Paula Sorrell is an independent consultant focused on helping universities, foundations, and governments who are building an innovation economy and investment pipeline. She recently served as V.P. of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Venture Capital for the MEDC, overseeing $1B under management to support Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including university research and tech transfer, technology service providers, tech incubators, seed funding programs, portfolio investments and fund of funds. With a focus on leveraging private funding into early tech development, expanded private and federal investment leverage from 6:1 to 35:1 and expanded the pipeline of new tech companies three-fold. Primary focus was building companies built on strong science from university research, including creating state initiatives for First Customer program, Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization program, and Technology Commercialization Assistance program for early stage companies.
Prior to MEDC, she has held V.P. of Marketing/Chief Marketing Officer roles at seven early technology companies. All start-ups resulted in successful sale of the company, or are still a going concern; four were university tech transfer spin-outs. Paula is a part-time lecturer at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering in the Center for Entrepreneurship. Past consulting work includes technology business evaluator of investment portfolio companies and investment funds. She was an early founding member of the 14 year-old SBDC Tech Team, an organization that helps early stage tech companies raise on average $60 million per year. She currently sits on the boards of the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Institute, the Ann Arbor Local Development Finance Authority (chairman), the Michigan Translational Research Advanced Transportation program, and Inforum Center for women in technology. She holds a bachelor degree in marketing and an MBA from Central Michigan University.