Three finalists named for D2P director

February 11, 2014 By Terry Devitt

Capping a three-month search, three finalists have been named in the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s effort to identify a leader for D2P (Discovery to Product), the new partnership between the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and the university to boost campus entrepreneurism.

Graphic: D2P logo

The three finalists for the post are:

John Biondi, a senior executive and manager involved in six startup technology companies. Biondi’s experience includes serving as chief executive for three of those companies and raising nearly $60 million in venture and private equity capital for the half dozen ventures. The companies Biondi has been involved with span the technology spectrum from medical devices to advanced materials. He is also the former chair of Thrive, the Madison area’s economic development entity, and was appointed to the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Council in 2008.

William J. Checovich, a veteran executive with experience in both the private sector and on the UW–Madison campus as former director and entrepreneur in residence of the Coulter Foundation Program in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Currently the director of business development for BioSentinel, Inc., Checovich has broad experience in the areas of technology scouting, startup company formation, business development and fundraising and finance, among others. He serves or served on the boards of four technology companies and currently contributes as a member of the Strategic Selection Investment Committee of the State of Wisconsin’s Housing and Economic Development Authority.

The purpose of D2P is to foster a more vigorous climate of campus entrepreneurism and accelerate the number of spinoff companies, startups and technologies attractive to venture and private equity funding.

Kirk A. Reinbold, a bioengineering executive with a wide range of experience in business development as well as corporate and academic management in a variety of areas. For the past four years, Reinbold has served as the inaugural managing director of the Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics Initiative at the University of Notre Dame. As a technology executive, Reinbold’s experience includes serving in senior and founding positions of several successful technology companies. He holds six patents and his areas of expertise include translational research strategy, technology and pre-clinical assessment, clinical validation, prototype development and entrepreneurship.

All three candidates will visit campus for interviews in late February or early March. The D2P director is expected to be named by sometime this spring.

D2P is a partnership between UW–Madison and WARF. The purpose of D2P is to foster a more vigorous climate of campus entrepreneurism and accelerate the number of spinoff companies, startups and technologies that have matured and developed to a stage where they will be attractive to venture and private equity funding.

The D2P program will be housed in the UW–Madison Graduate School and its director will report to the vice chancellor for research.