Tech Transfer Tips for Tech/Life Science Startups

February 12, 2019

Speaker Slides

Tech Transfer – Entrepreneur Relationship Tips

Nina Dinjaski, Licensing Associate

Tech Transfer Tips for Tech/Life Science Startups

Barry Wohl, Chief Business Officer, Apnimed, Inc.

Universities are excellent sources of cutting-edge science and technology – the kinds of innovations that can form the basis for important, novel commercial products. While academic investigators are indeed highly innovative, organizations that develop commercial products tend to fall into the realm of businesses, whether large, established corporations, or startups founded by ambitious, energetic entrepreneurs. The skills and infrastructure needed for product development and commercialization are quite distinct from academic innovation needs and typically are well outside of the scope of academic interests. 

However, BEFORE any product development happens, a business must make a deal with the academic institution to gain rights to develop the innovative assets of interest. Agreeing to terms for such transactions can be time-consuming and often contentious, given the potentially very different interests and resources of the negotiating parties.  

Tonight’s panel will offer insights that help to identify the challenges and to offer tips for effective resolution of differences. Of course, ENET is all about start-ups and entrepreneurs so that we will focus on the academic/entrepreneur transaction.


6:00-7:00 PM – Registration & Networking

7:00-7:10 PM – ENET Chairman’s Announcements

7:10-7:25 PM – eMinute PITCH – up to 3 startups give a 90-second elevator pitch

7:25-8:15 PM – Expert speakers on the night’s topic

8:15-8:30 PM – Q & A

8:30-9:00 PM – Final networking, including meeting speakers


Michaela Levin, Licensing Manager II, Partners Healthcare

Michaela is responsible for managing and commercializing technologies arising out of the Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine Departments at BWH and the MGH Steele Lab in Radiation Oncology.

Before joining Partners, Michaela gained experience in patent prosecution as a Technical Specialist at Saul Ewing, a Boston-based law firm and worked as a Business Development Associate at Harvard Office of Technology Development and Addgene, a Cambridge-based nonprofit global plasmid repository. Michaela earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Virginia and did her postdoc at Boston Children’s Hospital in Epilepsy and Traumatic Brain Injury

Barry Wohl, Chief Business Officer, Apnimed, Inc.

Barry has diverse operating and strategic planning experience in both the medical device and biopharma sectors. He started his career with Medtronic, where he worked as a product design engineer and later as a global clinical trial lead on a variety of vascular and cardiac rhythm implantable devices, many of which went on to capture significant market share. During his time at HBS, Wohl worked on corporate and portfolio strategy at Biogen. Most recently, he worked with global biotech firms of all sizes and development stages as a strategy consultant with IMS Consulting Group and concurrently in a sell-side transaction advisory role with IMS Health Capital. He also cofounded Respira Design, a social enterprise to develop low-cost medical technology for the treatment of respiratory conditions in the developing world, which won the Stanford BASES social enterprise competition. Wohl holds a BS in biomedical engineering, magna cum laude, from Columbia, an MS in mechanical engineering from Stanford.  

Nina Dinjaski, Licensing Associate 

Nina joined the TTIC in October 2016 as a licensing associate. She assesses the commercial potential of Tufts University technologies and assists senior case managers in formulating technology licensing strategies. Before joining the TTIC, Nina held a joint postdoctoral scholar appointment at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts. She also completed a technology transfer internship at the TTIC. Nina has a PhD in molecular microbiology from Complutense University in Spain. Her research focused on genetic and metabolic engineering strategies to functionalize biomaterials for medical applications.

Moderator, Meeting Organizer:

Roger Frechette,  Life Science Business Executive / Entrepreneur / Mentor

My daily purpose is to exercise an innate drive to transform ideas and projects into life-changing commercial assets. In the life science business, this is the long game, requiring boundless energy and creativity, coupled with knowledge, experience, and patience.

In my work, I leverage an extensive global network and insights derived from >20 years experience in business development, calibrated with an extensive science background. My career has encompassed success as a business executive, project/alliance manager and entrepreneur, and also as a scientist, including leadership of discovery/preclinical development teams resulting in a new drug candidate – NDAs for omadacycline submitted by Paratek in early 2018.

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