LSWI Lunch & Learn Series: Strategies for Startups

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm PST

Melissa M. Harwood, PhD

Shareholder at Polsinelli PC,

Dr. Melissa Harwood provides strategic intellectual property counseling to both private and public companies in the pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device industries. She works closely with licensing, litigation, corporate, and regulatory counsel to provide her clients with comprehensive IP representation. She provides patent counseling in support of products in all stages of development, from proof of concept to regulatory approval and product launch.

Melissa frequently lectures at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and for the Practising Law Institute (PLI) on various intellectual property topics, including patent strategy and IP due diligence.

Will Canestaro, PhD

Managing Director at Washington Research Foundation, WRF Capital

Dr. Will Canestaro is a venture capitalist, health economist and meta-epidemiologist with a demonstrated history of working in the biotechnology industry. He manages the Foundation’s biotech and engineering VC investment portfolio. Through WRF, Dr. Canestaro has made 25 investments in 19 Washington-based companies. He teaches courses at the UW School of Business and School of Pharmacy on Health Innovation and Meta-Analytic methods, respectively. Will earned his doctorate from the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program and he received an M.Sc. in medical anthropology from Oxford University and an A.B. in medical sociology from Dartmouth College.

Jennifer McCullar

Senior Innovation Manager at Life Sciences, CoMotion UW

Jennifer manages a diverse life sciences portfolio. She joined CoMotion in 2010 after completing a post-doctoral position at the University of Washington, where she worked on identifying cell signaling pathways integral to regeneration in the inner ear. She earned her doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Oregon State University and is currently a co-organizer for Science on Tap, a monthly public lecture series. She also holds a Masters in Animal Science.

Christopher Simpson

Shareholder at Polsinelli PC

Chris Simpson is a shareholder in Polsinelli’s Venture Capital and Emerging Growth Companies Practice Group. Chris advises companies at all stages of growth, from start-ups to ready-to-IPO/exit, helping them successfully raise capital, complete acquisitions and divestitures, and address day to day operative and commercial matters.A significant portion of Chris’ practice is dedicated to working with entrepreneurs and early growth stage companies, and Chris has helped countless companies navigate their way through Series Seed, A and B fundraises to exit transactions. Chris also counsels venture capital and growth equity funds in connection with their debt and equity financing investments in private companies.