Spartan Innovations

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Aaryn D. Richard

As the Communications Manager for the Michigan State University Foundation and its subsidiaries, Richard is responsible for clear communications, brand perception development, team leadership, and public relations. A committed storyteller, he strives to connect and engage audiences with vibrant content.

Travis Stoliker

Travis Stoliker is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Spartan Innovations, helping commercialize technologies developed by Michigan State University. He also works as an Angel Investor with Capital Community Investors and is Co-Owner of Saddleback Barbeque, in Lansing, Michigan.

Zack Hoyle

Zack Hoyle is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Spartan Innovations, and also serves as CEO of Black Pine Engineering – a company commercializing a Michigan State University technology known as the "woven wheel". Zack holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from MSU and is currently pursuing a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the same.

Sarah O'Brien

Sarah O'Brien is the CTO for the startup LifeBlood, a Spartan Innovations company. Sarah received her B.S. in 2010 from Saginaw Valley State University, where she majored in chemistry. She graduated in December 2014 with her doctorate in analytical chemistry from Michigan State University. Her thesis focused on the development of a 3D printed in vitro pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic platform.

Gabriela M. Allum

As the New Venture Associate, Gabriela works with Spartan Innovations and the MSU Foundation. With Spartan Innovations, she is responsible for providing administrative support to the Venture Creation Team. She also assists with the Fellows program and other various Venture Creation Team needs. Her role with the MSU Foundation is to manage the Technology Innovation Center, working with high-tech startup companies to expedite company growth and provide daily oversight and management to the business incubator space.

Bernie Steele

A senior manager with a background in microbial physiology and over 30 years of experience in biotechnology. Formerly Director of Alliances & Operations at the Michigan Biotechnology Institute (MBI). Prior to joining MBI in 1997, held faculty positions at Auburn University, where he was responsible for the Fermentation and Bioprocessing Laboratory, and the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Frank A. Urban

Frank Urban specializes in commercializing early stage therapeutics and diagnostics within the life sciences.  Prior to Spartan Innovations, Frank was a Licensing Associate in the Office of Technology Commercialization at Wayne State University.  Prior to that, he had varied business development, sales and scientific roles for a number of life science companies, to include Everist Genomics, Charles River Laboratories, MIR Preclinical Services, Molecular Imaging Products, Pfizer and Parke Davis.  He has also worked as a consultant for numerous start-up companies and managed various laborator

Andrew McColm

Andrew McColm came to MSU from the venture capital industry where he was Managing Director of a $100M, Midwest-focused venture capital fund.  Prior to his work in venture capital, Andrew was Associate Director at the University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer where he oversaw the Business Formation unit responsible for the creation of startup companies based on University technology. During his tenure at UM, the group produced more than three dozen startups and developed a robust pipeline of pending projects.

David Washburn

Dave is Executive Director of the Michigan State University Foundation which promotes and funds many facets related to the commercialization of intellectual property through its subsidiaries Spartan Innovations, University Corporate Research Park, Red Cedar Ventures, and MBI, as well as its partnerships with MSU-Business Connect, MSU Technologies and LEAP.

Charles Hasemann, Ph.D.

Charles A. Hasemann, PhD, Assistant Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development at the Michigan State University Innovation Center, earned his doctorate in Molecular Immunology and performed his post-doctoral training in X-ray Crystallography. As an Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, he established an NIH-funded laboratory studying immune system-related protein structure and function.