cover art for Beyond the Breakthrough featuring Michael Poisel

Michael Poisel is the executive director of PCI Ventures, the unit responsible for University of Pennsylvania’s spinout portfolio — which is more than 250 companies strong. He tells us about Penn’s fairly unique system which does not allow faculty members to serve in any executive function at their spinout and which also forces faculty members to have a minority stake in the business.

He discusses his wish for Penn to have its own startup fund, the importance of diversity in leadership and he ponders how he’s found a new appreciation for the rollercoaster of emotions a CEO goes through since he became acting chief executive of his own startup.

Outside the US, Michael recently discovered a passion for Romania after an exchange programme brought him to the Eastern European country, which is still at the beginning of its tech transfer ecosystem. He shares his hopes for the nation and how he might be able to help.


Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).