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.
We Are Skysong Innovations
ASU’s exclusive intellectual property management company
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 startups, created more than 1,100 local jobs and generated over $108 million in state revenue.
“As soon as you start pitching to VCs, your whole world changes. It’s really critical that you leverage the resources that ASU, AzTE and your entrepreneurial partners can provide.”
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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.
Prior to establishing Bayless Capital, Jon was with Sevin Rosen Funds, a venture capital firm focused on early stage investments in technology based businesses, since the founding of the firm in 1981.
As a general partner of Sevin Rosen Funds, Jon focused on early stage investments and was a central figure in the creation, funding and success of dozens of companies. Typically he served as lead investor and worked closely with management teams assisting in development of their business strategy, recruiting key employees, and working on team development as the business grows.
His capabilities and experience are evident in the results that he has helped achieve for entrepreneurs and investors. He served as Chairman of Ciena Corporation which launched a successful IPO in 1997 and remained the largest initial public offering until Google began trading on the NASDAQ market. Another capstone to his telecommunication investments was the development of Monterey Networks, a Richardson, Texas, start-up acquired by Cisco for $500 million.
Other successful ventures which Bayless affected include Airspan (Public: ARO), Airwalk (Private), Fuego Software (acquired by Oracle), GENBAND (now part of Ribbon Communications), Informed Access (acquired by McKesson HBOC), IPMobile (acquired by Cisco), Landmark Graphics (acquired by Halliburton), LightSpeed (acquired by Cisco), MainControl (acquired by IBM), NetSocket (acquired by iPhontonix), Proteon (acquired by Netrix), Vidyo (Private), ExteNet (acquired by Digital Bridge), Wayport Communications (acquired by AT&T).
Jon is often sought out by business and technology media to discuss the state of technology and venture capital in Texas and elsewhere in the U.S. At the grassroots level, he coaches and mentors young entrepreneurs and students from several North Texas universities on how to start a company, develop talent, and secure funds needed to make start-up ventures possible. Bayless’ outreach includes working with the next generation of venture capitalists and assisting a number of emerging firms by serving on their advisory boards. He also has represented the North Texas region as a board member of the National Venture Capital Association.
Jon holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from The University of Oklahoma, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University.
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).
Delia Chavarria, Head of Global Brand Management, Rare Disease Business Unit at LEO Pharma
Delia joined LEO Pharma in July 2019 and is responsible for setting the global brand strategy and leading the launch execution for Patidegib. In addition to her role as head of global brand management, Delia is defining the organizational structure for the rare disease business unit within LEO Pharma, as well as supporting business development in assessing opportunities to grow LEO’s presence in rare diseases.
Delia came to LEO Pharma with 15 yrs of life science experience across management consulting, FDA and the biotech industry in various roles and functions including brand management, commercial operations, product development and technical operations.
In her most recent role at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., Delia led the development of the global brand strategy and launch execution for Palynziq, a new treatment option for patients with PKU. As part of BioMarin’s Commercial team, Delia also led the establishment and management of marketing and distribution partnerships throughout Asia Pacific and Latin America. She also led or supported the launch of Vimizim and Naglazyme and the re-launch of Kuvan across the globe.
Prior to BioMarin, she was a Management Consultant leading business development activities and client projects in the healthcare space at Booz Allen Hamilton. Before Booz Allen, Delia held different positions with increasing level of responsibility at Genentech and at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
Delia holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley and a BSE 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.
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.
Dan Dillon Jr. is the chief executive officer of ASU Enterprise Partners. ASU Enterprise Partners serves as the resource-raising arm of Arizona State University. As the parent organization of five nonprofits that are each tasked with identifying new revenue opportunities, ASU Enterprise Partners represents a new, innovative and highly efficient model for diversified revenue generation. Through its nonprofits, ASU Enterprise Partners invests in initiatives and partnership opportunities that provide resources to Arizona State University. Dillon supports their overall operations and guides their strategic alignment with the university. Since taking the helm in January 2020, he has led Enterprise Partners through the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining the organizational integrity and culture that consistently earns Top Company to Work for in Arizona honors.
Dillon previously served as ASU’s chief marketing officer and senior vice president, a post he assumed in 2013. During his tenure, he launched the ASU Enterprise Marketing Hub, and built and shaped its award-winning staff. His primary focus was to advance affinity for the university, which he and his team accomplished by enhancing the integrity of the ASU brand and implementing innovative and impactful marketing activities across the university. Under his leadership, the Hub’s work has been recognized with numerous industry awards including 10 CASE awards, 10 American Advertising Federation Addy awards, 10 Telly awards, three Emmy awards and four Higher Ed Marketing awards.
A seasoned executive, Dillon brings to university leadership more than 25 years of domestic and global management experience in the highly competitive consumer packaged goods and restaurant industries. Dillon has served in C-level and executive positions for leading U.S. companies, including General Mills, Keebler, Nabisco, Heinz, Conagra and Coca-Cola. Prior to coming to ASU, Dillon served as executive vice president and chief branding officer of Ruby Tuesday Inc. and chief marketing officer of Outback Steakhouse.
Dillon is a voting member of several boards and committees including ASU Foundation, Barrow Neurological Institute Foundation, University Realty, Cintana and InStride.
Dillon received his B.A in marketing from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire and a M.B.A. from Bentley College in Massachusetts. He lives in Phoenix with his wife, Laura, and their sons, Tripp and Drew.
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.
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.