Supporting World Class Innovation – Across the Globe
Headquartered in greater New York, our operations and support networks extend across the US and Canada, Central & Latin America, South East Asia, Australia, South Africa and Europe. As we expand our footprint, we are building new connections and new capabilities for our clients in some of the world’s leading innovation centers.
Our team includes leaders in science and technology and specialists in innovation commercialization. We are experts in new market development, technology driven business formation and growth, IP, technology transfer and licensing. At UI we work across all industry sectors – from biotechnology and medical devices to advanced engineering and wireless.
We help our innovation partners build bridges to new opportunities. We do this through customized support programs designed to commercialize new innovations and new opportunities.
Andrew Powell – Director – South East Asia
Though born in England, Andrew spent most of his formative years in Ayr, Scotland. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh with honours in Biology and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Calgary, Canada in Plant Sciences. He has held research and academic positions at the University of Guelph, Canada, the National Institute for Health Sciences in Tokyo, and Tsukuba, Japan and the National University of Singapore.
Andrew has worked as a consultant since 1995 advancing the biology- and agriculture-based agendas of his clients. A classic resource mobilizer, Andrew leverages his global network to provide real value for clients from the public and private sector as they expand their activities in Asia and around the world. After working as a sole proprietor for 10 years he founded Asia BioBusiness with Professor Paul Teng in 2005 and he is the CEO.
Over the last 15 years he has also been active in the area of Risk Communication, conducting training and offering advice to both public and private sector clients, focussing in particular on the angst and concern that novel technology and disruptive innovation often brings to the society.
He has considerable experience in stakeholder dialogues, facilitations and public fora across the region and in Australia, and is invited regularly to chair conference sessions at global technology conferences.
Andrew was a member of the Alberta Government’s Research and Innovation Advisory Committee (ARIAC) from 2017 to 2019, focusing on the communication process around innovation. From 2012 to 2017 he sat on the advisory board for Syngenta’s Rice Bowl Index, a measure of the robustness of food systems.
Betty Cosgrove – Business Development Director – North America
As former researcher in molecular biology, Betty now does business development for bioscience ventures selling into large pharma companies. She coaches startups as owner-consultant for EACBIO, and mentor for three accelerator programs in NYC (ELabNYC), CT (ABCT) and the Brooklyn Technology Incubator (Next Milestone). She mentors early stage ventures to strategize for commercialization of products and services, such as: Research Tools, Medical Devices, Biotherapeutics. Digital Technology and Healthtech.
Her research experience includes bioinformatics for the Human Genome Project (Washington University), drug discovery for PPD Inc, and crop genetics for Monsanto. Throughout her career, Betty has grown sales regionally and internationally with roles as: National Manager at Baker-Ruskin, Regional Manager at SQI Diagnostics, and Technical Sales Manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Her accomplishments include listing products on GSA (a Federal government service providers contract) and E&I (an Educational & Institutional Cooperative Purchasing); developing grant-funded projects with strategic collaborators; and sales of over 40M in industrial and academic markets, including: agricultural, pharmaceutical, environmental and healthcare.
Currently, she is an Advisory Board member for both Iris Technology Imaging (Farmingdale, CT) and Qlear Chemicals (Turkey). She holds a bachelor’s in biology, and a Masters (c) in Technology Entrepreneurship.
Bob Creighton – Founder & CEO
Bob has been supporting universities and spin-out businesses internationally for over 20 years. Working closely with the UI team and its extensive networks, he helps clients deliver effective development strategies designed to generate investment funding and new business. Much of his current work is focused on building partnerships to support new approaches to commercialization in the US.
David Katerere – Director – South Africa
David is a Professor at Tshwane University of Technology, Dept of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
He is co-founder and Chair of PharmaConnect Africa Conferences, a non-profit which convenes stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector across the African continent. He is also a seasoned regulator and assessor with the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and a trainer and technical mentor at The Innovation Hub in Pretoria. David has formerly chaired of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Working Group on the Pharmaceutical Industry in South Africa.
During his earlier career, David was Chief Bioanalyst at FARMOVS and later a specialist scientist at the South African Medical Research Council.
In recent years he has supported program work funded by the United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. He has also consulted on science, technology and innovation on behalf of the South African Development Community (SADC) and with the South African Business Coalition on HIV & AIDS (SABCOHA).
David is a Researcher and Author in: Public health (HIV and AIDS), Community Based Monitoring and Engagement; pharmaceutical R&D (allopathic and herbal); food safety & security; product development; access to medicines; training and capacity building; intellectual property rights; access and benefit sharing mechanisms; analysis of Science Technology and Innovation (ST&I) and health policy frameworks; advocacy and lobbying; monitoring and evaluation.
David Rodgers – Innovation Adviser – US West Coast
David is based in Southern California where he is the Director for Infectious Disease and Immunology at a publicly traded biotech company. He has a PhD in Immunology and has worked in the areas of inflammation, autoimmunity and immune-oncology. He co-invented a CAR-T cell therapy product that is now being tested in the clinic and has developed a diverse array of drug modalities from small molecules, antibodies and oligonucleotides.
David has founded or supported several start-ups over the past decade and loves entrepreneurial innovation – along with golf, sailing and his cats. He is also the co-founder of a fashion company, ALEMUofficial.com, a designer of US made bespoke and luxury clothing.
Eli Velasquez – Innovation & Investment Advisor
Eli oversees the U.S. State Dept. Global Investors Program. He has assisted with training, supporting and launching new angel networks in Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, Vietnam, Mexico, and Colombia. He also serves as a Board Member on the Angel Capital Association, Capital Advisor to the Stanford Latino Business Action Network, and US Senator for the World Business Angel Forum.
He is an investor in Portfolia’s Rising America Fund; Advisor to AccelHub Venture Partners, the Business Angel Minority Association (baMa); and is actively building a national network of investors of color.
Prior, he was the Director of Venture Development at Texas Tech University where he co-founded the Lubbock Angel Network, a group that has invested over $3M and seen three exits since its founding in 2015. His efforts in Texas led to over $20M in funding for startups, entrepreneurship programs, and proof of concept funds. Before that, Mr. Velasquez worked for The Boeing Company in southern California, initially within Boeing’s Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) group where he was assigned to develop the Delta Rockets. In his last two years at Boeing, he worked as an Intellectual Property Consultant with Boeing’s Intellectual Property Business (IPB) unit.
He obtained a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University and his J.D. degree with an Intellectual Property Certificate from Whittier Law School.
Kashmir Gill – Director – Canada
Kashmir Gill hails from the Punjab, India and was raised in the UK where he obtained an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Liverpool. He later moved to Alberta, Canada, and went on to further studies for his Master’s degree from the University of Calgary, and a Doctorate in Metallurgical Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Kashmir’s passion for entrepreneurship has led him on an exciting 30-year journey in public and private sectors, focusing primarily on innovation and company growth. He has had a distinguished career with Canada’s famed National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program, helping hundreds of SMEs grow through technology and business advancements. Kashmir retired in 2016 having served the previous 11 years as Regional Director for central and northern Alberta and Northwest Territories. He has developed extensive regional, national and international professional networks, and has continued his relationships with many stakeholders in the Alberta’s and Canada’s technology ecosystem.
Kashmir’s is currently President and CEO of NuTEC Advisors Corporation, a boutique social enterprise providing coaching, mentorship, opportunity assessment and strategic advice on business growth and capital access to entrepreneurs and start-ups. From 2017-2019 Kashmir also served on Alberta’s Research and Innovation Advisory Committee, a global expertise group appointed by the Government of Alberta to provide independent advice and counsel to the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism to help create a best-in-class provincial innovation ecosystem. He is co-inventor on five patents and is actively involved in over a dozen non-profit organizations. Kashmir is a Rotarian and is based in Canada’s newest city of Beaumont, located on the outskirts of Edmonton, Alberta.
Rob Geddes – Director – Australia
Rob became Executive Director of the Australian Institute for Commercialisation (AIC) in June 2020. The AIC helps clients innovate and successfully commercialise new products and services, building thriving and sustainable customer-focused businesses.
Rob’s earlier experience – as Designer in Residence and Senior Consultant, Innovation at the AIC team within QMI Solutions – involved some of Australia’s most notable innovation programs. These include: the country’s first demand-driven Design Integration program, ‘Ulysses’; the Queensland-Wide Innovation Network (Q-WIN) and seminar program; a state-wide Innovation Coaching program; and, VELOCIS, a Design-Led Business Transformation program.
In his earlier career, Rob was a founding director of PROdesign Australia, a multi-award winning and multi-disciplinary consulting design practice.
Rob is an Accredited Designer and Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia. He was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia’s “Hall of Fame” in 2020. He is a Good Design Australia Ambassador, university design tutor, and was awarded Smart State Designer of the Year in 2008. Rob is also a past Director, National Vice President, and Queensland President of the Design Institute of Australia – Australia’s pre-eminent professional body for design professionals. He is currently on their Policy and Advocacy Committee, representing Queensland’s design professionals.
Robert Goodfellow – Business Development Director – Europe
A Registered Technology Transfer Practitioner (RTTP), Robert is Director of 511 Innovation Ltd, a UK specialist company supporting Technology Transfer, Business Development, Knowledge Exchange and new business ventures commercializing University research.
With 15 years experience in the University sector, Robert has nurtured and mentored early stage spinouts and start-ups within the Scottish Enterprise High Growth Program, guided students and academic researchers in Scottish & UK business competitions and acted as Board observer/ director for several successful spinout companies that secured seed capital or raised venture funds.
A member of PraxisAuril KE & Tech Transfer network, 511 Innovation has worked across the UK & EU innovation funding landscape and is positioned to support collaboration, be it UK, pan-European or trans-Atlantic projects.
Robert Speight – Innovation Adviser – Australia
Robert has broad experience at the interface of academia and industry with a passion for delivering new technologies that impact on society. He is based in in Brisbane, Australia where he is Professor of Microbial Biotechnology at the Queensland University of Technology.
Originally from the UK, Robert studied chemistry at Imperial College London followed by a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge. After postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh he co-founded and helped build the industrial biotechnology company Ingenza Ltd.
Robert moved to Australia in 2010 where he continued his passion for research and innovation in roles at The University of Queensland before taking up his current position at QUT.
He leads and collaborates in a range of large projects involving industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology from waste conversion processes to pharmaceutical production and from basic research to scale-up and commercialization.
He is the industrial and Synthetic Biotechnology Program leader in the Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy, is a chief investigator in the Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology, and is the Vice President of the Synthetic Biology Australasia society.
Roseanna Avento – Innovation Adviser – Europe
Based in Kuopio, Finland, Roseanna is the Founder of Kobe Global working on the interface of sustainable community development, nature conservation and indigenous knowledge.
Roseanna is a certified National Geographic educator and a professional environmental consultant with global experience on education, science, technology and innovation development in East and Southern Africa, Asia, and Central Asia. Roseanna is well-experienced in operating on the nexus of science, business, and community for creating new local and sustainable solutions and has over 20 years’ experience in marketing management, communication and entrepreneurship. She has extensive experience as an adviser for women entrepreneurs and forging linkages between Finland and the Global South.
Roseanna is Global Development Manager at the University of Eastern Finland and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Entrepreneurship, a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences.
Elías Tefarikis – Director – Central & Latin America
For the past 13 years, Elías has worked on programs designed to strengthen the innovation ecosystems and public policies across Central and Latin America. Program partners have included the Inter-American Development Bank and the Pacific Alliance.
Elías is an accomplished and seasoned innovation specialist offering a gold standard experience as a serial entrepreneur and consultant at national and international levels for public and private companies.
He is the founder of Smyrna Labs, an innovation consulting firm specialized in innovation ecosystems and technology entrepreneurship. His competencies include Innovation Management, Public Policies, Consulting, Change Management, Design Thinking, Project Management, Technology Entrepreneurship, Open Innovation, Corporate Venturing, and Gamification.
Elías has led initiatives to develop innovation ecosystems, technology transfer, corporate venturing, and open innovation challenges in more than ten countries. He is an experienced influencer and an excellent communicator. To date, he has given over 200 talks on enterprise, innovation, and education to over 10,000 professionals at events in Central, Latin America & Europe.
Elías is also skilled in a variety of platforms and digital tools that facilitate collaboration and support the adoption of innovative practices. Elias holds a Bachelor in Education, a master’s degree in Education, and also a master (c) in Technology Entrepreneurship.