Originally hailing from Australia, Anthony Francis started out as an accountant before establishing the Technology Commercialisation Group in 1999, selling it to Deloitte in 2005 and spending a couple of years with the firm. He then spent nearly a decade as managing director of Flinders University’s TTO, Flinders Partners, before landing, in 2019, at UCSF Innovation Ventures, the commercialisation arm of University of California, San Francisco, where he’s the executive director of the Office of Technology Management.
With a career that already stretches decades, Francis has a lot of wisdom to share, such as the need to understand that universities and investors trade in different currencies: innovation and money.
In this episode, he also talks about recruiting not only people that will be around for years to come, but also hiring staff that could leave to head a spinout. And with UCSF being exclusively focused on the medical sciences, those spinouts are an interesting beast.
Francis also reveals what being in the US has taught him about innovation back in Australia and what the two places could learn from each other.