Danny J. Cunagin
As a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Invenshure, Mr. Cunagin brings invaluable operational and strategic experience to the management team. Previously, he was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Steady State Imaging, LLC where he led the commmercialization of a recently invented MRI technology and guided the sale of the company to GE Healthcare in 2011. From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Cunagin served as the President of Micro Dynamics and Logic Product Development, a product engineering and manufacturing company with over 400 employees and sales in excess of $90 million. Prior to the merger with Micro Dynamics, he was CEO, Chairman and majority owner of Logic Product Development. Under his guidance, Logic grew from startup into one of the largest fully integrated product development-consulting firms in the US with sales in excess of $45 million and more than 100 product development engineers located in several international locations. He is the author of two patents, was noted as one of “forty under 40” in 1999 by City Business and has a B.S.M.E. from the University of Kentucky. Away from work, Danny is an avid endurance athlete and a burgeoning yogi.
Troy D. Kopischke
Mr. Kopischke is also a co-founder of Invenshure. Previously, he was the President and Chief Financial Officer for Steady State Imaging where he was instrumental in developing a commercialization strategy that helped guide the sale of the company to GE Healthcare in 2011. In addition, Mr. Kopischke has held executive level positions in the product development and electronic products industries including Senior Executive Vice President at Micro Dynamics and Logic Product Development from 2005 to 2008. During his tenure at Micro Dynamics and Logic, his contribution was critical in creating the largest embedded computing module company in the world. From 1999 to 2005 he was the President and Chief Financial Officer of Logic Product Development where he orchestrated dynamic new growth areas of the company. He also served as the Director of Engineering for Logic Product Development from 1999 to 2000. Mr. Kopischke holds a B.S.E.E. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in Physics and a B.A. in Engineering Science from Bethel College. He is the author of two patents and is the recipient of the Jack Kilby Award from Texas Instruments and the Partner of the Year award from Freescale Semiconductor. Mr. Kopischke sits on the Board of Directors of various charitable organizations and enjoys family time, travel and dabbling in French cooking.
Armed with a BS in Physics and a PhD in Medical Physics, Ryan has spent the majority of his professional career developing techniques to enhance medical image reconstruction and other algorithms to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. Widely published during his tenure at one of the top MRI research centers, Ryan was instrumental in developing several techniques that are currently being translated into clinical practice. He is an ardent supporter of open access to scientific publications and creating tools that support reproducible algorithm sharing among his peers. Away from work, Ryan enjoys camping with his young family and spending summer weekends on the St. Croix River, when not working on home improvement projects.
Behind every great web platform is a great system administrator and Erik Anderson is Invenshure’s Director of IT-extraordinaire. As one of the top 10 contributors to the largest online Systems Administration Q & A sites (serverfault.com), Erik has been our IT go-to guy for the past 10 years. He earned a B.A. in Computer Science from Bethel University and is Invenshure’s resident expert on making real slow-cooked BBQ. He also picks a mean 5-string bluegrass banjo.
Matt is an talented electrical and systems engineer and a creative problem solver with significant experience in the design and development of medical, industrial, commercial, agricultural, and energy market technologies. He has served in engineering manager and director roles, most recently focusing on the creation and implementation of smart phone applications and tablet accessories. Matt can design and prototype just about any electronic widget that can be imagined. When not performing technology miracles for Invenshure, he is a trained weather spotter for the National Weather Service and loves to help out on his family’s farm every fall.
Jason joined Invenshure in 2012. Previously, he was Vice President of Products at Logic Product Development and before that role, Jason helped customers develop and launch products as Director of Electrical Engineering within Logic’s design services business from 2001 to 2010. Having earned an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a BS in Physics from Bethel University, Jason is all about honest communication and diligence. Away from work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and twin sons. He recently discovered the joy of running and he maintains a collection of pinball machines.
Andy is one of our resident Web gurus. Starting as a Unix administrator while in college, he has quickly assumed roles of increasing responsibility over the past ten years including Webmaster, content management architect, Oracle integrator and enterprise portal architect. Fascinated by web systems (front and back end), he owns a BA in Computer Science from University of North Dakota. When not at work, he is a dedicated family man, has a penchant for Futurama and dabbles in wine and beer making. He also has a two-year plan to eventually learn to play the mandolin.
Jennifer is an Associate Research Scientist at Invenshure. With a newly minted B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in Mathematics from Bethel University, Jennifer’s focus is in imaging and computer programming, having participated in research at the Biomedical Imaging and Biosignal Analysis lab at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and multiple labs at Bethel University. Outside of the office, Jennifer enjoys time with friends and family, belongs to a local CrossFit gym and volunteers with a high school student ministry.
Thomas J. Gilbert Jr. M.D., MPP
Dr. Thomas Gilbert is a practicing radiologist with subspecialty expertise in Pain Management, Spine imaging, Body imaging and Musculoskeletal imaging. He currently serves as National Spine Director for CDI, has served as Head of Musculoskeletal Radiology at the University of Minnesota, and completed a fellowship in Body MRI at UCSF. Dr. Gilbert has authored 37 scientific articles and has given 23 scientific presentations.
Dr. Gilbert currently serves as the Chief Clinical Officer for the Center for Diagnostic Imaging. He has longstanding interest and experience in Health Policy and Management, completing an MPP at the Kennedy School of Government, serving for 8-9 years on Guideline development committees at NASS and ICSI (several years as a co-chair of the NASS guideline committee), working on Appropriateness initiatives for High Tech Imaging at CDI and ICSI, and working on Care Coordination initiatives at CDI and the MMA.
Robert V. Baumgartner
Executive Chairman of the Board
Insight Imaging & Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI)
Robert V. Baumgartner joined CDI in 2001 and, as chief executive officer, led the organization through a period of growth, resulting in the addition of more than 35 new partnerships and the recently announced merger with Insight Imaging. Mr. Baumgartner was named executive chairman of CDI in May of 2011; upon finalization of the merger, he became executive chairman of both Insight Imaging and CDI and continues leadership of the organization’s business development efforts. He is a past director and past chairman of the Association for Quality Imaging (AQI), a national, industry advocacy group. Prior to joining CDI, Mr. Baumgartner held the positions of chief executive officer and board member of American Coating International, president and chief executive officer of First Solar, president of Apogee Auto Glass Group and other executive positions. He currently serves on the boards of Techne Inc. and CareStream Health. Mr. Baumgartner holds a B.B.A. from Notre Dame and is a CPA.
Brian D. Ross, Ph.D.
Dr. Ross is a Tenured Professor of Radiology and Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. Dr. Ross has been active in the technology development and implementation involving numerous clinical trials including for example, in patients with brain tumors, primary breast cancer, metastatic prostate cancer to the bone, head and neck cancer, lymphoma and sarcomas. Dr. Ross has over 150 peer-reviewed publications and is Co-Editor of the recently released textbook “Molecular Imaging: Principles and Practice” considered to be the definitive book in the field of molecular imaging. He was recently elected as a Fellow of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. As a founding member of the Society for Molecular Imaging, he has served as the past Treasurer, President-Elect and President of the Society. Dr. Ross has also served as a member of the Advisory Panel of the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) and is currently serving as a Scientific Advisory Board member for the Cambridge Research Institute. He was also Co-Founder and President of Molecular Imaging Research, which was recently purchased in a cash acquisition by Charles River Lab.
Eduard Michel, M.D.
Dr. Eduard Michel co-founded Virtual Radiologic Corp in 2001 and served as the Company’s Chief Medical Officer until 2011. During this period Virtual Radiologic became the largest radiology practice in the country, employing over 400 physicians and providing radiology professional services to more than 2,700 hospitals in the U.S.
Previously, Dr. Michel served as Assistant Professor of Radiology at the University of Minnesota and attending Neuroradiologist at Hennepin County Medical Center and North Memorial Medical Center.
Dr. Michel completed his education at the University of Minnesota, and his Radiology residency and Neuroradiology fellowship at the University of Minnesota Hospital. He has authored more than 60 scientific articles and presented more than 45 scientific seminars at medical conferences around the world.
Tom Verburgt is a software technology and business development consultant to Invenshure. Mr. Verburgt brings 30 years of software development experience and a successful IPO with him. He founded and is CEO of Kattack LLC, an Internet media company-providing web based coverage and performance reporting for sporting events. Prior to Kattack, Mr. Verburgt co-founded and was CTO of August technology, one of three founders taking August from garage startup through successful IPO in 2000.
Jeremy L. Friese, M.D.
Dr. Friese is an interventional radiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His clinical and research focus includes minimally invasive vascular disease and cancer. He serves as Medical Director for New Ventures and Business Development in the Center for Individualized Medicine and as Associate Chair of Finance in the Department of Radiology. He is past chair of Novation’s imaging council and currently sits on the cardiovascular council. Dr. Friese is co-founder of Evidentia Health (a seed-stage HIT company), an active angel investor, and board member for SV Biosystems, Inc. He earned an M.D. from Mayo Medical School and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School where he collaborated with Professors Clay Christensen and Michael Porter.
Russell Swansen oversees all of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ investments, including mutual funds, variable products and the general account. Before joining Thrivent Financial in 2003, Russell was a managing director at Colonnade Advisors, LLC, a Chicago investment bank. Prior to Colonnade, he was president of PPM America, Inc., the U.S. registered investment advisory company established in 1990 as a subsidiary of London-based Prudential Portfolio Managers, Ltd. From 1993 to 1998, he was also chairman of Prudential Portfolio Managers (Canada) Ltd., in Toronto. From 1983-1990, Russell was a portfolio manager and later executive vice president of Washington Square Capital, Inc., the investment management subsidiary of ReliaStar Financial Corporation, now a part of ING. Prior to that, he served as an investment officer with U.S. Bancorp. Russell has served on the boards of Network Guidance Company, Putnam Lovell Finance, LePage’s Inc., IPM, Inc., Cherrydale Farms, Carolina Steel Corp. and Bucyrus International. He currently serves on the board of the Children’s Cancer Research Fundand the board of Intellectual Takeout. He is also a member of the investment committee for the Gustavus Adolphus College Endowment Funds.
Russell graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and economics. He earned a master’s degree from the University Of Minnesota Graduate School Of Business.
Al Rehemtulla, Ph.D.
Dr. Rehemtulla is an endowed Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. He is focused on the development of imaging biomarkers to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients. The majority of cancer patients are treated in part with ionizing radiation and Dr. Rehemtulla is well known among clinical Radiation Oncology departments. He has been instrumental in the development of novel imaging technologies and is a co-inventor on licensed patents from the University of Michigan. Dr. Rehemtulla has a 20-year history of developing products in the fields of cancer and cardiovascular disease. He trained at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, where he developed technologies for diagnostic use in cardiovascular diseases. While at the Genetics Institute in Cambridge MA, he was involved in the development of protein therapeutics for Hemophilia A and B, both of which are in use clinically.
Mark Simenstad, CFA
Vice President – Head of Fixed Income Funds and Separate Accounts
Mark Simenstad, CFA, serves as Thrivent Financial for Lutherans vice president and head of fixed income funds and separate accounts. In this role, he oversees the investment management of all fixed income mutual funds and separate accounts. Simenstad also serves as a co-manager of the organization’s four asset allocation funds and the Thrivent Diversified Income Plus Fund. He joined the organization in 1983 as a securities analyst. He held a variety of positions, including head of fixed income research and portfolio manager, before leaving the organization in 1993. He rejoined the organization in 1999 and assumed his new position in October of 2002. Before rejoining Thrivent Financial, Simenstad was employed by Investment Advisers Inc. as vice president and portfolio manager from 1993 to 1996. He subsequently joined Voyageur Asset Management as chief investment officer – fixed income from 1996 to 1999. He is a chartered financial analyst and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., in 1981. He earned an MBA from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in 1983.
Michael Garwood, Ph.D.
Professor of Radiology and Associate Director of the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research at the University of Minnesota
Dr. Garwood is a Professor in the Department of Radiology and Associate Director of the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, at the University of Minnesota, where he has been for the past 21 years. He holds the Lillian Quist – Joyce Henline Chair in Biomedical Research. His current focus is developing and applying innovative, non-invasive methods in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and imaging (MRI) to better understand the unique functional and molecular properties of cancer to aid in diagnosis and disease management.
An internationally renowned imaging scientist, Dr. Garwood is experienced in developing novel techniques for applying magnetic resonance to solving research problems. He developed the ground-breaking SWIFT MRI technology that was licensed to Steady State Imaging and later sold to GE Healthcare in 2011. Dr. Garwood was awarded the Gold Medal from the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine for his many important contributions in MR pulse design, frequency modulated RF pulses and MRI of cancer. He has advanced ways to non-invasively diagnose cancer and monitor response to cancer treatment therapies by identifying ways to more effectively measure biochemical changes in tumors. Other areas of Dr. Garwood’s work include monitoring the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by imaging amyloid plaques with MRI.
He is the recipient of several grants from the National Institute of Health ($10.6 million) and two grants from the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics ($1.4 million). Dr. Garwood serves on the editorial board of NMR in Biomedicine and Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and is the author of over 130 scientific articles in journals and books. He received his doctorate in chemistry at the University of California, Santa Cruz and did his post doctorate work at the University of Minnesota.
Invenshure was formed in 2011 by serial entrepreneurs Danny Cunagin and Troy Kopischke to identify, incubate, fund and grow emerging technology companies. Focusing primarily on platform technologies and medical devices/imaging, Invenshure is adept at creating shareholder value from very early stage ideas, often before a business plan or commercialization strategy exists. Even more unique is Invenshure’s track record of preserving shareholder value for founders and early investors.
Invenshure scours technology from industry and universities, concentrating on platform technologies that have the potential to yield significant market differentiation. The Invenshure founders also take an active role in the development and commercialization of the technology.
By combining a technology incubator and a commercialization enterprise (Invenshure, LLC) with a funding source (Invenshure Funds), Invenshure is uniquely positioned to reduce risk while fostering the growth of new companies.
As seasoned entrepreneurs, the principals of Invenshure have started several technology companies in the past 10 years. Engineers by degree, we invest a considerable amount of time evaluating emerging technologies and fostering the relationships to develop, capitalize and monetize opportunities. We have a well defined investment thesis and use a proven process to identify viable technologies and move that technology through due diligence, development and commercialization stages. Our process is summarized below.
Identify emerging technologies: We look for novel technologies that are rooted in well-reasoned science (preferably peer reviewed) and that can be supported by credible intellectual property positions. Viable technologies will address significant unmet market needs and must present a clear path to commercialization in a 3 to 5 year timeframe. Finally, we look for technologies where the principals of Invenshure can take an active role in the operation of the company, typically as CEO, President or COO.
Conduct due diligence: After a technology is identified, Invenshure goes through a rigorous due diligence process to verify the underlying science and market need, quantify the market size, review proof of concept studies, examine intellectual property and estimate the amount of funding needed to commercialize the technology.
Incubate technology: During this phase, more research is performed to further define the target market and the needs of the end user, develop a business strategy and plan, refine or develop an intellectual property strategy, and recruit and assemble advisory boards. In some cases, we may invest capital or resources to further advance the core technology or explore strategic technology combinations. As the opportunity progresses, a commercialization plan is created that could include licensing the technology to a strategic partner or forming a new company.
Monetize technology: At this stage, the opportunity has been completely vetted and a commercialization plan has been defined. Opportunities are licensed if a new company structure is not warranted. New companies are spun out if the technology requires larger capital to realize its full potential. Other monetization options at this stage may include joint venture, strategic investment or acquisition. In all cases, Invenshure’s monetization strategy will attempt to minimize ownership dilution for founders and early investors.
What we look for:
Emerging technologies in attractive markets, strong science with protectable intellectual property and a well-designed monetization path are key in the list of what we look for. Our interest areas include medical devices/imaging, therapeutics and platform technologies. That said, we are always willing to look at breakthrough technologies close to our interest areas.
To reduce risk and maximize return, we look for:
- Breakthrough/novel technologies that have the potential to create significant market value.
- Emerging technologies that transform markets or address large, unmet needs.
- Technologies that enjoy defendable patent positions.
- Scientific credibility, meaning technologies that have demonstrated proof of concept and ideally have received grants or published in peer-reviewed journals.