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Abraham To Lead Initiative To Build New Companies From Research Ideas

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EAST LANSING — Brian M. Abraham has been named to lead Spartan Innovations, L3C, a  subsidiary of the Michigan State University Foundation focused on launching sustainable start-up companies from Michigan State University’s research innovations.

Abraham, who holds a PhD in chemistry from Tufts University and an MBA from Babson College, is a serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in founding, shaping and leading successful businesses that range from high-technology defense systems, financial groups, and medical devices, to transportation, environmental, and natural resource companies. He most recently took over as CEO for ProteQ, a defense technology company.

Prior to ProteQ, he ran Bluefin Robotics, an MIT-founded and affiliated robotic submarine company based in Quincy, Mass. He has also worked with faculty and students to create new businesses and, in that capacity, has served as an adjunct professor at Babson College and Ohio State University for seven years.

“We are pleased to be adding someone of Brian’s remarkable accomplishments to our team,” said Charles Hasemann, executive director of the MSU Innovation Center. “He brings a solid foundation of scientific training and academic experience to a history of business success, both as an entrepreneur and as an investor.”

As part of the MSU Innovation Center under Hasemann’s direction, Spartan Innovations is co-located with and complements the work being done by MSU Technologies, the university’s technology transfer office, and Business-Connect, MSU’s portal for engagement with the business community. MSU Innovation Center is on the third floor of 325 East Grand River Avenue, in downtown East Lansing, directly adjacent to campus.

The MSU Foundation is underwriting the Spartan Innovations initiative, which is overseen by a board of directors that includes Hasemann and key foundation board members, Philip Zecher and Craig Brown. Brown, former chair of the foundation’s board of directors, says that while the goal of Spartan Innovations is to develop inventions and intellectual property generated from MSU research into businesses that will attract external investment, the foundation stands ready to invest its own capital as well.

“The foundation’s goals are strategically aligned with the university’s research objectives, and the foundation has been supportive of these business development activities for years. This new concept, Spartan Innovations, represents an opportunity to not just attract external funding, but also to use part of the foundation’s $350 million capital fund in ways that have significant potential for return on investment and benefit the university.”

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