president. MEDSTAT was successfully
sold to Thomson, and Larry served as president and CEO of the wholly owned subsidiary. His leadership has been
recognized by Forbes’ Corporate Honor Roll and Best Small Companies lists.
Roger founded Esperion Therapeutics Inc., a company that successfully licensed and developed cholesterol-reducing
compounds. Under Roger’s leadership, the company raised several rounds of equity financing, conducted a
successful IPO in 2000 and was sold to Pfizer in 2003. An active entrepreneur and advisor to emerging companies,
Roger recently formed a new venture capital fund.
Lisa is a pharmaceutical industry consultant specializing in corporate strategy and new product development.
Previously, she led several product launch teams at Pfizer. Lisa has experience in all phases of health care product
development, including pre-marketing, clinical and manufacturing. She is a recognized expert and speaker on global
teamwork in the health care industry and is a director of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.
Jeff is chief executive officer of HandyLab Inc., an Ann Arbor-based clinical diagnostics company. He was
previously founder and CEO of Genomic Solutions, a leader in the high throughput screening industry that
conducted an IPO in 2000 and was sold to Harvard Bioscience Inc. in 2002. He has served on the Board of the
Michigan Biotechnology Industry Association and is a board advisor to multiple venture capital firms.
Advisory Board Member-at-Large
Ken is the executive director of the University of Michigan Tech Transfer Office and has strategic and operational
responsibilities for all technology transfer activities at the University. He has more than 20 years of experience in the
commercial sector in engineering, finance, marketing and management. Ken also was a co-founder and president of
Memorybank Inc., a storage systems provider.