An Entrepreneur's Life in a University Startup: How Students and Researchers Create and Grow Startups in a University Setting

Thursday, April 13, 2017
1:00 PM TO 1:45 PM ET/10:00 AM TO 10:45 AM PT


Join the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2) on the webinar series Building a Startup Nation. Hosted by university students, the Building a Startup Nation webinar series gives a firsthand look at the ties between Congress, universities, students, and start-ups. In this installment, we'll explore the life and challenges of students and researchers as they build and work on their startups.


  Matt Gira
Co-Founder and CEO

Matt has a degree in chemistry, but has extensive business knowledge by being part of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute in 2015 and working on startup companies since 2013. He has been a crucial part to developing the Hope College entrepreneurship program along with running the operations at Fathom. Matt has been crucial for developing the current partnerships Fathom has and setting the strategic direction of Fathom.

Fathom’s goal is to allow anyone to be able to explore and experience underwater in a unique way. Fathom’s first product, The Fathom One, is a consumer level underwater drone that makes incredible advancements in portability, affordability, accessibility and modularity. The Fathom One enables anyone who knows how to use a smartphone to explore underwater while staying dry. It features patent-pending modularity, familiar; video game-like controls, and weighs only 4.5 lbs. and all for under $600. The Fathom One is currently in the beta prototype stage with a provisional patent on the modularity. The beta prototypes work, but will be developed for consumer use at the end of May 2017, to be sent to over 400 Kickstarter purchasers in June 2017.

madsen   Gary Madsen
Co-Founder, President, and CEO
ProTransit Nanotherapy

Dr. Madsen holds a BS in Biology from Dana College in Blair, NE, and a Master’s and PhD from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. He has over 30 years of experience in developing and launching many different biotechnology products in a wide variety of markets at companies of various sizes. He spent 17 years at Abbott Laboratories in product support, new product development and business development. He was then recruited to IDEXX Labs in Westbrook, Maine as Vice President of Research and Development. For the last 10 years he has worked at several biotech companies in Madison, WI, in diverse roles of technology assessment, team leadership, business development and product launch. In 2012 he joined UNeMed as Entrepreneur In Residence and relocated to Omaha, NE. Growing out of that role was the formation of PTNT and PTDT with Dr. Vinod Labhasetwar in April and May, respectively, of 2013. In addition to the positions at Abbott Labs and IDEXX Labs, he previously held executive positions at EraGen Biosciences (Chief Technical Officer), Promega Corp. (Director of Product and Business Development), Third Wave Technologies (Associate Vice President, Automation), Gilson Inc. (Senior Vice President, Strategic Business Development), and Biotech Resolutions, LLC (Founder). His past successes include the development and launch of numerous and regulated new products, leadership of large cross-functional teams, development and implementation of strategic plans, and consulting with a wide variety of biotech companies on critical strategic issues.



Robbie Freeman
Princeton University Undergraduate
NCET2 University Entrepreneur Fellow

Robbie is a freshman attending Princeton University currently on track to study Computer Science and Entrepreneurship. He has extensive experience working with university startups and college entrepreneurs. Robbie is currently working on his own startup called OpenOpin, which is a nonpartisan platform that allows people to crowdfund their own lobbyists to represent them at the local, state, and national levels of government. He joined NCET2 in December to work on the developing internship program to put university students in DC, of which he is now a participant. Since then, he has been working in numerous positions for different NCET2 committees as a Fellow, including the leadership role in the Congressional Visits Day Committee, which helps to organize the April 20th agenda of NCET2’s Demo Days in DC.


The National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2) has created an experiential learning program called "Building a Startup Nation" to provide university and college students volunteer, internship and fellowship opportunities to engage with Congress and with the country's startups, entrepreneurs, venture capital and angel investors. The program allows the students to fulfill their personal dreams and aspirations, and at the same time strengthens the nation's competitiveness and job creation potential, so that after they graduate they can be leaders for a Startup Nation in government, academia and private industry.

Startups are an under-appreciated part of the national economy. Yet, the national startup ecosystem creates almost all the net new jobs and national innovation produces half the economic growth. This series highlights the players in the startup economy in an attempt to provide greater understanding of their important roles. It will highlight the entrepreneurs, students, researchers and universities attempting to build a startup nation, along with the angel investors, VCs and Fortune 500 attempting to finance it.


NATIONAL COUNCIL OF ENTREPRENEURIAL TECH TRANSFER | 2020 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Suite 140 Washington, DC 20006 | Tel. (202) 580-8382



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