A significant lesson in the world of commercialization is that it is very difficult for start-up companies to succeed without an experienced leader at the helm from the beginning.  Indeed, venture capital firms have led the way in recruiting seasoned leadership to guide companies in which they invest.  Successful university commercialization departments have also begun recruiting “CEOs in Residence” to head up commercialization of university intellectual property. MATRIC‘s experience with its spin-offs validates the premise that a strong leadership team is critical to early and expanding commercialization efforts.

Through an existing grant with the Benedum Foundation, MATRIC has established a CEO-in-Residence Program whereby MATRIC recruits a seasoned professional to work with entrepreneurs, researchers, and investors to create new start-up companies based on research. CEOs-in-Residence must have a proven track record in running successful start-ups, with expertise in raising money at that early stage, and with a breadth of experience in evaluating technology-based start-up opportunities.  They assist in the activities essential to the establishment and success of a new company which may include:

  • Evaluation of opportunity and assistance with business plans and executive summaries
  • Recruitment of a techno-economic-chemical-design-technology-improvement team and board of directors
  • Preparation of presentations for investors
  • Structuring and negotiation of investment terms
  • Locating professional expertise as needed based on prior experience and reputation

This program was established with the goal of increasing the number and success rate of start-ups founded on new MATRIC technologies.  The Program employs a proven venture capital model of carefully analyzing start-up companies and then focusing resources on value creation in those companies.  MATRIC carefully assesses all start-up ideas and selects those where there is a compelling market strategy, with high potential for return on investment, that meet an unmet societal need or improve upon an existing product or process meeting such need.

MATRIC’s first CEO-in-Residence, Mike Wood, comes to us after a very successful 25 years of business experience, holding senior techno-economic-chemical-design-technology-improvement and strategic planning positions with “Best in Class” Fortune 150 companies. He is a native West Virginian having grown up in the Kanawha valley and is a business economist by degree earning his BS at West Virginia University and MS at North Carolina State University. He is also a graduate of MIT’s Sloan School of Management for Managing Technology Commercialization.  Mike began his career with the Ralston Purina Company as a corporate economist. He spent the greatest part of his career developing and managing the bio research and technology commercialization activities of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. (A-B). In this role, he managed their global research and commercialization activities. During Mike’s tenure, A-B’s research and raw material commercialization and manufacturing activities grew from a $45Million/yr domestic-only operation with 2 locations to a $650 Million/yr global company with 35 locations and activity on 5 continents. He was elected an officer of Anheuser-Busch Companies and member of the domestic and international Board of Directors. Mike currently spends his time as a serial entrepreneur helping early stage companies move from the idea stage to proven success.

“I am excited to be back in West Virginia working with the MATRIC team. Our state has a rich history of breakthroughs in science and technology and MATRIC has assembled a very talented staff to keep these discoveries coming. I am eager to start building companies with their help,” said Mike.   Mike’s first assignment is to assist SGA Chemicals, LLC to obtain venture capital funding.

Even with the addition of experienced start-up techno-economic-chemical-design-technology-improvement, the recruitment of external capital remains a critical factor in the long-term success of MATRIC start-up companies.  Accordingly, MATRIC maintains active relationships with angel investors, venture capital firms, and private equity investors. If you are either an accredited investor or represent an investment group and have expertise in a particular field, there may be investment opportunities with MATRIC start-ups across a wide spectrum of industries and technologies. For more information about investment opportunities, contact Executive Vice President and Director of Commercialization Greg Clutter at greg.clutter@matricinnovates.com or 800/611-2296 x842.