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LES Iowa Chapter: Standards, Feats, and Mishaps in Entrepreneurship
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Iowa September Event: Standards, Feats, and Mishaps in Entrepreneurship

When: Monday, September 24, 2018
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where: UI BioVentures Center
2500 Crosspark Road
Coralville, Iowa  52241
United States
Contact: Mihaela D Bojin
(319) 335-2723

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Join us for this Iowa LES Chapter event

Standards, Feats, and Mishaps in Entrepreneurship

Tour, Lunch, Discussion, and Panel


Monday, September 24, 2018
10:00 am - 3:00 pm


UI BioVentures Center
2500 Crosspark Road
Coralville, IA 52241


Standards, Feats, and Mishaps in Entrepreneurship
Leading Role: Startups
Supporting Cast: Universities, Lawyers, Big Companies, Investors


10-10:20 am
Welcome and Introductions

10:30-11:30 am
Tour of the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS)
(2401 Oakdale Blvd, Coralville, IA 52241)
Presentation by Dan McGehee, Director, NADS

11:40-12:10 pm

12:15-12:35 pm
Bill Elkington, 2017-18 President, LES USA & Canada
Perspectives from LES Presidency Experience
Vision and Overview of LES Standards Initiatives
IP Management for Startups
Mihaela Bojin, Past Chair of LES Iowa Chapter
Chair of ISO/TC 279 Innovation Management

12:35-12:45 pm
Usha Balakrishnan, Founder & Board Chair, CARTHA
Innovation Partnerships & Cultivation of Entrepreneurial Networks

12:45-1:00 pm
Coffee Break

1:00-2:00 pm
Panel Discussion - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Research-Based Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Marie C. Kerbeshian, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President and Executive Director University of Iowa Research Foundation

Fatima Toor, Firefly Photonics
Michael D. Abramoff, IDx
Frances Johnson, Viewpoint Molecular Targeting

2:00-2:30 pm
Q&A and Informal Networking (speakers/panelists suggestions, topics and goals for 2019 meetings)

2:30-3:00 pm
(Optional) Tour of the UI Center for Biocatalysis & Bioprocessing
(2501 Crosspark Road, Suite C100, Coralville, Iowa 52241)


Please note that the tour of NADS starts at 10:30am. If you arrive late, please come directly to NADS (2401 Oakdale Blvd, Coralville, IA 52241).

Last tour is optional; the UI Center for Biocatalysis & Bioprocessing (2501 Crosspark Road, Suite C100, Coralville, Iowa 52241).


Through September 17:

LES Member: $25.00
Non-Member: $40.00
Students: $15.00

After September 17:

LES Member: $35.00
Non-Member: $50.00
Students: $25.00




Usha Balakrishnan


Usha R. Balakrishnan is Founder and President of CARTHA (Collaborative Arts in Research Translation for Human Advancement), a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Iowa City, Iowa (www.cartha.org) with the mission of cultivating Collaborative Doers for Humanity. Established in 2006, CARTHA bridges the work of academics and practitioners focusing on Social Innovation, Fusion Philanthropy, and Healthfulness. Current Glocalizer dialogues and Fellowship programs aim to address loneliness as a public health epidemic by intergenerationally connecting people through multilingual music and sharing of childhood memories in random, everyday venues.

Usha’s professional career and callings, and extensive speaking engagements across the US as well as Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK, Italy, and India, span nearly three decades. Usha’s managerial interests--and continuing dedication to advancing a variety of cross-sector research and innovation translation partnerships and networks—arise from her long and successful career at the University of Iowa from 1991 to 2005 leading invention and university-industry partnerships management and patent licensing efforts. Usha’s pioneering advocacy frameworks in support of health research and innovation translation networks were supported in 2004-2006 by The Rockefeller Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She was an active member of the Licensing Executives Society. For example, teaming up with prominent attorneys and business development officials from corporations, universities, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropies, she organized a full-day Add-On Panel at LES 2005 in Phoenix to highlight the intellectual property management challenges and evolving best practices arising in global health research and technology transfer, and product development partnerships. 

Usha has served on numerous boards and committees, including on the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as well as the Community Foundations Leadership Team within the Council on Foundations in Washington, DC. Usha served as the 2016-17 President of the Iowa City Noon Rotary Club, which, at the time, based on membership size of over 335, became the largest Rotary Club in the State of Iowa.

Usha received a Bachelor of Commerce from Bombay University and an MBA from The University of Iowa. She is a graduate of the Iowa City Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership Program (2001), and a graduate of Iowa ABI’s Leadership Iowa Program (2002).


William Ellkington
LES USA & Canada President and Chair
Rockwell Collins, Inc.

At Rockwell Collins, Bill Elkington has provided leadership in multiple dimensions of IP management for the past 12 years including:

The application of IP protection, valuation, business relationship, and transaction strategy to business strategy; Enterprise policy, procedure, training, tools, and change management strategies to protect IP and to enhance value extraction in business relationships; and The development and application of metrics and standards to the areas of IP protection and IP transactions.

Rockwell Collins is an aviation and high-integrity solutions company that supplies its commercial products and services to military customers world-wide.

Mr. Elkington has served on the LES (USA & Canada) Board of Trustees as the Public Policy/Regional VP, USA and is Co-chair of the LES Standards initiative, whose purpose is to develop standards for the field of IP management.

He also is a member of the Aerospace Industries Association, Intellectual Property Committee, where he works on education and policy issues with colleagues from other aerospace companies, specifically regarding software and data rights in Department of Defense contracting.

Mr. Elkington is regarded as a thought leader in the field of IP management, having written many articles for IAM Magazine and having been the subject of several round-table interview articles written by others for IAM. He is also a member of the IAM Strategy 300, an elite global group of IP strategists.

Prior to joining Rockwell Collins, Mr. Elkington was co-founder and VP of Program Management at MeshNetworks, a wireless startup company established to commercialize ITT's novel communications technology. MeshNetworks was sold to Motorola in 2004. Prior to joining MeshNetworks, he held positions in IP management, technology marketing, strategic and operations planning, and program management in ITT's Aerospace/Communications Division (A/CD) and General Electric R&D organizations.


Marie Kerbeshian, PhD
University of Iowa
Research Foundation


Dr. Kerbeshian is Assistant Vice President and Executive Director of the UIRF where she oversees UI’s commercialization efforts for technology developed at the university. She is a Certified Licensing Professional™ and a registered patent agent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She has almost two decades of experience in commercializing university innovations. Prior to joining the UIRF in 2017, Marie led the offices for the Indiana University system and at the University of Virginia.

Marie graduated from Wellesley College with highest honors in biological sciences and earned a PhD in zoology from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining University of Virginia’s commercialization office, she was a postdoctoral fellow at that university’s Center for Research in Reproduction in the Health Sciences Center and at the National Science Foundation’s Center for Biological Timing in the Department of Biology.

Frances Johnson, MD
Viewpoint Molecular Targeting

Frances Johnson MD, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine is a founding member and Chief Medical Officer of Viewpoint. Dr Johnson trained in medicine at the University of Washington, with a residency at the University of California, San Francisco, and fellowship, which led to a tenure track appointment at Stanford University. During her time at Stanford, Dr Johnson was involved as an inventor and investor in two previous biotech startups including XDx, Inc., which is a molecular diagnostics company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of non-invasive gene expression testing in the areas of transplant medicine and autoimmunity. The company has developed a proprietary method of utilizing gene expression in blood that provides a new tool for physicians to manage the care of heart transplant patients.

Dr. Johnson is experienced in clinical trial design and commercialization of biotech discoveries for human diagnostic imaging and therapy

Fatima Toor
Firefly Photonics

Dr. Toor developed spectrally high performing (4-wavelength; time and wavelength multiplexed; single mode) InGaAs/InAlAs/InP based quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) with Claire Gmachl at Princeton University. She was an academic postdoctoral researcher developing silicon-based devices and then a research analyst at Lux Research where she helped multinational corporations build their innovation pipeline by evaluating startups in the solar industry.

Currently, Dr. Toor is an assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Iowa with secondary appointments in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Informatics Initiative Cluster, and the Optical Science and Technology Center. She is also an affiliate member of the University of Iowa Holden Cancer Center — Experimental Therapeutics program.


Michael D. Abramoff


Michael D Abramoff, MD, PhD is the President and Director of IDx, and a fellowship‐trained medical retina specialist with a PhD in image analysis.  He is the Robert C. Watzke Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, with joint appointments at Biomedical Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering.  Dr. Abramoff’s accomplishments are widely recognized.  He received the Young Investigator Award from the Macula Society (2013) and the President’s Award of the American Telemedicine Association (2011),  and has been a keynote speaker at multiple conferences and events.

Dr. Abramoff has been funded continuously since 2004 by the National Eye Institute, the Veterans Administration, the Beckman Foundation and other federal, state and philanthropic funding agencies in the US and Europe. 





The Iowa Chapter uses online registration for members and non-members and accepts payment by credit card. Members should login to the registration page with their LES online account.

A $5.00 cancellation fee is applied to all refunds.  Cancellations are non-refundable after September 17. Substitutions are accepted.  Contact LES at (703) 234-4058 for assistance.

Disability/Dietary Needs
Requests for ADA accommodations and special dietary needs should be submitted to the event contact listed at the top of the page. 

Photography Consent
By registering for this event, you permit LES and its chapters to use photographs of you with or without your name and for any lawful purpose, including for example such purposes as publicity, illustration, advertising, and web content.



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