Startup Success at George Washington University

Thursday, April 6, 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 stories, ideas, and successes from George Washington University’s startup program.

Steve Kubisen

  Steven J. Kubisen
Managing Director
GW Technology Commercialization Office

Steve is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, corporate executive and university technology commercialization executive. He started his career in research and then moved to research management and general management for Union Carbide, Akzo, GE and Alcoa. As an entrepreneur, Steve has been CEO of startup ventures in the manufacturing and medical device sectors and has served on boards of startups in many sectors. Steve’s passion for commercializing early technologies and growing entrepreneurial communities led him to university technology commercialization operations at Utah State University, Johns Hopkins University and currently George Washington University. Over his career, Steve has commercialized over 300 new products/services and help launch over 30 technology based ventures. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, active in the regional entrepreneur community and a frequent invited speaker globally on technology commercialization. Steve has an A.B. in chemistry from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University.
cantrell   Jim Cantrell
Founder and CEO
Vector Space Systems

Jim Cantrell is a well known entrepreneur and expert in space systems and has 30 years of experience in the aerospace and high technology industries. Jim was part of the SpaceX founding team and served as the company’s first Vice President of Business Development. Jim founded two other successful aerospace and automotive engineering companies and has held CEO positions in aerospace and biometric software companies. Jim also played key roles in the development of Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella) and has had developmental roles in numerous venture funded space efforts including Rocket Lab, Planet, Black Sky and Spaceflight.
jepson   Tisha Jepson
Co-Founder and CEO
True Bearing Diagnostics, LLC

Tisha Jepson, with the biotech diagnostic, therapeutic, and genetic sequencing industries for over ten years, is an organization leader who champions small company evolution and success through focused corporate strategy creation, capital raise engagement, business plan and projection development, research design, and management coordination, in addition to the promotion of key issues and their related impacts. She is experienced with the total biotech startup process, and has additional expertise with communications, advocacy, education, science, financial markets, international development, international trade, and international economics. Ms. Jepson is a demonstrated leader - comfortable with moving forward with scientists, corporate leadership, investors, venture capitalists, and key opinion leaders (KOLs), as the path is designed and actualized. Ms. Jepson holds degrees from Columbia University’s Barnard College (BA), from American University (MA), and is completing her second Master's degree (MS) with John's Hopkins University.

Ben Holmes

Ben received a B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from The University of Virginia, where he focused on material science, biomedical engineering, and energy engineering. He received his M.S and PhD. in MAE with a concentration in biomaterials and nanomedicine in Dr. Grace Zhang's tissue engineering lab at George Washington. During his time at GW Ben worked on various projects involving advanced nanomaterials and 3D printing for stem cell growth and orthopedic tissue repair. He also aggressively pursued commercial pursuits, developing 3D printing based technology for cartilage repair alongside fellow lab alum Nathan Castro. Ben participated in I-Corps with their concept twice, serving as Entrepreneurial Lead in both the DC local cohort at GW and an NSF National Cohort. Ben and Nathan founded their company, Nanochon, in 2016. With Ben as CEO Nanochon has raised funding and worked with the orthopedics department and the institute for pediatric surgical innovation at Children's National Medical Center to further develop their technology for human and equine veterinary applications. Ben has also worked with the founders of SonoStik, another GW medical device start-up, to develop their early prototypes. He continues to serve as Vice President of Technology Transfer.


Ryan Ohneiser
James Madison University Undergraduate
University Innovation Fellow, NCET2 University Entrepreneur Fellow
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.

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