Witkowski named “Entrepreneur-in-Residence”

Chuck Witkowski has joined MB Venture Partners as an “Entrepreneur-in-Residence.” The press release follows. Look for a two-part series on Witkowski’s reflections as a 10-year entrepreneur starting next week on the teknovation.biz site.

MEMPHIS, TN – April 18, 2012 – MB Venture Partners today announced that Chuck Witkowski has joined the firm as an Entrepreneur-in-­Residence. In his role with Memphis-­based MB Venture Partners, Witkowski will focus on identifying promising life sciences startups and providing strategic input on new and existing portfolio companies.

Prior to MB Venture Partners, Mr. Witkowski was the founder and chief executive officer of Protein Discovery, Inc., a provider of proprietary bioanalytical solutions to protein research scientists around the world. Mr. Witkowski founded Protein Discovery in 2001 based on patent-pending technology licensed from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Early on, Mr. Witkowski boot-­strapped the company’s R&D efforts through federal small business innovative research (SBIR) grants totaling over $1.5M. In 2003, MB Venture Partners provided the company’s first equity financing, led by managing partner Gary Stevenson.

Over the subsequent years, Mr. Witkowski directed all strategic, financial, operational, and product development activities at Protein Discovery. Under his leadership, the company raised a total of $16M in venture capital financing, secured multiple exclusive technology licenses, brought to market over a dozen unique products, and negotiated an exclusive worldwide distribution partnership with a Fortune 500 company. In late 2011, Protein Discovery merged with Expedeon Holdings, Ltd., where Mr. Witkowski currently serves on the Board of Directors.

Mr. Witkowski received his Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Montana, Missoula. Mr. Witkowski is an eagle scout, a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Leadership course, recipient of the 2007 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Pinnacle Award, and recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year Navigator Award. Mr. Witkowski is also an inventor or co-­inventor on three issued and four pending patents.

MB Venture Partners was founded in 2001 to provide venture capital and strategic direction to life sciences companies. In the years since, the Firm has developed strong relationships and domain expertise working with surgeons, entrepreneurs, and other venture capital firms on new and emerging technologies, particularly in the field of musculoskeletal disease. The Entrepreneur-­in-­Residence program is part of the firm’s ongoing effort to partner with experienced entrepreneurs who have a passion for creating and building innovative life sciences companies.

“We are proud to continue our association with Chuck Witkowski,” said Gary Stevenson, Managing Partner of MB Venture Partners. “We have enjoyed working with Chuck as his financing partner for Protein Discovery, one of several Tennessee-­based start-­ups we have funded in the last decade. Chuck will remain in Knoxville helping us to source high-­quality investment opportunities across the State, especially for our TNInvestco Fund. But his energy, enthusiasm, and entrepreneurial experience complements our existing team, helping us with companies in all four of our Funds. Chuck has already been engaged as the CEO of one of our portfolio companies, Hubble Telemedical, and we look forward to working with him as an Entrepreneur-­in-­Residence.”

“I am thrilled to join the MB Venture Partners team,” Witkowski said. “Building companies around technology solutions that change the paradigm in healthcare and improve people’s lives is my passion. In this new role, I will have the opportunity to help identify and grow new companies that will truly make a difference.”

Chuck joins Gary Stevenson, Mike Sherman, and Luke Jensen on the MB Venture Partners team.

About MB Venture Partners

MB Venture Partners is a Memphis, Tennessee venture capital firm that provides venture capital and strategic direction to life sciences companies. The firm invests in medical device and biotech companies at various stages of development and is especially interested in product solutions for musculoskeletal disease. The firm manages four separate funds totaling more than $110 million in committed capital and has invested in 25 start-­ups. Additional information about the firm can be found at www.mbventures.com.

Contact: Gary Stevenson, (901) 322-­‐0330, gstevenson@mbventures.com

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