Usha Pillai, Ph.D., brings over 20 years of academic, pharmaceutical R&D and consulting experience. Since 2012 she has been working with the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven (EDCNH) as a bioscience strategist. Her efforts were focused on getting the pulse on the needs of the New Haven bioscience community and the broader CT community through conversations with bioscience leaders and written surveys. She led the Bioscience Clubhouse program for the EDCNH and partnered closely with many stakeholders in seeding an entrepreneurial bioscience community in New Haven. Prior to her work in New Haven, Usha held various positions at Pfizer with increasing responsibilities. While at Pfizer, she introduced innovative platforms fostering external partnerships and has over seven years experience executing and managing strategic alliances.
Rob is the founder and Managing Partner of New Haven-based Elm Street Ventures, a seed and early stage venture capital firm. He serves as Chairman of P2 Science and Samara Innovations. He is a board member of AxioMx, Inc., and is Elm Street’s observer on the Arvinas, Inc. board. Previously, Rob was a board member of ShareGrove and Retail Optimization Inc., and served as an observer on the boards of Affomix Corporation and Metagenomix.
Before founding ESV, Rob ran an infrastructure business, Exodermic Bridge Deck, Inc. Earlier in his career, he was a venture capitalist with Rothschild, Inc. and Investor AB.
Mr. Bettigole has a BS in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University and an MPPM from the Yale School of Management (1983), where he is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Rob has served on the Operating Board of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute since its inception in 2007.
Stanley Choy, M.B.A.
Stanley Choy has been a finance executive and business leader for over 20 years both in the pharmaceutical and legal industries. A bioscience entrepreneur, he was most recently Vice President, Finance and Administration of Kolltan Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Kolltan in 2009, Mr. Choy was the chief financial officer for a leading Am Law 100 law firm, Edwards Angell, Palmer & Dodge LLP. From 2003-2006, Mr. Choy served as financial controller with Shearman & Sterling LLP, managing the firm’s finance and accounting organization, including fiscal and reporting functions. Prior to joining the legal industry, Mr. Choy spent eleven years at Pfizer Inc., and held several senior finance management positions with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Inc., including finance director of business planning for the Consumer Health Care Division, finance director of the Asia & Latin America Region for the Animal Health Care Division, and finance director of the U.S. and Asia Region for the Corporate Finance and Treasurer’s Division. Mr. Choy spent four years at Arthur Andersen & Company in the audit and tax practices early in his career. Stan has an M.B.A. from Syracuse University and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the American Institute of CPA’s, NYS Society of CPAs, Law Firm CFO Group, and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Finance and Tax Committee. Mr. Choy currently serves on the Board of Directors of Connecticut United for Research Excellence (CURE).
Craig M. Crews, Ph.D.
Professor Craig Crews earned his B.A. at U. Virginia and his Ph.D. at Harvard University where he also conducted his postdoctoral training. On the Yale faculty since 1995, he is the Lewis B. Cullman Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and holds appointments in the Departments of Chemistry and Pharmacology. In addition, he serves as the Executive Director of the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery. Through the exploration of epoxomicin’s mode of action in the late 1990’s, his lab discovered the novel epoxy-ketone proteasome-specific pharmacophore and developed YU101, a next generation proteasome inhibitor, which served as the basis for the FDA approval multiple myeloma drug carfilzomib (Kyprolis™). In 2002, Prof. Crews co-founded Proteolix, Inc. to develop carfilzomib and which was sold to Onyx Pharmaceuticals in 2010. More recently, he is the founder of Arvinas, Inc., a New Haven-based biopharma focused on developing therapeutics based on protein degradation technologies from his lab.
Konstantine is an experienced early stage investor focused on proprietary technologies in the tri-state NY, CT, NJ region. As an “Entrepreneurial Engineer”, Konstantine gravitates to technology companies within the software, med-tech and green-tech markets. Since joining the LaunchCapital team, Konstantine has developed investment partnerships with leading universities such as Yale University, UCONN, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Virginia. Focusing on technology focused startups and in partnership with other leading regional venture capital firms, Konstantine has lead over 25 investments for LaunchCapital to date. Konstantine represents LaunchCapital as a board member on the following portfolio companies: Affinimark Technologies, FMP Products, EpiEP, CMD Bioscience, Continuity Engine, Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Novatrak Surgical, Soft Tissue Regeneration, EyeIC, and Zadspace,. He also represents Launch as a founding sponsor of the CTECH technology incubator at Science Park, CTECH at the University of Bridgeport, and as a member of the Connecticut Venture Group and the Entrepreneurship Foundation.
Before joining LaunchCapital, Konstantine was the Manager of New Technology Investments and Infrastructure Development at Connecticut Innovations, Inc., which administered the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. Konstantine oversaw venture stage equity investments, project finance for beta and alpha stage prototype technology projects and clean energy infrastructure development programs for the CCEF. His project and investment experience covers the full range of cleantech technologies. Konstantine draws on his experience in environmental management and engineering to evaluate a broad array of technologies and concepts ranging from medical device to consumer package goods. He holds a Masters in Environmental Management from Yale University and a Civil and Environmental Engineering degree from the University of Vermont. He is a board certified Professional Engineer and is a member of the National Civil Engineering Honors Society.
Erin Duffy, Ph.D.
Erin Duffy joined Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc., January, 2002, and is the Chief Scientific Officer. Her experience includes serving as the Associate Director of Innovative Discovery Technologies at Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and five years as an R&D scientist with Pfizer Global Research and Development in Groton, Connecticut. She was trained at Yale University, received her Ph.D. in 1994 in Physical-organic Chemistry with Professor William L. Jorgensen and moved to the Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry Department as a Howard Hughes postdoctoral fellow with Professor Axel T. Brünger.
Ginny Kozlowski is the CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven and REX Development. In her role as CEO, she actively works to recruit and grow businesses in the Greater New Haven Region. Through her involvement with the business community, she is well-versed in the challenges facing businesses in the region and identifies solutions to those challenges.
Prior to joining REX Development in 2010, Ms. Kozlowski was the President of the Greater New Haven Convention & Visitors Bureau. She spent 16 years with the CVB in a variety of capacities. With a background in finance and accounting, Ginny has parlayed that knowledge into a successful accounting services business and serves as an adjunct professor at the University of New Haven. Active in the community, Ginny serves on a number of boards of directors in the region, including West Haven Economic Development Taskforce, Arts Industry Coalition, SCSU Business Advisory Council, Connecticut Economic Development Association, Milford Progress Inc., New Haven Festivals Inc., Workforce Alliance, Town Green Special Services District and the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.
Frank Marco, J.D.
Frank is a partner in Wiggin and Dana’s Corporate Practice Department and Chair of the firm’s Private Equity and Emerging Companies Practice Group and Co-Chair of the Clean Technology Practice Group. He has over 30 years of experience in corporate, finance and securities law.
His practice focuses on representing venture capital investors and emerging growth companies in capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, joint ventures, strategic alliances, licensing, research and development, corporate governance and related matters. He regularly counsels institutional clients on corporate transactions such as mergers and acquisition, spin-offs and corporate ventures. Representative transactions include the sale of a wireless systems company to Cisco Systems, Inc., the sale of a fiberoptics switching company to Sycamore Networks, representing companies in venture capital financings ranging in size up to $100 million, representation of a major financial services company in an equity joint venture, the merger of a client’s oil and gas metering business with Expro Group for $60.5 million and a restructuring and spin-off to the client’s stockholders of its other business lines, and the creation of venture capital investment vehicles.
Frank’s experience, which includes six years in the General Counsel’s office of General Electric Company, where he was also General Counsel to General Electric Venture Capital Corporation, gives him a unique background in the venture capital process and in corporate ventures.
In honoring Frank with its “Distinguished Service Award,” Connecticut Innovations, Inc. described him as “a driving force in the growth of high technology in Connecticut.” Frank is a Director and past Chairman of the Connecticut Venture Group and a founder of the central Connecticut chapter. He was a co-founder of the Connecticut Technology Council, where he is a Board and Executive Committee member and Co-Chair of the CTC’s Public Policy Committee, an Executive Committee member of CURE, and is a co-founder of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Connecticut. He was Chairman of “Crossroads,” a regional venture fair, for 2001 and 2002. Frank is a founder and member of the Board of Directors of the IP Factory, a not-for-profit focused on commercializing technologies developed by large companies. He was a member of the Technology Transfer Advisory Board of The Governor’s Council on Economic Competitiveness and the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering Seed Money Study Committee. He was a member of the UCONN President’s Advisory Committee on Technology Transfer. Frank has the distinctions of being chosen by The Best Lawyers of America as a leading private equity lawyer and by Chambers USA as one of the leading corporate/M&A lawyers in Connecticut.
A frequent lecturer, Frank regularly addresses legal and business groups regarding venture capital finance, public offerings, corporate governance, business strategy, licensing, strategic alliances and other matters relating to the growth and development of emerging companies. Frank is a regular lecturer at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, mentors entrepreneurial ventures, and has recently authored a blog for Connecticut Innovations entitled “Positioning Your Company for Sale.”
Frank is admitted to practice in Connecticut and New York. He is a graduate of St. Lawrence University (1969), and was awarded his J.D. cum laude from Fordham Law School (1972), where he was an editor of the Fordham Law Review.
Tim Shannon, M.D.
Tim Shannon has extensive biopharmaceutical operational experience leading product and business development for more than 15 years, and was a practicing physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine. Tim joined Canaan in 2009 and brings strategic business sense as well as a hands-on medical and patient care perspective to Canaan’s investments in biopharmaceuticals.
Tim was previously president and chief executive officer of CuraGen, a biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology. At CuraGen, he previously served as executive vice president of R&D and chief medical officer. Prior to CuraGen, he held positions of increasing responsibility for Bayer’s Pharmaceutical Business Group including senior vice president of global medical development. He is a director at Celldex Therapeutics, which acquired CuraGen in October 2009.
In addition to his operational experience, he was assistant professor of the pulmonary and critical care division at Yale University School of Medicine and an attending physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the West Haven V.A. Medical Center. Tim received his post graduate medical training at the Beth Israel Hospital of Harvard Medical School and at Boston University, earned his medical degree from the University of Connecticut, and has a B.A. in chemistry from Amherst College.