We Are Skysong Innovations

We Are Skysong Innovations

ASU’s exclusive intellectual property management company

Our goal is the rapid and wide dissemination of ASU discoveries and inventions into the marketplace.

For this reason, Skysong Innovations was created as a separate corporate entity to act as a proxy for ASU, which substantially increases flexibility and speed in its deal-making and venturing activities.

With the support of its entrepreneurial arm at Skysong Innovations, ASU has become one of the top-performing U.S. universities in terms of intellectual property inputs (inventions disclosed by ASU researchers) and outputs (licensing deals and start-ups).

Skysong Innovations was established in 2003 as an Arizona Limited Liability company, formerly known as AzTE. To date we have launched 144 startups, created more than 1,100 local jobs and generated over $108 million in state revenue.

We appreciated in ASU a research team and a technology that did not just reflect the competence of the inventor, but their experience and their attitude towards industry.”
Andrea Mills, Zcube

We’re Growing

We’re always on the lookout for new talent. Take the first step to joining our team of industry professionals by viewing our current opportunities.

Working at Skysong Innovations

Jon Bayless is a general partner with Sevin Rosen Funds, where he has been since 1981. A veteran networking investor who has taken a lead role in nurturing several early-stage companies, Bayless led the firm’s early investments in, and served as the chairman of, CIENA Corp. and Landmark Graphics Corp., both public companies. He currently focuses on investment opportunities created by the transition of telecommunications networks to Internet protocol, and wireless and business applications in the cloud.

Prior to Sevin Rosen, Bayless was vice-president of engineering at Arthur A. Collins Inc., leading an R&D organization focused on developing advanced navigation, computer and telecommunications systems. He also worked for the Defense Information Services Agency and the Motorola Aerospace Center.

Bayless currently sits on the boards of portfolio companies Extenet, GENBAND, NetSocket, Vidyo, WaveBender, and Xtera Communications. He has helped secure exits for many of Sevin Rosen’s most prominent telecommunications-infrastructure companies, including Monterey Networks, Navarro Networks and Lightspeed.

Outside of Sevin Rosen, Bayless sits on the Board of Visitors for the Oklahoma University College of Engineering. He earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Oklahoma, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. in the same subject from Arizona State University, where he was also a National Defense Education Act (NDEA) Fellow.

Lou Bock, a partner at Santé Ventures, is an industry veteran focused on identifying emerging biopharmaceutical, device and platform technology companies. Bock sits on the boards of Ascenta Therapeutics, diaDexus, Horizon Therapeutics, Orexigen Therapeutics, SGX Pharmaceuticals and Zogenix. As a former partner of Scale Venture Partners, he was responsible for that firm’s investments in Dynavax Technologies (NASDAQ: DVAX), Prestwick Pharmaceuticals, Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ: SGEN), and Somaxon (NASDAQ: SOMX).

Bock joined Scale Venture Partners in 1997 from Gilead Sciences, where he held positions in research, project management, business development, and sales. While at Gilead, Bock was the project manager for Gilead's approved antiviral drug, Vistide, and was responsible for the discovery of Gilead's novel thrombin aptamer. Previous to Gilead, he was a research associate at Genentech.

Bock holds an M.B.A. from California State University, San Francisco and a B.S. in biology from California State University, Chico. In 1992 Lou was published in Nature magazine. Bock et al. Nature 355, 564-566 (1992).

José Cárdenas is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Arizona State University. A 1977 Stanford University Law School graduate, he was a partner in the law firm of Lewis and Roca before joining ASU in 2009. He also served as the firm’s managing partner and later as its chairman. He has been recognized for his accomplishments as a lawyer including an “AV/Preeminent Attorney” rating with Martindale-Hubbell and listings in Southwest Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America ®, and his induction in 2010 to the Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame. He is a member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Cárdenas serves as a University representative on and to the boards of directors of ASU affiliated and related entities including the Center for the Future of Arizona and Zócalo Public Square. He also serves on the boards of Southwest Gas Corporation, Xico Inc., (an ethnic arts organization), Swift Transportation, and the CALA Alliance, (which promotes Latino arts and culture). Cárdenas is a member of the executive committee of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, (since 2003), and he is a Trustee of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. He is also a past chairman of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), O’Connor House, Greater Phoenix Leadership and the Valley of the Sun United Way boards of directors. He has also served on many other boards of directors including those of Chicanos Por La Causa, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association. Cárdenas also served as a commissioner on Arizona’s Commerce and Economic Development Commission and he served three Governors as president of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

Since 2003, Cárdenas has served as the host of the Eight/KAET weekly public affairs program, Horizonte, which focuses on Arizona issues through a Hispanic lens. In 2000, he received the Mexican government's Ohtli award given to U.S. residents of Mexican descent in recognition of their service to Mexican communities in the United States. He was Valley Leadership’s 2000 Man of the Year.

Delia Chavarría is Associate Director, Global Brand Management, at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of first-in-class and best-in-class therapeutics for patients living with serious and life-threatening rare genetic diseases. As part of BioMarin’s Commercial team, she has supported the establishment and management of marketing and distribution partnerships throughout Asia Pacific and Latin America. Chavarria has also led the development of the global brand strategy and launch execution for Palynziq, a new treatment option for patients with PKU.

Chavarría joined BioMarin from Booz Allen Hamilton, where she was a Management Consultant leading business development activities and client projects in the healthcare space. Before Booz Allen, Chavarría held different positions with increasing level of responsibility at Genentech and at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Chavarría holds an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley and a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University.

Augustine “Augie” Cheng has been CEO and chief legal officer of Skysong Innovations since July 2007.  Cheng is a member of the board of directors of Skysong Innovations.  He serves as the designated IP Official for ASU, and is a member of the executive team of ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development.  In November 2011, Cheng was also appointed senior vice president and managing director of the ASU Foundation, the parent company of Skysong Innovations.

Prior to joining Skysong Innovations, Cheng was the founder and chief counsel of the Patent & Licensing Group in the Office of the General Counsel at Columbia University in New York. In that capacity, he supervised a team of IP attorneys and was responsible for all legal affairs relating to Columbia’s patent protection, licensing programs, and related litigation. He has extensive experience in structuring, drafting, and negotiating agreements in the areas of IP licensing, industry-sponsored research, research consortiums, international collaborations, and inter-institutional agreements. During his tenure at Columbia, Cheng advised the university administration on policy issues relating to intellectual property, research, and conflicts of interest while focusing on technology transfer, litigation, and contracts. In addition, he advised the administration and board of trustees on the January 1998 merger between Presbyterian Hospital (the hospital affiliate of Columbia) and New York Hospital (the hospital affiliate of Cornell), and continued to work on post-merger issues for the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia.

Cheng has private practice experience as a litigation attorney in the New York law firms of Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Schulte Roth & Zabel. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable William H. Timbers of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Cheng received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University and attended Fordham University School of Law, where he served as an associate editor of the Fordham Law Review. He holds an “AV/Preeminent Attorney” rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

In October, 2002, Corey retired as President and CEO of Rodel, Inc. after five years with this up and coming semiconductor company. During his tenure, which included the two worst recessions in the history of the semiconductor industry, Rodel witnessed outstanding growth in sales and profits, propelling its valuation from $260 million to over $2 billion during his stewardship. Valued at more than $3 billion today, Rodel is the global leader in Chemical Mechanical Planerization materials (CMP) a key process to make semiconductor chips. Rodel’s technology touches almost every chip made in the world today. The company was fully acquired by Rohm and Haas in 2002.

Prior to joining Rodel, Corey held several positions of increasing responsibilities around the world with Rohm and Haas ($13 Billion). His assignments took him and his family for 10 years overseas in England, Germany, France, and Brazil. During his career, he worked in the textiles, leather, paper, plastics, and coatings industries. His last position at Rohm and Haas was Corporate Vice President and a member of the senior management leadership council.

Corey holds a B.S. in biology from the American University of Beirut, an M.S. in chemical engineering from Ohio State University, and an M.B.A. from Widener University. He is fluent in English, French, Arabic, Portuguese, and adequate in Spanish. Before entering the corporate world, Corey was a Senior Lecturer at Widener University for two years (chemical engineering and industrial management).

Since retirement from the corporate world, Corey has started and co-founded several ventures: Corey Capital (global equity investments), UrbanLogic (real estate development), Mt Cedar Properties (real estate management), and TradeCom (commodities trading). His community work has focused mainly on education and mentoring young entrepreneurs.

Matt is CEO of Connecticut Innovations. He manages Connecticut Innovations' venture capital funds, loans and programs to support entrepreneurs and startups. CI has over 175 portfolio companies and $300M in assets under management. Matt has more than 25 years of experience in venture capital, sales, marketing and product management. Matt represents CI on the boards of Tantalus Systems, Vouchr, Curacity, Elm Street Ventures and r4, as well as serving as Chairman of the board for CTNext and the CT Biosciences Fund. 

Matt comes to CI from Chart Venture Partners (CVP), a NYC technology venture capital firm. At CVP, Matt led investments, sat on the boards of directors and played an operating role in turnarounds for several high growth technology companies. Prior to CVP, Matt was the Managing Director of Columbia University Science and Technology Ventures (STV), where he helped launch a portfolio of spinout companies, as well as the deployment of STV’s profitable seed fund. During his tenure, 11 companies went public or were acquired by publicly traded companies.

Prior to Columbia, Matt co-founded Eureka Networks, a communications and application software organization which was sold for $110M. Earlier in his career, he managed product development, sales and marketing, and new product roll-outs for two Fortune 500 companies, Becton Dickinson and MCI. As a national sales leader at MCI, he rose to become marketing manager. Matt launched MCI's flagship voice and data products for Avantel, the company’s joint venture in Latin America. Both Eureka and Avantel’s revenues reached $100M+.

Matt earned an M.B.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Boston College. Upon graduation, Matt worked for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and then co-founded a startup beverage company. Matt serves as a technology and business reviewer for the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Defense Department, where he identifies and helps emerging technology companies meet the government's requirements.

Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan is currently the Executive Vice President, ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development, Chief Research and Innovation Officer, as well as the Director for the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC), and Foundation Chair in Computing and Informatics. He leads the knowledge enterprise development at Arizona State University, which advances research, innovation, strategic partnerships, entrepreneurship, global and economic development at ASU.

Panchanathan was the founding director of the School of Computing and Informatics and was instrumental in founding the Biomedical Informatics Department at ASU. He also served as the chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department. He founded the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC) at ASU. CUbiC’s flagship project iCARE, for individuals who are blind and visually impaired, won the Governor’s Innovator of the Year-Academia Award in November 2004.

In 2014, Panchanathan was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. National Science Board (NSB). He has also been appointed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE).

Panchanathan is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He is also the Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE), He is currently serving as the Chair-Elect in the Council on Research (CoR) within the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Panchanathan was the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Multimedia Magazine and is also an editor/associate editor of many other journals and transactions.

His research interests are in the areas of human-centered multimedia computing, haptic user interfaces, person-centered tools and ubiquitous computing technologies for enhancing the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, machine learning for multimedia applications, medical image processing, and media processor designs. Panchanathan has published over 425 papers in refereed journals and conferences and has mentored over 100 graduate students, post-docs, research engineers and research scientists who occupy leading positions in academia and industry. He has been a chair of many conferences, program committee member of numerous conferences, universities and industry.

Panchanathan holds a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Ottawa in Canada; an M.Tech. in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras; a B.E. in electronics and communication engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; and a B.Sc. in physics from the University of Madras in India.

Adelaida V. Severson, Ph.D., is President and CEO of Bushtex, Inc. She founded Bushtex, Inc. with her husband Barry in 1994 as a satellite communications firm specializing in remote broadcast transmissions worldwide. In 2003, Dr. Severson became more involved with the marketing and operations of the company, helping to increase sales and visibility.

Today, Bushtex's customers range from television networks that need to broadcast sporting and news events from around the world, to corporations wanting to set up teleconferences, to government agencies that need to communicate via satellite. Some notable achievements of Dr. Severson and Bushtex's are coordinating televised NFL Super Bowl Games, the Summer and Winter Olympics since 1990, and supporting our nation's military outlets with high level surveillance.

Born and raised in Hawaii, Dr. Severson graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and International Relations from the University of Southern California. She received a Masters of Mass Communication and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Arizona State University. Her background includes public relations, broadcast journalism, marketing, events management, philanthropy, and satellite communications. Additionally, she has traveled extensively, both internationally and domestically, to consult on communications strategies.

Dr. Severson has received numerous awards and accolades with Bushtex throughout her career. Most recently, Adelaida was named as the 2017 Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School Hall of Fame Alumni during the ASU Cronkite School December 2017 Convocation Ceremony. The AZ Business Magazine named her one of the Most Influential Women in Arizona, Phoenix; Business Journal named her one of 25 Top Dynamic Business Women in Phoenix; in 2013 she was named Gilbert Chamber of Commerce Business Woman of the Year 2013; the AZ Republic called her an “Arizona Original” (a listing of four women who have pioneered the way for women in technology); one of the Most Influential Women in Arizona. Her community involvement includes serving as an ASU Trustee; former Governing Board of the Gilbert Public School District; Gilbert Chamber of Commerce Board member; National Cronkite Advisory Board; Gilbert Leadership Board (graduated from Class XIII); and a member of the Diocese of Phoenix Bishop’s Stewardship Advisory Council.

R.F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr., PhD, is the chief executive officer of ASU Enterprise Partners. He previously served as the chief executive officer of the ASU Foundation (2011-2017).

Under Shangraw’s leadership, ASU Enterprise Partners was created in 2016 as a new model for diversified revenue generation to support Arizona State University. Enterprise Partners is an umbrella organization for the foundation and affiliate entities that engage in fundraising, applied research, technology transfer, real estate transactions, and collaborative research initiatives that generate support for the university.

As CEO of Enterprise Partners, Shangraw has led an innovative and effective resource raising organization marked by strong governance, speed, flexibility, and drive. As the private enterprise of a public university, it has become a strategic partner advancing higher education, research outcomes and community engagement. In its first year of operation, Enterprise Partners was named one of the top companies to work for in Arizona.

During his tenure as CEO of the ASU Foundation, Shangraw directed a team of more than 100 fundraising professionals (and more than 170 people as CEO of Enterprise Partners) that generated over $900 million in new investments and commitments in support of the university. For five consecutive years (2012–16), the foundation was awarded the premier, four-star rating from Charity Navigator, the country’s largest and most respected evaluator of nonprofit organizations. The foundation also received CareerBuilder’s Top Company to Work for in Arizona honors for three consecutive years (2014–16).

Prior to joining the foundation, Shangraw served as ASU’s senior vice president for the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development (OKED) and director of the Global Institute of Sustainability. As senior vice president for OKED he was responsible for ASU’s research portfolio, which grew to among the top research institutions in the country without a medical school. As director of the Global Institute of Sustainability, Shangraw oversaw research, education, and problem-solving initiatives, with a special focus on urban environments.

Shangraw serves on the board of several programs and institutes, including the McCain Institute for International Leadership, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, and The Sustainability Consortium.

Before joining ASU he was founder and CEO of Project Performance Corporation, a research and technology consulting firm specializing in environmental, energy, and information management issues. During his tenure, PPC received the Inc. 500 Award for being one of the fastest-growing, privately-held companies in the United States. Prior to PPC, Shangraw was on the faculty of Syracuse University.

He has a bachelor of arts, magna cum laude, in political science and a certificate in environmental studies from Dickinson College; a master of public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University; and a PhD in public administration from the Maxwell School, with a specialization in technology and information policy and organization design.

Shangraw holds professor of practice appointments in the ASU School of Sustainability and the School of Public Affairs in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

From 2000-2007, Mike was the Executive Director of Science and Technology Ventures at Columbia University. This position included responsibility for all technology transfer activities at Columbia and involved licensing, spin-off/start-up companies, industrial research funding and domestic and international partnerships relating to IP. In August 2007 Mike joined the University of Pennsylvania as Associate Vice Provost for Research, responsible for all technology transfer, IP management and industrial liaison activities. He retired in 2013 having enabled the successful creation of the Penn Centre for Innovation(PCI) covering all knowledge transfer, industrial funding and entrepreneurial activities including incubation of company start-ups based on Penn’s technologies. Mike continues to be involved with PCI as a consultant.

Mike worked for 30 years at Johnson Matthey, a UK-based multinational world leader in advanced materials technology. His experiences range from the Senior R&D Executive through Business Development to a range of senior business management positions, and included service on the main Board of the Company for four years. While in R&D Mike was involved in the discovery and development of a major new class of anti-cancer drugs (platinum based-particularly carboplatin). He served as President of several of the company's major divisions, including Pharmaceutical Materials, Chemicals and Metals, Catalytic Systems and Electronic Materials. He has managed complex global business, negotiated and closed multi-million dollar licensing and technology transfer deals, and entered into multiple research funding agreements with major universities.

For nine years, Dr. Cleare was a member of the board of directors of the Canadian biotechnology company, AnorMed, which he helped to spin off from Johnson Matthey in 1996, until its acquisition by Genzyme in 2006. Mike was a member of the AzTE board of Directors from 2007 until 2016. He is currently a member of board of the UCLA Technology Development Corporation which oversees the promotion of UCLA’s Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship to benefit society and to create economic value.

Mike holds a B.Sc. and a MS from Imperial College in London and a Ph.D. from London University, where he worked in the laboratories of Nobel Laureate Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson. He has published over forty scientific papers- many in peer reviewed journals, and is a named inventor on over 10 patents including the fundamental composition patent for carboplatin.

Partnering with California Investors & Research Institutions

The ASU California Center represents a university-wide initiative to connect ASU researchers with prospective students in the Los Angeles area, offer enhanced academic and internship experiences for current ASU students, engage with alumni and strengthen connections between ASU’s entrepreneurial faculty and the critical Southern California innovation ecosystem.

About the ASU CA Center