Robert J. Creeden has joined the University of Virginia’s Licensing & Ventures Group as its first managing director of the UVA Seed Fund and New Ventures.
The Licensing & Ventures Group’s mission is to maximize the impact of UVA’s innovation in research and technology via commercialization while providing high levels of customer service, value-added business development, new venture creation and a focus on driving quality transactions.
“We are very pleased to have been able to recruit as talented a professional as Bob to UVA,” said Michael P. Straightiff, the Licensing & Ventures Group’s executive director. “We believe his extensive experience in company formation and management, early-stage investing and in commercializing new technologies will help UVA continue to grow.”
As the managing director of New Ventures, Creeden is tasked with building initiatives to identify opportunities for the creation of high-quality ventures based on new technologies in the Licensing & Ventures Group’s portfolio, recruiting talented executives and entrepreneurs-in-residence and mentoring and advising newly formed companies.
Creeden also leads the day-to-day operations of the UVA Seed Fund. The $10 million fund was created in 2015 using UVA Health System funds and unrestricted private funds to launch and support new ventures emerging from the University portfolio and to fill the “capital gap” for technologies considered too early or too small for investment by traditional sources.
The fund will re-invest its gains to provide capital for additional investments. Investment decisions will be made with the oversight of the Investment Management Committee, which also led the search for the managing director. The committee comprises UVA alumni Gerry Brunk, managing director of Lumira Capital; Robert Paull, co-founder and venture partner of Lux Capital; Jonathan Ebinger, general partner of BlueRun Ventures; Dayna Grayson, partner of New Enterprise Associates; and Peter M. Grant II, partner at Anchormark Holdings LLC.
“I am delighted to lead the Seed Fund and new ventures at UVA,” Creeden said. “By investing in UVA-based start-ups, the University is enhancing the impact of transformative ideas and addressing an unmet need.”
Creeden comes to the University community after serving as the founding executive director of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network in the North Carolina Research Triangle. His efforts helped strengthen the area’s business environment, resulting in early-stage and seed investment of more than $60 million.
In 2005, Creeden created and managed the Partners Innovation Fund at Partners HealthCare in Boston – one of the first academic medical center venture funds of its kind in the country. Prior to joining Partners, Creeden served as vice president of the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation, an early-stage venture firm, and as general partner of Egan-Managed Capital, a $150 million New England-based venture firm.
Creeden’s career began in start-ups, where he served as chief operating officer and chief financial officer for various early-stage ventures in the Boston area.
Creeden holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts and an M.B.A. from Suffolk University in Boston.