2020-2021 NUtech Ventures Annual Report

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2020-2021 | ANNUAL REPORT

About Us NUtech Ventures is the nonprofit technology commercialization affiliate of the University of Nebraska, serving the Lincoln and Kearney campuses. Our team evaluates, protects, markets and licenses the university’s intellectual property to improve quality of life and promote economic development. We also encourage entrepreneurship through programming and sponsored events.

Technology Commercialization Process RESEARCH








NUtech Ventures Team

Submitting a disclosure form is the first step in assessing market potential and options for intellectual property protection. Learn more at nutechventures.org/disclosures.


Alyssa Amen, Marketing & Communications Manager

Kimberly Bilder, Contracts Manager

Joy Eakin, Entrepreneurship Program Manager

Aaron Funk, Contracts Negotiator

Zane Gernhart, Senior Technology Manager

Karen Gokie, Operations Support Associate

Courtney Grate, Intellectual Property Manager

Cheryl Horst, Associate Director & IP Counsel

Jeewan Jyot, Senior Technology Manager

Janae Kauffman, Financial Accountant

Jessica Minnick, Technology Commercialization Fellow

Rose Robotham, Compliance Coordinator

Brad Roth, Executive Director

Scott Shaver, Intellectual Property Specialist

Arpi Siyahian, Senior Technology Manager

Message from the Director It’s been a year of transition. We’ve learned new ways of working and collaborating, as the pandemic has shaped daily routines. And as we return to campus, we’re motivated by the perseverance and ingenuity of our Husker community. Throughout the past year, our team has continued working with campus researchers to protect and license new innovation, explore ideas for startup companies and develop impactful industry partnerships. In this report, we’re featuring a new roadside safety device, the result of a six-year partnership between Nebraska researchers and engineers at TrafFix Devices, Inc. Now commercially available, the final product represents the best of two worlds: top-notch research and a global business strategy. We’ve awarded this device our ‘Breakthrough Innovation of the Year’ for its potential to make roadways safer and save lives. Similarly, we’re highlighting university startup companies that are taking steps to bring their innovation to market. Nebraska’s Gary Pickard is partnering with researchers at Tufts University and Northwestern University to develop herpesvirus vaccines for animals and people. And Nebraska’s Steve Comfort is working with public officials across Nebraska, using his technology to clean contaminated groundwater. In this report, we also discuss licensing strategies that have helped Nebraska researchers expand their impact. Agronomist Patricio Grassini has worked with us to develop a corporate sponsorship model for his team’s global agricultural data platform, allowing them to update and expand the research. We’ve also helped Project Director Megan Hopkins license a substance abuse prevention platform, providing an affordable, evidence-based option to more colleges. We’re also seeing the impact of our NU system-wide entrepreneurship program, Nebraska Introduction to Customer Discovery, which helps participants validate their startup ideas through interviews with potential customers. Over the past two years, 119 innovators have participated from departments and colleges across campus—engineering, agriculture, psychology, education, biological sciences, physics, business and more. To date, three Lincoln-campus teams have joined the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program, which provides a national network and funding to support entrepreneurship efforts. Whether we’re developing licensing strategies, entrepreneurship programming or industry partnerships, our goal remains the same: transferring technology from the lab to the marketplace with broad, real-world impact. Thank you to all of our campus researchers and entrepreneurship partners. Together, we’re advancing the impact of Nebraska innovation.

Brad Roth, Ph.D.

Executive Director, NUtech Ventures Associate Vice Chancellor for Technology Development University of Nebraska–Lincoln


FY 2021 in Review Invention Disclosures by College * 46 - College of Engineering 37 - Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources 12 - College of Arts and Sciences 9 - College of Education and Human Sciences 5 - Other UNL Colleges and Administrative Units * The total disclosure number is over 92, because several inventions stemmed from collaborative efforts involving more than one college or unit.

License Revenue $6 M


$5 M


$4 M $3 M

License Revenue

$2 M $1 M

$ 2M









2021 $

License Agreements 35


Royalty Distribution to inventors, colleges and university

30 25 20 15 10 5











92 Invention Disclosures

Invention Disclosures 120 100 80

In 2021, for the fourth year in a row, the

60 40


20 2017








University of Nebraska System ranked in the top 100 academic institutions



worldwide for issued U.S. patents.

U.S. Patents Issued to NUtech Ventures in FY 2021 NO.




Robotic Device With Compact Joint Design And An Additional Degree Of Freedom And Related Systems And Methods

Thomas Frederick, Shane Farritor, Lou Cubrich


Assistive Rehabilitation Elliptical System

Judith Burnfield, Carl Nelson, Cale Stolle, Thad Buster, Bernadette McCrory


In-Line Fiber Sensing, Noise Cancellation And Strain Detection

Ming Han


A Non-Naturally Occuring Porcine Reproductive And Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) And Methods Of Using

William Laegreid, Hiep Lai Xuan Vu, Asit Pattnaik, Fernando Osorio, Fangrui Ma


Methods, Systems And Devices Relating To Force Control Surgical Systems

Thomas Frederick, Shane Farritor, Joe Bartels, Kearney Lackas, Jacob Greenburg


Systems And Methods For Reducing The Actuation Voltage For Electrostatic Mems Devices

Fadi Alsaleem, Mohammad Hasan


Methods And Compositions For Obtaining Useful Plant Traits

Sally Mackenzie, Kamaldeep Virdi, Michael Fromm, Yashitola Wamboldt


Electromagnetic Power Converter

Haosen Wang, Wei Qiao, Liyan Qu


Systems For Tracking Individual Animals In A Group-Housed Environment

Lance Perez, Eric Psota, Mateusz Mittek, Ty Schmidt


Leidenfrost Droplet Microfluidics

Sidy Ndao, Dennis Alexander, George Gogos, Troy Anderson, Craig Zuhlke


Hydrogel Microphone

Li Tan, Yang Gao, Qin Zhou, Yongmei Chen


Insulating Tunneling Contact For Efficient And Stable Perovskite Solar Cells

Jinsong Huang, Qi Wang, Qingfeng Dong, Yang Bai, Xiaopeng Zheng


Effective Hair Styling Compositions And Processes

Yiqi Yang, Helan Xu, Kaili Song


Detecting Faults In Wind Turbines

Wei Qiao, Liyan Qu, Jun Wang


Novel Acyltransferases And Methods Of Using

Hae Jin Kim, Jillian Collins-Silva, Edgar Cahoon, Umidjon Iskandarov


Sensitive X-Ray And Gamma-Ray Detectors Including Perovskite Single Crystals

Jinsong Huang, Haotong Wei


Carbon Nanostructure Based Gas Sensors And Method Of Making Same

Mikhail Shekhirev, Alexander Sinitskii, Alexey Lipatov, Andrey Vitalyevich Lashkov, Mohammad Mehdi Pour, Victor Vladimirovich Sysoev


Method Of Identifying Important Methylome Features And Use Thereof

Sally Mackenzie, Robersy Sanchez


Plants With Useful Traits And Related Methods

Roberto De la Rosa Santamaria, Sally Mackenzie


Wind Energy To Compressed Fluid Conversion And Energy System

Jie Cheng, Farrokh Choobineh


Multifunctional Operational Component For Robotic Devices

Shane Farritor, Amy Lehman, Mark Rentschler, Nathan Wood, Jason Dumpert, Dmitry Oleynikov


Development Of A Preventive Influenza D Virus Vaccine

Qingsheng Li, Yanmin Wan, Feng Li


Compact Tunable X-Ray Source Based On Laser-Plasma Driven Betatron Emission

Matthias Fuchs, Ping Zhang


Portable Laparoscope System

Chandrakanth Are, Madhuri Are, Dennis Alexander


Fast Spin-Polarized Electron Source

Timothy Gay, Herman Batelaan, Evan Brunkow, Eric Jones


Single-Arm Robotic Device With Compact Joint Design And Related Systems And Methods

Shane Farritor, Joseph Palmowski


Fire Suppression And Ignition With Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Dirac Twidwell, Craig Allen, Christian Laney, James Higgins, Sebastian Elbaum, Carrick Detweiler, Evan Michael Beachly


Control Of Change Of Phase Through Physical Surface Shaping

George Gogos, Dennis Alexander, Sidy Ndao, Troy Anderson, Craig Zuhlke


Robotic Surgical Devices, Systems and Related Methods

Shane Farritor, Dmitry Oleynikov, Ryan McCormick, Tyler Wortman, Eric Markvicka, Amy Lehman, Kyle Strabala


Innovator Celebration Each fall, NUtech Ventures hosts the Innovator Celebration, which honors the achievements of university faculty, staff and students who are developing and commercializing cutting-edge research. This year’s event includes awards for notable campus inventors, creators and partner companies.

2021 Awards Prem S. Paul Innovator of the Year

Breakthrough Innovation of the Year

Ron Faller, director and research professor, Midwest Roadside Safety Facility This award recognizes an individual who exemplifies innovation and entrepreneurship by advancing novel research into significant commercial utilization. Ron Faller is the director of Nebraska’s Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, which conducts research related to highway design and safety. He and his team work closely with public transportation officials and companies to develop and test innovative new technologies in highway safety.

Midwest Roadside Safety Facility and TrafFix Devices, Inc.

Emerging Innovator of the Year

Startup Company of the Year

Eric Markvicka, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering This award recognizes an individual, often a junior faculty member, for recent innovation contributions. Markvicka’s research focuses on the intersection of computer and material science to transform how materials interact with the human body and the external environment. His systems have applications for wearable biosensors, soft robotics and multifunctional materials.

TurfGrade This award recognizes a startup company — founded by UNL faculty, staff or students — that has licensed university technology and made significant progress in becoming a sustainable business. TurfGrade is led by Bill Kreuser, formerly a Nebraska agronomist. The company is using a software platform to make turfgrass management simpler and more sustainable. Among other features, the platform provides guidance for applying fertilizer and plant growth regulators.

Outstanding Graduate Student Inventor of the Year

Creative Work of the Year

Jackson Stansell, graduate student in biological systems engineering The award recognizes a student who has developed a new innovation and is making progress toward commercialization. Stansell has co-developed a management system for fertigation, the application of fertilizer through an irrigation system. He has worked with NUtech to patent the system. In spring 2021, he joined NUtech’s entrepreneurship program to assess the system’s commercial potential by conducting customer interviews.


This award recognizes a technology developed in the past year that will likely have a profound effect on industry, business or a field of study. The Delta crash cushion, a new roadside safety device, is the result of a six-year partnership between Nebraska researchers and engineers at TrafFix Devices, Inc. Now commercially available, the final product represents the best of two worlds: top-notch research and a global business strategy.

Megan Hopkins, project director of the Nebraska Collegiate Prevention Alliance This award recognizes an individual that has developed a creative innovation, which is typically protected under copyright. Hopkins has co-developed an online program that addresses substance abuse among college students. Participating students receive fewer alcohol sanctions and are more likely to remain enrolled by junior year. The program is being used by 18 Nebraska colleges and has also been licensed to colleges in Missouri.

Breakthrough Innovation of the Year Midwest Roadside Safety Facility and TrafFix Devices, Inc. Most drivers will never notice them. But the steel barriers lining the highway could be the difference between walking away from a crash, or not. Nebraska researchers have designed the next generation of these steel barriers, known as the Delta crash cushion, in collaboration with TrafFix Devices, Inc., a company that is now manufacturing and selling the product. “We hope it will save somebody’s life,” said Ron Faller, director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility. “That’s what it’s about: sending somebody safely home to their family.” According to Faller, transportation officials have praised the cushion’s simplicity, which requires minimal maintenance and is easy to install. Behind this simple design is a six-year industry partnership between Nebraska researchers and TrafFix Devices engineers. NUtech Ventures and UNL Industry Relations worked with the teams to arrange an industrysponsored research agreement and manage the patenting and licensing processes. “UNL’s reputation is unmatched in the world for our industry, and it’s been an incredible development process for us,” said Geoff Maus, vice president of engineering at TrafFix Devices, Inc. “The Nebraska team pushed the envelope beyond what I thought was possible.” For the Nebraska researchers, the feeling is mutual. “TrafFix is a great partner and had a clear idea of what they wanted out of the device to make it commercially successful,” said Bob Bielenberg, research engineer at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility. “For us, the design challenge was the fun part.” Among the design challenges: the product needed to meet the highest safety standards, be fully recyclable and cosmetically appealing, fit onboard tractor trailers and overseas shipping containers, and be cost-competitive to manufacture—making it more accessible for emerging markets. “We took all this into consideration and have developed one of the best products on the market,” said Brent Kulp, president of TrafFix. “As a global company that exports to more than 50 countries, we’re excited to bring this product to the world.”


Licensed Technologies Preventing Substance Abuse Parties all night. Sleeping all day. Optional class attendance. Incoming students may have misconceptions about their college experience—including how often their peers are using drugs and alcohol. An online program is using student-generated data to highlight the gap between perception and reality. Developed at Nebraska, the Year One College Behavior Profile asks students questions about their drug and alcohol use, before revealing how their campus peers answered. “We know that students’ use of alcohol and drugs is influenced by how much they believe their peers are using and that students tend to have big misperceptions about use amongst their peers,” said Megan Hopkins, project director of the Nebraska Collegiate Prevention Alliance. “The reality is that most students aren’t using, or they use in a low-risk way. Providing that information helps shift individual behavior.” The program uses a research-based strategy known as motivational interviewing, which involves asking openended, nonjudgmental questions, such as how many problems a student has experienced from alcohol use. “It’s a very student-led process,” Hopkins said. “We want students to come to terms with whatever they see as an issue and then decide what they want to do to change it.” The Year One College Behavior Profile is used by 18 Nebraska colleges, including the University of Nebraska– Lincoln. According to program evaluations, participating students receive fewer alcohol sanctions and are more likely to remain enrolled by junior year. To expand the program beyond Nebraska, Hopkins has partnered with NUtech’s Arpi Siyahian to develop a licensing strategy. The license has helped attract additional funds to pay for platform customization, testing and ongoing support. During the 2021-22 school year, 10 colleges in Missouri are using the program as part of a statewide licensing agreement. “NUtech was instrumental in the licensing process, and they’ve helped us feel confident moving forward,” Hopkins said. “We’re excited to offer a high-quality program that’s more affordable than existing options, which is critical in helping schools sustain long-term substance abuse prevention programs.”

We’re excited to offer a high-quality program, which is helping schools sustain substance abuse prevention programs. — Megan Hopkins


Megan Hopkins

Patricio Grassini

Informing Agricultural Decisions How do you feed a growing population while protecting the environment? Using global data, Nebraska agronomist Patricio Grassini is helping agricultural stakeholders find common ground. The data is known as the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas, an online platform that estimates water productivity, crop nutrient requirements and yield gaps—the difference between current and potential yields—for major crops in 70 countries. Developed in collaboration with Wageningen University in the Netherlands, the international team aims to help stakeholders increase production on existing cropland. “Currently, we are expanding cropland areas at a rate of 13 million hectares every year and destroying fragile ecosystems,” said Grassini. “We need to understand how much more food we can produce on existing cropland— and where. The places with the biggest yield gaps have the biggest opportunities.” NUtech’s Jeewan Jyot has worked with the team to develop a licensing strategy for the platform’s data, which has been downloaded by more than 40,000 people worldwide. Companies pay to use the data for commercial purposes, but government users and nonprofits can access it for free. Jyot and the team have also developed a corporate sponsorship model for the platform. Participating companies select a level of financial commitment, which enables them to access the platform and offer feedback on new features and future directions. The sponsorship program was implemented in February 2021 and is already helping the project become financially self-sustaining. “Our goal was to reach a sponsorship level that allows us to update and expand the platform—and in the first year, we’ve already exceeded that goal,” Grassini said. “With this support, our team can think big and continue addressing important demands in agriculture.”


University Startup Companies Cleaning Contaminated Water As city managers contend with environmental pollution, a university startup company is developing technology to clean contaminated groundwater. Airlift Environmental is co-founded by Steve Comfort, professor of natural resources, and Mark Christenson, a Nebraska alumnus. The idea for the technology began with Christenson’s graduate research on chemical oxidants, which are commonly used to treat pollution. Chemical oxidants are usually injected into the ground, but as groundwater moves, these chemicals disperse quickly—making it hard to treat areas long enough to eliminate pollution. To address this problem, the Nebraska team developed an industrial-sized rod filled with wax and chemical oxidants, which is drilled into contaminated areas. Once underground, the wax prevents oxidants from dissolving all at once. The slow-release method includes a plastic tube that bubbles air to the surface, continuously circulating oxidants in a polluted aquifer. “Our system provides longevity in treating an area and allows us to more vigorously reach contaminants,” Comfort said. The team has successfully tested their system at multiple sites across Nebraska, starting with a landfill in Cozad, Nebraska. “We pulled out of the Cozad site after five years, because we demonstrated that our technology cleared the contamination,” Comfort said. “That’s great, because sometimes these towns have already tried several different technologies.” The team has received federal funding from the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, as well as the National Institutes of Health. NUtech Ventures has patented the team’s intellectual property and licensed the rights to Airlift Environmental. “I’m proud of this team for their commitment to commercializing technology that is treating contaminated water and positively impacting communities across Nebraska,” said Arpi Siyahian, senior technology manager at NUtech Ventures.

From left to right: James Reece, Steve Comfort, Zoe Christenson, Mark Christenson, Elise Webb.


We want to produce a range of vaccines that are more effective and safe, so that we can improve the lives of animals and people. — Gary Pickard Gary Pickard

Developing Vaccine Technology Nearly 80 percent of the world’s population is infected with herpes simplex virus, according to the World Health Organization. Like all herpesviruses, HSV enters the nervous system and remains there for a lifetime, sometimes causing contagious symptoms and, in worst cases, damaging the brain. Currently, there is no HSV vaccine on the market. University startup company Thyreos is developing a novel vaccine platform that protects against a range of herpesviruses in animals and people. The company was co-founded by Nebraska’s Gary Pickard, Northwestern University’s Gregory Smith and Tufts University’s Ekaterina Heldwein, and was later joined by CEO Eric Zeece. The co-founding team are experts in virology and neuroscience. “Our collaboration emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary basic research,” said Pickard, a neuroscientist. “We weren’t trying to make a vaccine. But by combining these different areas of expertise, we found something completely new and extraordinary.” Thyreos’s vaccines are distinctive because they generate a strong immune response without entering the nervous system. According to the team’s research, this approach significantly reduces the risk of viral reactivation and transmission. The team is currently testing their vaccine in cattle, which are routinely infected with a herpesvirus that causes respiratory disease. It can also cause secondary bacterial infections, aborted calves, decreased fertility and decreased milk production, resulting in billion-dollar losses of annual revenue. “As a startup company, our initial focus in the beef industry is part of a larger goal,” Pickard said. “Ultimately, we want to produce a range of vaccines that are more effective and safe, so that we can improve the lives of animals and people.” The company has received funding from Invest Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and local investors. NUtech’s Jeewan Jyot has worked with Northwestern University to patent and license the university-developed technology for the startup. “It’s exciting to see new partnerships in research and economic development come together to support a promising new vaccine technology,” Jyot said. “That is what technology transfer is all about: helping university innovation reach the marketplace, with real-world impact.”


Entrepreneurship Programs Testing Startup Ideas One startup idea. Seven weeks. 100 interviews. Three Nebraska teams joined the National Science Foundation’s 2021 Innovation Corps. During the program, researchers learned entrepreneurship concepts, explored technology commercialization and conducted 100 interviews with prospective customers. “We’re thrilled that Nebraska teams have completed this competitive national program and are taking the next steps to pursue a research-based startup company,” said Joy Eakin, NUtech’s entrepreneurship program manager. Nebraska’s Li Tan, Daniel Schachtman and Michael Sealy served as the faculty leads for the three I-Corps teams, which also included graduate students and business mentors. The three teams previously participated in NUtech’s campus entrepreneurship program, Nebraska Introduction to Customer Discovery, which helps researchers discover a potential market for their idea. “The support and network I’ve gained has really blown me away,” Schachtman said. “We have a pretty clear plan for the next steps to start this business.” The campus-based program was also helpful in preparing for I-Corps, said Nebraska alumna Yifan Huang, who participated in 2020. “Because of this program, we already knew the expectations and basic methodologies for doing customer discovery interviews, which set us up very well for I-Corps,” Huang said. During I-Corps, Huang and Tan conducted dozens of interviews before changing plans. Industry feedback pointed them in a new direction: using their technology to address issues related to additive manufacturing.


UNL I-Corps team, from left, Rakesh Karunakaran, Guru Madireddy, Andrew Zimbroff and Michael Sealy.

Nebraska Introduction to Customer Discovery (N-ICD)

UNL I-Corps team, from left, Yifan Huang, Tom Tiwald, Li Tan

“One of my biggest insights was the concept of the ‘mosquito-bite’ problems versus ‘sharkbite’ problems,” Tan said. “As we conducted our interviews, we wanted to make sure our technology was addressing a big, shark-bite-sized problem.” Together with Michael Sealy, Nebraska graduate students Guru Madireddy and Rakesh Karunakaran also focused on additive manufacturing. Throughout I-Corps, they conducted interviews at sites across Nebraska. “We were invited onto shop floors and people were showing us manufactured parts and defects,” Madireddy said. “Those in-person interactions were one of the highlights for me. We learned so much about different industries and their manufacturing methods.”

NUtech invites all Nebraska faculty, staff, postdocs and students to consider applying to our free, campus-based program, Nebraska Introduction to Customer Discovery. To learn more about research-based entrepreneurship, NUtech has also published a “Guide to Startup Companies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.” For more information about the program or the guide, contact info@nutechventures.org.


College of Engineering


Other NU Participants


College of Agriculture and Natural Resources


College of Arts and Sciences


College of Education and Human Sciences


College of Business


Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute


Community Participants


Total Participants* *The list totals more than 119, because several participants are affiliated with more than one college.


Student Interns by College

NUtech Intern Program Providing Learning Opportunities

College of Engineering


College of Arts and Sciences


College of Law


College of Journalism and Mass Communications


College of Business


Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources


College of Education and Human Sciences


The program includes five to seven commercialization analyst internships each year, which are available to graduate students in chemistry, biology, engineering, food science and other technical fields. It also includes internships in law, business and communications. Here’s what current intern Heidi Roth, graduate student in chemistry, said about her experience: “The commercialization analyst internship has allowed me to explore a facet of research that I didn’t have exposure to in my laboratory. By contributing to the process of protecting intellectual property, I’ve gained an appreciation for the challenges of taking new technology from the lab to the marketplace.”

Susan Ovbude

Wesley White

Humaun Kobir

Aria Tarudji

Alicia Johnson

Avery Bamesberger

Alaina Pfenning-Butterworth

Heidi Roth

Kathryn Zieno

Total student interns since 2014* *The list totals more than 66, because several students are affiliated with more than one college.


NUtech offers internships for undergraduate, graduate and professional students enrolled at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Interns come from diverse academic backgrounds, including law, science, business and communications. As alumni, they go on to pursue equally diverse careers in academia, industry, law and nonprofits.

NUtech Intern Team


Intern Alumni Alissa Hein-Bumgardner

Staff Attorney, CyncHealth | Omaha, Nebraska B.A. in International Relations, St. Cloud State University J.D., University of Nebraska College of Law

Contracts Analyst Intern, 2019-2020 “The internship helped familiarize me with contract language and how contract negotiations look, which is a lot different from negotiations class in law school. I do a lot of contract work now, so having that familiarity with the contract process before starting in my role at CyncHealth was very helpful.”

Karen Ferreira da Silva

Field Scientist, Corteva Agrisciences | Woodland, California B.S. in Agronomic Engineering, São Paulo State University M.S. in Entomology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Ph.D. in Plant Pathology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Commercialization Analyst Intern, 2019-2020 “NUtech helped prepare me for my current career by providing experiences within a cross-functional team, as we all worked together for the same goal. It is similar to my current role, because I work with groups from different disciplines. It was also helpful to learn how to communicate ideas in a business setting, including how to improve presentation skills.”

Zane Gernhart

Senior Technology Manager, NUtech Ventures | Lincoln, Nebraska B.S. in Chemistry, Buena Vista University Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Commercialization Analyst Intern, May 2014-2015 “My time as an intern at NUtech was a great introduction to the world of technology transfer. One of the most important skills I learned was how to search and read the patent literature. I also learned how to perform market research and present data to a group of science, business and legal professionals. I found that I enjoy the challenge of finding a commercialization pathway for earlystage technologies.”

Celena Shepherd

External Communications Assistant, Olsson | Omaha, Nebraska B.A. in Journalism, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Communications and Operations Intern, 2020-2021 “I gained a variety of communications experience at NUtech, from social media to interviewing and writing, which has helped prepare me for my future career. I appreciated that the internship was tailored to my interests, and even though it was virtual, I got to know many people in the office. It prepared me for what a real-world setting of a job would be like.”


NUtech Ventures Team

Board of Directors

Corporate Officers

Alyssa Amen Marketing & Communications Manager

Marc LeBaron Lincoln Industries Chairman

Brad Roth NUtech Ventures President

Bob Wilhelm University of Nebraska–Lincoln Vice Chairman

William Nunez University of Nebraska–Lincoln Treasurer

Michael Boehm University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Mike Zeleny University of Nebraska–Lincoln Secretary

Kimberly Bilder Contracts Manager Joy Eakin Entrepreneurship Program Manager Aaron Funk Contracts Negotiator

Ronnie Green University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Zane Gernhart Senior Technology Manager Karen Gokie Operations Support Associate Courtney Grate Intellectual Property Manager Cheryl Horst Associate Director & IP Counsel

Brad Korell Abe Oommen MatMaCorp Jay Wilkinson Firespring

Lacey Rohe University of Nebraska–Lincoln Assistant Treasurer Becky Zavala University of Nebraska–Lincoln Assistant Secretary

Jeewan Jyot Senior Technology Manager Janae Kauffman Financial Accountant Jessica Minnick Technology Commercialization Fellow Rose Robotham Compliance Coordinator Brad Roth Executive Director Scott Shaver Intellectual Property Specialist Arpi Siyahian Senior Technology Manager

2021 Transformation Drive, Suite 2220 | Lincoln, NE 68508 (402) 472-1783 | info@nutechventures.org

nutechventures.org | @NUtechVentures Writer: Alyssa Amen | Editors: Alyssa Amen, Karen Gokie | Designer: Laura Leffler | Content Contributors: Avery Bamesberger, Courtney Grate, Rose Robotham | Photography: Alyssa Amen, Craig Chandler Copyright 2021 by NUtech Ventures.