BALA CYNWYD, PA--(Marketwired - Aug 25, 2015) - Osage University Partners announced today that Kirsten Leute has joined the firm as Senior Vice President of University Relations. Kirsten previously was Associate Director of the Office of Technology Licensing at Stanford University. Osage University Partners is a venture capital fund that has partnered with more than 70 leading universities to make direct investments in their most promising startup companies. In March 2015, Osage held the final closing for its oversubscribed $215 million second fund.
During Leute's 18 years at Stanford, she was involved in numerous successful university spinouts and focused on licensing transactions across the biotechnology and physical sciences sectors. Leute has also held a number of senior leadership positions in the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). She is AUTM's current Vice President for Membership, Western Hemisphere, and previously served as its Vice President for Communications. Leute holds a B.A. in the Biological Sciences from Wellesley College, an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University and is a registered U.S. Patent Agent. She will work in Osage's Bala Cynwyd headquarters just outside of Philadelphia.
"We are thrilled to welcome Kirsten to Osage University Partners," said Lou Berneman, Founding Partner. "Kirsten has a stellar reputation across the industry for her work, both at Stanford and AUTM. Kirsten joins us from a technology transfer office that many consider one of the leading models among research universities, and she brings a deep understanding of technology licensing best practices to our fund. She has also displayed an abiding commitment to nurturing talent and to promoting the role of women in entrepreneurship. Kirsten will now assume a leadership role in the development of Osage's new relationships with domestic and international institutions. More importantly, Kirsten will spearhead the formation of an enhanced suite of Osage services that aim to help our partners identify and implement best practices from the variety of innovation ecosystems that we have observed at our partner institutions."
Osage University Partners has created a unique model through which it manages the co-investment rights held by its affiliated universities and research institutions. These co-investment rights provide Osage with contractual access to invest in the future financing rounds of promising startup companies that have licensed technology from affiliated institutions. In return for partnering with Osage, the participating institutions also share in the fund's profit and can use their proceeds to stimulate further education, research, and commercialization initiatives. By focusing its investments into startups through its university relationships, Osage gains access to an extensive range of new companies based on revolutionary science. According to AUTM, universities created 818 new startups in 2013 and nearly 10,000 new startups over the past 20 years.
"Osage University Partners has had great success in partnering with top universities with its new approach to investing in university spinouts," said Leute. "It has also created a number of exciting and novel programs with those universities to drive greater market awareness of the many opportunities being created by universities nationwide. I am thrilled at the opportunity to work with my colleagues at the great universities already partnered with the fund and to introduce new universities into the partnership."
Osage University Partners invests in both early and later stage companies in the life science and technology sectors. Its portfolio includes companies developing a range of products from therapeutics, medical devices, and diagnostics to energy, advanced materials, semiconductors, and software. The fund has invested in over 45 companies to date and has enjoyed several exits including Aerie Pharmaceuticals, AGTC, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Immune Design, Otonomy and Receptos.
Osage University Partners is a member of a family of investment funds developed by Osage Partners.