University of Michigan
Peter Adriaens, PhD, PE, BCEEM
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Dr. Adriaens is Professor of Environmental Engineering, Finance and Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan, with appointments in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ross School of Business and the School for Environment and Sustainability. He directs the Center and Master of Engineering program in Smart Infrastructure Finance, focused on efficient financing mechanisms for public and private infrastructure systems. His research and teaching focus on data-driven (digital) business and finance models for infrastructure, blockchain applications for smart cities infrastructure, and artificial intelligence/machine learning for asset pricing of sustainability premiums in bonds and equities. He is a member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineering, and of the Belgian Royal Academy of Applied Sciences and the Arts. Previously, he was Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at Sichuan University (China) and at the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Helsinki, Finland) focused on investment and financing models for green economic transitioning. He is co-founder of Equarius® Risk Analytics, a financial technology firm focused on asset risk pricing from water exposure in securities and indexes linked to US, European and Japanese exchanges. Prior, he founded Corymbus Asset Management, an algorithmic due diligence firm. He is currently an investment advisor to the Great Lakes Impact Investment Platform to scale investments in sustainable water infrastructure for the region.
University of Michigan
University of Michigan
Mingyan Liu is the Peter and Evelyn Fuss Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She received her Ph.D. Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2000, and has been with the University of Michigan ever since.
Prof. Liu’s research interests are in optimal resource allocation, sequential decision theory, incentive design, and performance modeling and analysis, all within the context of large-scale networked systems. Her most recent research activities involve cyber risk quantification and designing cybersecurity incentive mechanisms using large-scale Internet measurement data and machine learning techniques. Technologies she developed in this space have been successfully transitioned. In 2014 she co-founded a start-up company, QuadMetrics, Inc., commercializing predictive data analytics she developed for cyber risk quantification that resulted in the first global enterprise cybersecurity ratings system; it was acquired by the analytics software company Fair Isaac (FICO) in 2016.
Prof. Liu is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (2002), the University of Michigan Elizabeth C. Crosby Research Award (2003, 2014), the EECS Department Outstanding Achievement Award (2010), the College of Engineering Excellence in Education Award (2015), the College of Engineering Excellence in Service Award (2017), the Distinguished University Innovator Award (2018), the “Crossing the Valley of Death” PI Excellence Award by the Department of Homeland Security, Cyber Security Division (2016), and several best paper awards. She served on the editorial boards of IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, and ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks. She is a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the ACM.
National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health
Matthew leads the SEED Office (Small business Education and Entrepreneurial Development) in helping to transform cutting-edge technologies into products that improve health and save lives. The SEED team educates and assists NIH-funded innovators as they transition from discovery science to product development. SEED helps academic innovators validate the potential health impacts of their discoveries through a national network of proof-of-concept centers and provides a host of professional advisory services to small business innovators funded by NIH’s $1.2 billion/year SBIR and STTR programs. Matthew has a diverse background in academia, small business, congressional policy, and NIH program management. He previously served as the first director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Office of Translational Alliances and Coordination, and he created and led the National Eye Institute’s Office of Translational Research. His previous experience also includes service as the principal scientist for the bionic eye company Second Sight Medical Products and as a staff member on both the United States Senate and House of Representatives committees responsible for science, technology, and innovation policy. Matthew holds a B.S. in Optical Engineering from the University of Rochester and a M.A and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of California, San Diego.
University of Michigan
Office of Tech Transfer
University of Michigan Office of Tech Transfer
Mike leads the Tech Transfer Venture Center working with U-M faculty, staff, and students on new company formation based on intellectual property discovered and developed at the University of Michigan’s 19 schools. He will also manage the investment activity of the Accelerate Blue Fund. Mike has over 30 years of entrepreneurial, senior management, and venture fund experience in both the public and private sectors.
Before joining the University of Michigan, Mike was the vice president of Business Acceleration at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation where he oversaw a $250 million portfolio of investments in over 150 early-stage technology companies. Prior to the MEDC, he was an assistant vice president at Forest Health Services where he managed a $50 million corporate venture fund that focused on life sciences, IT, and manufacturing opportunities.
Mike has directed several successful company exits and is the founder of four companies. He has served on numerous profit and non-profit boards and advisory boards including; eBay, PayPal, Compendia Biosciences, Online Technologies, the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, and the Ann Arbor Local Development Financial Authority. He remains very active in the Michigan startup community working with Invest Michigan, Ann Arbor SPARK, Invest Detroit, Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest, TechArb, DTE Energy Business Plan Competition, and many others.
Mike earned his MBA with concentrations in corporate strategy and marketing and MS in natural resource management from the University of Michigan. He also holds a BS in history and political science from Eastern Michigan University.
Ann Arbor SPARK
Skip Simms joined Ann Arbor SPARK in 2006 as Director of Entrepreneurial Services and was its second employee. In 2011, he was named Senior Vice President. Skip oversees all the entrepreneurial activities including incubators, business accelerator programs, and all capital programs.
He was the architect of the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund co-investment program, the multiple microloan programs managed by SPARK, and the MI Innovation Equipment Depot. His newest initiative is the Michigan Angel Fund.
Skip has nearly fifteen years of experience in financing and investments. Prior to joining Ann Arbor SPARK, he was the Managing General Partner at the Ralph Wilson Equity Fund, a $31 million fund-of-funds.
Skip was a charter member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association and currently serves on their Board of Directors. He is a past board member of the New Enterprise Forum. You may have seen him at an entrepreneur event or program, as he is often asked to serve on panels or make presentations regarding start-up funding.
Scientific discovery is one of humanity’s most important endeavors. Using the tools of exploration, we can better understand our world and our universe and ultimately learn more about ourselves. All discovery is interconnected, and no important question stands alone. As NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen is tasked with helping us answer some of humanity’s biggest questions: Where did we come from? Are we alone? How does the universe work? Dr. Zurbuchen is well versed in the practice of asking difficult questions that help us seek interconnected answers leading to real-world impacts. He is keenly interested in innovation and how leadership is developed and how the pursuit of excellence can help change the world.
Growing up in Switzerland, Dr. Zurbuchen was a keen observer of the natural world from an early age. His curiosity led him to pursue degrees in physics, and he has served on and led innovative scientific teams that have helped enlarge our perspective on the solar system and the universe. Previous points of focus have been the planet Mercury and our Sun. He was also a professor of space science and aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He was the founding director of U-M’s Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering and developed and ran several campus-wide innovation initiatives, one of which led to the top-ranked undergraduate entrepreneurship program nationally.
On a daily basis, Zurbuchen works to ensure that NASA’s science missions build partnerships across disciplines and with industry and other nations to generate new questions and help advance the frontiers of knowledge and exploration. He brings a wealth of scientific research, engineering experience, and hands-on knowledge to NASA’s world-class team of scientists and engineers. Zurbuchen sets the NASA Science strategy and inspires the teams to carry it out.
During his career, Zurbuchen has authored or co-authored more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals in solar and heliospheric phenomena. He earned his doctorate and Master of Science degrees in physics from the University of Bern in Switzerland. His honors include multiple NASA group achievement awards, induction as a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, a NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the 2018 Heinrich-Greinacher prize, the leading science-related recognition from the University of Bern. Zurbuchen engages people worldwide with NASA’s work and the inspiration of science.