What's New at 722

The UVA Licensing & Ventures Group is pleased to bring you What’s New at 722. Every other month we will be sharing thought-provoking insights from the licensing, legal and venture capital experts on our team.

What’s New at 722 will showcase the exciting research discoveries made nearly every day by the faculty, staff, and students at UVA, and the ways that LVG commercializes the technologies through strategic industry partnerships. 

Whether it’s engaging with UVA researchers to discuss their ideas, helping further a concept toward a marketable product or service, or facilitating legal protection of the ideas developed in labs, clinics, and across Grounds, LVG works with UVA innovators to give their technologies the best possible chance at reaching their full potential. 

July 2019

From the Desk of Michael P. Straighiff.. 

We are pleased to share our final numbers for the fiscal year 2019. They indicate how LVG has worked with UVA innovators and industry partners to advance university research toward commercial success. As we compile our 2019 annual report, we look forward to sharing more about the impact of each school and department engaged in research commercialization activity.

Among the flurry of activity this summer, we are excited to recognize a milestone reached by our 2019 Innovator of the YearLee Ritterband, Ph.D. His digital health therapeutic technology for the treatment of insomnia is moving forward with industry leader Pear Therapeutics. Pear acquired the license for the technology from UVA startup,BeHealth Solutions, and recently announced the FDA submission for the digital therapeutic. Read more about it in the press release linked in this issue of What’s New at 722.

As the new school year begins, we look forward to sharing our resources and services with new faculty members at upcoming orientation sessions. If you are welcoming new faculty to your department, we hope you encourage them to visit our website and engage with our office as they begin their research activity at UVA.

On Tuesday, September 17, we will open our doors for the annual LVG fall open house. We invite you all to join us for an informal gathering of UVA innovators, community partners, local industry, and entrepreneurs. Get to know our team of licensing, legal and business professionals, and explore our recently renovated incubator space. Come grab a drink and help us kick off another great year.

See you there!


Faculty Resources


We created a funding resources guide to help UVA innovators navigate the many opportunities available from incubators and programs on Grounds, to local and statewide grant opportunities. Our guide covers each stage and funding milestone and highlights where our UVA LVG Seed Fund fits into the larger ecosystem. 


Key Elements of a Compelling Pitch Deck

Pitching an idea or company is an intimidating experience for any entrepreneur. The challenge is convincing skeptical investors or others why they should put their money in your business idea rather than the 100 other great ideas piled on their desks. In the end, it's important to remember that the goal of the first presentation is to get a second meeting

As licensing professionals and investors, we have seen our fair share of pitch presentations. We have compiled what we believe are key elements of a compelling pitch deck for you to consider as you gear up for your next big meeting and move forward to the second visit.  

Introduction | 1 slide

The first slide of your pitch should be a concise introduction of the Company.  Who are you? What do you do? Why is that important? What, if any, key milestones have you achieved (beta sites, grants awarded, funding raised, product launch, sales, etc.) What funding do you seek?   It is critical that the audience understands your company and the stage of your development. This will set up the balance of the presentation as investors will evaluate your story based on your current position, what needs to happen, can you do it and is it realistic?  

Problem | 1 slide

Define the problem you are solving.  Create the context in scope and scale of the problem and do not be afraid to use an example for clarity. Using an example helps the audience “get it” and connects them to an experience. 

Market | 1 slide

What is your target market?  Speak to the size and growth and also clearly define your customer.  Why are they motivated to purchase your product?  

Technology Assets & Data | 1-2 slides

This portion of the presentation should get into the details about your technology/solution – your point of difference; your secret sauce.  Key points:

  • Current status of product development, any future plans, and timeline; 
  • Intellectual property status, whether or not it is owned or licensed and the key benefits;
  • Description of technical features are important to some, but don’t get lost in technology; 
  • Focus on the benefits of your product as everyone will ask what is the customer ROI


UVA LVG Seed Fund & New Ventures

I’m happy to share that we’ve added two companies to our growing portfolio this summer. Our 2019 fiscal year ended with an investment in Direct Spinal Therapeutics, Inc. (DSTI), a medical device company co-founded by UVA Engineering Professor and National Academy of Inventors Fellow George Gillies, Ph.D. to develop a spinal cord stimulation product. DSTI's IP2 technology aims to enhance treatment for chronic back pain and other spinal cord injuries. 

And, today we announced an investment in Merand Pharmaceuticals. The company is developing a microRNA therapeutic, which was discovered at UVA, for the treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). Local angel groups CAV Angels and the Charlottesville Angel Network joined us in the financing round. 

As the summer begins to wind down, we look forward to our fall semester with second-year Darden students in our Due Diligence in Seed Funds course. We also plan to continue our Entrepreneur's Edge panel series with community partner CvilleBioHub. Enjoy photo highlights from our summer COvergence conference below.

If you're interested in learning more about the UVA LVG Seed Fund,  joining our Advisory Board, or getting involved, don't hesitate to reach me at creeden@virginia.edu.

This summer, UVA LVG hosted the second annual COvergence conference presented by innovosource. Leaders in university tech transfer, gap funding, and accelerator programs from research institutions around the country gathered in Charlottesville to learn from each other and share best practices for advancing the commercialization of university research.

Many thanks to our friends and sponsors who supported this event and delivered compelling presentations during the program. 

            f427c664-85f2-47d7-bbca-aa5d152d45da.png       64f070f6-b4f1-471b-a541-1e4d86d32ab5.png   a93ec72e-9fdd-43e4-a2d2-2f9d4d2b385c.jpg