KU News Release
Nov. 8, 2011
Contact: Joe Monaco, KU News Service, 785-864-7100
BTBC names new system vice president, executive director of KUMC facility
LAWRENCE — The Bioscience & Technology Business Center at the University of Kansas (BTBC at KU) has a new system vice president and executive director at its KU Medical Center facility.
Frank Kruse, a business leader with more than 20 years of experience in business development and commercialization, has been named the vice president of the BTBC at KU system, as well as the executive director of the BTBC at KUMC facility, the newest of the system’s three incubators.
As vice president of the BTBC at KU system and executive director of the BTBC at KUMC facility, Kruse will help guide the incubators’ efforts to spur entrepreneurship and the commercialization of KU research. Kruse will work to recruit early stage companies to the three facilities, which provide tenants office and lab space, business development consultations and access to capital through a variety of sources.
At the KUMC facility, Kruse and his staff will focus on a range of bioscience and technology-based companies, including spinout companies commercializing KU research, emerging private sector companies and large companies collaborating with KUMC researchers.
Kruse will report directly to Matthew McClorey, president of the BTBC at KU system.
“It’s a privilege to become the vice president of the BTBC at KU system and the executive director of the system’s BTBC at KUMC incubator,” Kruse said. “The KUMC incubator is unique in that it’s adjacent to the Medical Center campus and some of the world’s best life science expertise. I’m confident this location will foster collaboration between research and industry, which will drive commercialization and bring life-improving discoveries to market more quickly. I look forward to some exciting companies occupying this space in the years ahead.”
Kruse comes to the BTBC from global dairy producer DeLaval Manufacturing, where he served as North American product manager and, most recently, manager of global business development. Prior to that, he served as a consultant for New Venture Consulting and as chief operating officer for Matrix Medical LLC, where he led the company into 45 states and two new national distribution channels. Kruse has also held leadership positions with Lifeline Foods, Holland Nameplate, Pulse Needle-Free Systems, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and International Ingredient Corporation. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree from North Carolina State University, where he studied agriculture economics.
“Frank makes things happen, plain and simple, and he’s perfect for what we’re doing at the BTBC, specifically at the KUMC facility,” McClorey said. “Frank understands the commercialization process and the challenges faced by early stage bioscience and technology companies. He’s headed national and global operations for various companies and has a great feel for Kansas City business. He also understands KU’s incredible commercialization assets, including the KU Center for Technology Commercialization. We’ll undoubtedly benefit from his leadership and expertise, as will the tenants and clients of the BTBC.”
The BTBC at KUMC was formally unveiled Sept. 27 as the third facility in the BTBC at KU system, which includes two other buildings in Lawrence – the BTBC Main Facility and the BTBC Expansion Facility. The three buildings combine for approximately 70,000 square feet and 12 tenants, making the BTBC at KU the largest incubator network in Kansas. Located at 2002 W. 39th Ave. in the newly remodeled Breidenthal Hall, the BTBC at KUMC comprises approximately 30,000 square feet of office and wet lab space. It is already home to bioscience companies Aptakon, OsteoGeneX, Orbis Biosciences and EON Labs.
“The BTBC at KUMC is a unique business incubator that further positions us to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and the commercialization of university research,” Kruse said. “The result will be new companies and jobs that grow our regional economy and new discoveries that improve our lives. I’m thrilled to be part of such an exciting and important initiative.”
BTBC at KU system background
The BTBC at KU provides state-of-the-art wet lab and office space, access to KU resources and research expertise, and business support services such as capital-raising and consulting services from incubator staff. The BTBC system was launched in August 2010 and currently comprises three facilities: the Main Facility, located on the KU campus at 2029 Becker Drive; the Expansion Facility, located at 4950 Research Parkway; and the BTBC at KUMC facility, located at 2002 W. 39th Ave. The three buildings combine for nearly 70,000 feet in office and lab space. Below is a summary of the three buildings’ occupancy rates and tenants.
• BTBC Main Facility
(53 employees – 66 percent full)
• 360 Energy Engineers – engineering and energy management
• BrightEHR – electronic health records
• Garmin – navigation and communication devices
• Gyrasol – drug development
• Propylon –software systems for state legislatures
• Sunlite Science and Technology – specialty LED products
• BTBC Expansion Facility
(8 employees – 33 percent full)
• CritiTech – drug delivery
• Mencuro – drug development
• KUMC Facility
(13 employees – 53 percent full)
• Aptakon – next-generation antibody substitutes
• Orbis Biosciences – controlled-release delivery technology
• OsteoGeneX – orally administered therapeutics
• EON Labs – plasma reactor technology