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Thomas S. Porter, MBA

Thomas S. Porter, MBA
Executive in Residence, Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, Stephen M. Ross School of Business


Tom Porter is Executive–in–Residence for the Zell–Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He is responsible for founding the Frankel Fund, a student–run investment fund for "Seed and Pre-Seed" investments in promising technologies having exceptional potential for profitable commercialization. He has been a member of the Corporate Advisory Board for the Ross School since 1992 and has taught a class on managing the growth of new ventures since 1994. In 2001 he was awarded the Bert Wertman Service Award for his contributions to the Business School.

Porter has a broad range of experience in founding, managing and advising successful technology growth companies and serves as General Partner for Trillium Ventures, an investment and investment advisory service company in Ann Arbor, Michigan ( He co–founded and is a General Partner Emeritus in EDF Ventures®, an Ann Arbor, Michigan–based venture capital firm investing in early–stage market–driven companies in health care and information technology. At EDF he managed the health care practice and served as interim Chief Executive Officer for several health care companies in the portfolio and was a founder of five companies, two of which are now public companies: Theragen, Inc., a gene therapy company subsequently merged with GenVec, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNVC); and IntraLase Corp. (NASDAQ: ILSE), a developer of next–generation lasers for ophthalmic refractive ("Lasik") surgery. He currently serves as a Director of IntraLase Corp. and Incept BioSystems, Inc. He previously has held Board positions for numerous health care and software companies.

As a venture capitalist, he received the University of Michigan Growth Capital Symposium's annual "Leaders and Best Award" for excellence in venture capital investing and the Michigan Venture Capital Association's inaugural award for "Best Venture Capital Success of the Year." He has also served as a Mentor for the Kauffman Foundation's Venture Capital Fellows Program He is active in assisting universities and leading research institutions in the commercialization of technology ("technology transfer"), serves as Co-Chairman of the Michigan University Commercialization Initiative ("MUCI"), and is a member of the University of Michigan's National Technology Transfer Advisory Board. He helped to found the Van Andel Institute's Technology Advisory Board and served through 2005 as its first chairman.
Porter holds an MBA degree from the University of Michigan. His bachelor's degree is from DePauw University, where he also serves as a Director of the McDermond Management Center.



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