UM Tech Transfer’s Venture Center hires new director: Jack Miner, an experienced entrepreneur, venture creation expert and economic development specialist, has been named director of the Venture Center at University of Michigan Tech Transfer. The goal of the Venture Center is to launch strong startup ventures and move them quickly to the marketplace, Miner said. He said he hopes to expand the center’s resources and effectiveness and extend our entrepreneurial collaborations across campus and throughout the state. Miner has worked as a startup specialist within U-M Tech Transfer since 2011, helping to form new ventures based on physical sciences intellectual property. He coordinated the development, formation and funding of more than six startup companies launched within the last year while managing a portfolio of more than 20 other startup projects. Prior to his role at UM, Miner worked at TechTown in Detroit and was managing director of a Battle Creek business accelerator, Battle Creek Unlimited. Before that, he worked for seven venture-backed software companies (most of which exited through acquisition) as well as Fortune 100 information technology organizations, CA (Computer Associates) and Amdahl. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from UM a master’s in management from Northwestern University. The Venture Center works with UM inventors and the entrepreneurial community on promising startup concepts based on UM technology. It provides a core staff or startup experts, including a team of seasoned entrepreneurs called Mentors-in-Residence, and a comprehensive set of funding, talent and connection resources. The Venture Center also includes the Venture Accelerator that opened in early 2011 at Tech Transfer’s offices in the North Campus Research Complex, providing space, services and resources for new startups. The accelerator now has 17 tenants with business models ranging from wireless sensors to help improve building energy efficiency to using a polymer mesh to grow human bones. UM is already among the top 10 U.S. universities in the number of startup companies it spins off — 98 in the past decade or one every five weeks. Several UM startups have achieved market success, including HealthMedia, HandyLab, Accuri, Arbor Networks, Ablation Frontier and, most recently, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals. More at


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