Launch Tennessee, a public-private partnership focused on supporting the creation and development of high-growth companies in Tennessee, Tuesday announced Jim Stefansic as the organization’s new commercialization director. Mr. Stefansic will be responsible for overseeing all of LaunchTN’s commercialization efforts and strengthening Tennessee’s technology-focused new venture creation.
The position was held previously by James Stover, who has been serving LaunchTN as a consultant. Mr. Stover stepped down from his full-time role with the organization in September 2011 to join a Nashville diagnostics startup.
“We are pleased to welcome Jim Stefansic to the LaunchTN team and look forward to all the great work that will come from his appointment,” said President & CEO, Charlie Brock. “Jim brings significant entrepreneurial experience in commercializing technologies and raising venture capital that will offer great perspective for the future of LaunchTN.”
“I’m very appreciative of James Stover’s continued work and commitment to LaunchTN over the years,” Mr. Brock continued. “We at LaunchTN wish James much success in his entrepreneurial venture.”
“I am excited to join the LaunchTN team and help increase the momentum of innovation within the state of Tennessee,” said Mr. Stefansic. “I look forward to working with Tennessee’s research institutions, constituents and other statewide partners to strengthen the state’s technology commercialization efforts.“
Prior to joining LaunchTN, Mr. Stefansic co-founded Pathfinder Therapeutics, Inc., a spinoff of his research at Vanderbilt University. As co-founder of the company, Mr. Stefansic led research and development efforts and performed operational duties, including serving as chief operating officer and chief technology officer. From 2000-2005, Mr. Stefansic worked as a research assistant professor in the Departments of Psychology and Neurosurgery at Vanderbilt University, where his R&D efforts were focused on functional neuroimaging and image-guided neurosurgery.
Mr. Stefansic was named one of "Middle Tennessee Thought Leaders in Healthcare" by Nashville Medical News magazine in 2010 and 2011. He earned an MBA through Belmont University’s Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business in 2005 and holds MS and PhD degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in the same discipline from The Johns Hopkins University.