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Six University Students Appointed to Entrepreneurial Fellows Program

Local Students Awarded Fellowships to Participate in Venture Development in Life Sciences

Providence, R.I., January 12, 2010 — The Slater Technology Fund today announced the selection of six local university students for its Entrepreneurial Fellows Program in 2010. Commencing its second year, the program is a joint initiative between the Slater Technology Fund and the National Science Foundation’s Rhode Island Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (R.I. EPSCoR). The Entrepreneurial Fellowship Program is designed to actively engage graduate and undergraduate students in entrepreneurship in the life sciences and biotechnology industries in Rhode Island.

The students will spend the semester commencing January 2010 working with Slater executives in the venture development process, interacting with both academic researchers and industry professionals to understand the process of start-up formation, recruitment of entrepreneurial teams, development of business plans, acquisition of capital, and implementation of commercialization strategies.

The Slater/EPSCoR Entrepreneurial Fellows Program, which debuted in January of 2009, aims to cultivate a next generation of entrepreneurs in the life sciences industry by drawing standout students at the statn’s universities into active participation in the process of commercial venture development. A primary goal of the program is to better inform students of the career development options available within the life sciences research enterprise and to help integrate them into the knowledge-based economy in Rhode Island.

Individuals named to the 2010 Fellows Program include:

Arjun Bansal – A 5th-year PhD student in neuroscience at Brown University, Arjun received his undergraduate degree in computer science at California Institute of Technology in 2005.

Naside Gozde Durmus – A 1st-year PhD student in biomedical engineering at Brown University, Naside Gozde received her undergraduate degree in molecular biology and genetics from Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey, in 2007. She was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in 2006 following an internship at the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Division.

Anup Mohanty – A senior at the University of Rhode Island majoring in biological sciences, Anup participated in an organic chemistry co-op at Genzyme Corp. in 2009.

Vince Siu – A 3rd-year PhD student in biomedical engineering at Brown University, Vince received her undergraduate degree in biological engineering at Cornell University in 2007.

Steven Surrette – A 3rd-year candidate for Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Business Administration at the University of Rhode Island, Steven earned an undergraduate degree in biology from URI in 2002.

James Vecchione – A 4th-year PhD student in chemistry at Brown University, James received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Clark University in 2005.

The Fellows Program will be led by managing directors and entrepreneurs-in-residence at Slater, with mentoring support from numerous other individuals in life sciences entrepreneurship in Rhode Island. In addition to a curriculum designed to engage students in the process of new venture development, fellows will focus on activities of existing companies in Slater’s portfolio as well as new ventures in Slater’s pipeline of emerging opportunities.

"There is great deal of interest among students in entrepreneurship as a career development option," said Richard G. Horan, senior managing director at Slater. "The problem is there are relatively few compelling opportunities for pursuing these interests here in Rhode Island, particularly when compared with regions with more developed entrepreneurial economies. Our goal with the fellowships is to provide pathways for entering the field that will increase the likelihood that graduates from our colleges and universities will choose to commence their careers in Rhode Island after completing their academic studies."

About Slater Technology Fund
The Slater Technology Fund is a state-backed venture capital fund that invests in new companies committed to basing and building their businesses in Rhode Island. Slater focuses its resources on the support of entrepreneurs who have the vision, leadership and commitment to build substantial commercial enterprises. Slater typically invests at the inception stage in the development of a new venture, often based upon ideas and technologies originating in academic institutions and/or government research laboratories located within the region. In most cases, investments are premised upon the possibility of raising substantial follow-on financing, from venture capital investors or from strategic partners, with a view toward accelerating the generation of significant numbers of high-value, high-wage jobs over the intermediate to longer-term. For more information, visit www.slaterfund.com.

About the NSF RI NSF EPSCoR Program
NSF RI EPSCon’s mission is to create lasting improvement in Rhode Island’s research infrastructure by advancing statewide innovation through strengthening Rhode Island’s basic science and engineer¬ing research capacity and addressing Rhode Island’s workforce needs using enhancement of science and engineering training and education for students.

The NSF RI EPSCoR Academy fosters the integration of research, education, innovation and communication statewide. It works to: (1) develop the human capital necessary to support and sustain the growth of competitive research capacity in the life sciences; (2) broaden the participation of women and underrepresented ethnic and racial minorities in the STEM workforce; and (3) develop and maintain sustainable communication mechanisms to build and enhance a strong statewide network of the statn’s and region’s scientists, institu¬tions of higher education, and private and public sectors.

For More Information:

Laura Nelson or Kaycee Roberts
SVM Public Relations
(401) 490-9700