Today’s guest is meant to be winding down towards retirement, but she’s too enamored with her work to let go just yet. Teri Willey’s colorful career has taken her from the chemical industry to the world of angel investing and fund creation, from the US to the UK and back again. She is currently the managing director of Indiana University (IU) Ventures which assists students, faculty, staff, and alums advance high potential new inventions through direct investment, co-investment, angel investment and funds.
Teri’s first technology transfer job was at Northwestern University, and once she learned about the importance of patents from an influential mentor, she never looked back. She has held various executive and non-executive roles, sat on numerous boards, been involved in the creation and reorganization of university technology transfer programs, launched early-stage funds that invest in science-based ventures, and driven investment towards underrepresented founders.
In today’s episode you’ll get a glimpse into Teri’s journey in the world of technology transfer, and the inner workings of IU Ventures, including how they have reached a point where over 50% of their funds’ investments go towards women or minority led companies!
In This Episode:
- [00:53] An introduction to today’s guest, Teri Willey.
- [03:43] Where Teri started her career.
- [04:18] Why patents are important, and how this learning informed Teri’s career trajectory.
- [05:01] The first technology transfer position that Teri held, and what her career has consisted of since then.
- [06:00] Teri explains what drove her to join IU Ventures, and the work that is being done by this non-profit affiliate of Indiana University.
- [07:54] Various funds and programs that Teri is involved with.
- [09:25] How IU Ventures is structured.
- [11:49] Teri’s experience as the founding chief executive of Cambridge Enterprise LTD.
- [14:47] Subtle differences that Teri noticed between angel investing and fund creation in the US and the UK.
- [16:44] How the funds that Teri in involved with have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- [18:38] What the Bayh-Dole Coalition is, Teri’s involvement with it, and her opinion on the attempts which have been made to alter the Bayh-Dole Act.
- [21:14] Equity, diversity, and inclusion in technology transfer historically, and the approach that Teri thinks needs to be taken in this regard now and in the future.
- [22:28] How and why IU Ventures has over 50% of their funds’ investments go towards women or minority led companies.
- [24:51] Growth that AUTM has experienced over the years, and why this organization is so important.
- [26:25] What Teri is most proud of, and most grateful for.