MATTO seminars

The View from the Corner Office 

When: February 22, 2017  3:30pm-5:00 pm
Where:  Havana Room, 5th Floor, Cambridge Innovation Center, One Broadway, Cambridge, 02142

At this MATTO Seminar, three technology commercialization leaders heading up local tech transfer offices will talk about their current jobs, how the directorship job has changed from the time they first entered the field and how they see academic technology  transfer changing in the future.  Our panelists will also talk about what their bosses want from them, how the composition of their office is changing with the changing duties of the tech transfer office, and how they work with the commercialization ecosystem both inside their institutions and in the region.


  • Christopher Coburn, Chief Innovation Officer, Partners HealthCare
  • Lesley Millar-Nicholson, Director of Technology Licensing Office, MIT
  • Marc Sedam, Managing Director of UNHInnovation and Associate Vice Provost for Innovation and New Ventures, UNH

Moderator: Doug Banks, Executive Editor, Boston Business Journal

The seminar is free but you have to register on this link or by clicking on the button below


3:30 – 4:00 PM Refreshments and Networking
4:00 – 5:00 PM Discussion

Speaker Bio:

Chris Coburn
Chris Coburn is Chief Innovation Officer, Partners HealthCare System. Partners is the largest academic research enterprise in the United States with $12 billion in revenue and over $1.6 billion in annual research expenditures. Based in Boston, the Partners HealthCare system consists of Harvard University affiliates Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital. It also includes a managed care organization, out-patient facilities and community hospitals throughout eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. Partners faculty are appointed at Harvard Medical School.

Mr. Coburn leads a team of more than 110 tasked with the worldwide commercial application of the unique capabilities and discoveries of Partners’ faculty and its 60,000 employees. His unit’s business development responsibilities include industry collaborations, investing, international consulting, company creation, licensing, innovation management and capacity building. 2016 commercialization revenue exceeded $118 million. His group guides more than $300 million reserved for investment in companies based on Partners developed technologies. Over 210 companies have been spun-off from Partners in the last decade. Provider strategy and operational consulting has been delivered to clients in nearly 40 countries during that time.

Prior to joining Partners, Mr. Coburn was the founding director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations and served for 13 years as its executive leader. During his tenure Cleveland Clinic spun off 57 companies that raised more than $700 million in equity financing. Cleveland Clinic had no technology based spin-offs before Coburn’s arrival. He also implemented an innovation alliance network in which Cleveland Clinic directly supports technology commercialization for healthcare systems throughout the United States.

Mr. Coburn has been a member of numerous corporate and community boards including Explorys (acquired by IBM), Autonomic Technologies, and the U.S. Enrichment Corporation (NYSE:USU). He currently serves on the Boards of NEHI and the Museum of Science, Boston (Overseers). He is a former Vice President and General Manager of Battelle Memorial Institute. He and his wife, Nancy, have three grown children.


Lesley Millar-Nicholson
Lesley Millar-Nicholson, has been the Director of MIT Technology Licensing Office (TLO) since July 2016. She leads a team of professional staff managing the intellectual assets and tech transfer process for MIT’s inventions. Located in Kendall Square the TLO is responsible for engagement with faculty, staff and students and for the efficient and effective transfer of IP into the market place to ensure impact in society. Working with MIT startup companies, VC’s and corporate partners the team manage around 800 inventions a year from the MIT and Lincoln Lab campuses.  The TLO is an integral part of the MIT innovation ecosystem working closely with the Deshpande Center, Venture Mentoring Service, Martin Trust Entrepreneurship Center, MIT Innovation Initiative and many other programs and centers established to harness the amazing innovations from MIT faculty, students and staff.  Prior to arriving in Cambridge Ms. Millar-Nicholson had served for ten years as Director of the Office of Technology Management (OTM) at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign.  During her tenure, she launched several major initiatives aimed at facilitating the transfer of University innovations. proof-of-concept funding programs which leveraged $1.08 million in funding into $49 million in venture capital and angel support for resulting start-ups and Share the Vision, a biennial innovation and start-up showcase.
Ms. Millar-Nicholson is President-Elect of the Board of Governors of Certified Licensing Professionals Inc, an active member of AUTM and the Licensing Executive Society.   A native of Scotland, Ms. Millar-Nicholson has a B.Ed., M.Ed, MBA and is a Certified Licensing Professional.

Marc Sedam
Marc Sedam, Managing Director of UNHInnovation and Associate Vice Provost for Innovation and New Ventures, has been with UNH since November 2010. Sedam has an extensive background in intellectual asset management, licensing, and start-up formation. In addition to his position with UNH, he is the founding director of the Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center, and he serves as the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Innovation Research Center, New Hampshire’s only translational research funding program. Prior to UNH, Sedam served as Chief Operating Officer of Qualyst, Inc., the global leader in the study of pharmaceutically relevant drug transport interactions and was responsible for all company management and P&L. Sedam was the Associate Director for Life Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s technology transfer office, helping make UNC one of the top US university in start-up formation in 2001.
Additionally, Sedam worked for National Starch and Chemical Company as a food enzymologist where sales from a patented product he created exceed $50m/year, and won the “2003 Product of the Year” from the Institute for Food Technology. Sedam has a B.S. in biochemistry from The University of New Hampshire and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School with a focus on entrepreneurship and new ventures. He teaches start-up formation using the lean startup model, and intellectual asset management at the Paul College of Business and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Additionally, he is a well-known lecturer on the topics of university innovation and start-up formation.

Doug Banks
Doug Banks is Executive Editor of the Boston Business Journal, where he oversees all editorial content of the company’s daily web site, multiple electronic newsletters, weekly print edition, and panel and award events.
The BBJ is Boston’s leading business media company, which received the Breaking News award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2016 and the General Excellence Award as one of the nation’s top three weekly print publications in 2013. It is one of 40 regional publications owned by American City Business Journals.
Prior to his role as Executive Editor, Doug was publisher and editor of BBJ sister company Mass High Tech. While leading MHT, he launched multiple digital products, including a new website and a family of e-newsletters, and helped dramatically grow its events business.
Between stints at the Business Journal and Mass High Tech Doug served for three years as associate vice president for economic development at the University of Massachusetts President’s Office, where his duties included developing strategic partnerships with state and federal government, business and industry, and other institutions of higher education, and where he managed a seed-fund investment program to drive new faculty-research projects.
Banks joined the BBJ in 1998 as a reporter. After a stint at Fast Company magazine, he rejoined the BBJ in 2001 as an associate editor. He served as editor of MHT from 2005 to 2010 and as publisher from 2010 to 2012.
He has a wife and two teen-aged children. A native of Worcester, Banks received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a master’s of fine arts degree in nonfiction writing from the University of Pittsburgh. He has taught journalism and editing at multiple universities, including Boston University and Emerson College. He has served on the boards of several area nonprofits and is currently a board member of WriteBoston in Roxbury and is the board treasurer at Calvary Christian Church in Lynnfield.
He is a frequent speaker and panel moderator on a variety of issues, from regional business and economic trends to communications, journalism and digital media.