Team members meet with startups and share VC strategies at 3 Rivers Venture Fair

Dr. Rob Hartman and Dr. Matthias Kleinz represented UPMC Enterprises at Pittsburgh’s premier VC conference doing investor/startup matching and speaking about corporate investment trends.

UPMC Enterprises sponsored the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association’s 3 Rivers Venture Fair and took part in their Venture Connection investor/startup matching as well as a panel session on corporate venture capital strategies. The two-day event took place April 2nd and April 3rd at the Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.

Dr. Rob Hartman, Senior Manager of Business Development, led UPMC Enterprises’ efforts at the Fair’s Venture Connection matchmaking sessions. Over the course of two days, Dr. Hartman met with 26 startups ranging from budding companies to seasoned corporations looking to learn more about Enterprises and funding opportunities.

“The 3 Rivers Venture Fair’s Venture Connection event is a really unique and fast-paced experience,” said Dr. Hartman. “I was able to meet one-on-one with company after company that were pre-matched with our interests. It’s exciting to see what new innovations are coming out of the Pittsburgh area that we can potentially support.”

Vice President of UPMC Enterprises’ Translational Programs, Dr. Matthias Kleinz, also played a key role at the event. On April 3rd, Dr. Kleinz took the stage alongside Birchemere Lab’s Sean Ammirati, Covestro’s Currie Crookston, and Bayer’s Priscilla Beal to discuss “The Corporate Venture Capital Value Proposition.”

Throughout the panel discussion, Dr. Kleinz shared UPMC’s unique VC qualities and basic strategies, including Enterprises’ connections to local universities and the advantages that those connections bring.

“We want to be present in the local community,” said Dr. Kleinz. “We start at a very early stage with [our university] investigators so that we can help them think through their idea’s potential and provide infrastructure to make their project a commercialization success.”

One of the recurring themes of conversation was how corporate VCs differed from stand-alone incubators/accelerators and how startups looking for funding should approach them. Currie Crookston summed up the topic and panel by speaking directly to entrepreneurs in the audience:

“First, find the right person. Second, do your homework to figure out how your startup can help the organization. How is your idea going to help accomplish the corporation’s goals, too?”

Learn more about this panel discussion by reading this Pittsburgh Business Times story.

For more information on the overall event, visit the 3 Rivers Venture Fair website.