Power Moves: An entrepreneur who's using her company-building skills to become an investor - Technical.ly Philly

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May 15, 2020 12:42 pm

Power Moves: An entrepreneur who’s using her company-building skills to become an investor

Plus, C-suite and board moves happening in Philly's biotech and entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Emily Foote.

Emily Foote.

(Courtesy photo)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Email us: philly@technical.ly.


Lawyer/educator/entrepreneur Emily Foote has found her next job title: investor.

Foote went through an exit with her startup Practice, the Center City-based edtech startup, in 2017. While fundraising for the company’s Series A in 2016, she told Technical.ly she got familiar with a handful of folks in the investing world, including those over at Osage Venture Partners.

“And while all were smart, not every team was as thoughtful, curious, and as generous with their expertise as the Osage Team was,” she said. “That impression stuck with me.”

After Practice’s exit, Foote said Nate Lentz, Osage’s managing partner called and asked if she’d ever consider working in venture capital. After a year of courting her for the job, Foote started as a principal back in March.

“I was surprised because the thought had never crossed my mind,” Foote said. “I love building products, communities and companies. Once I had a taste of entrepreneurship, it was difficult to imagine another career path.”

But now, Foote will be working with entrepreneurs as an investor, and what she called a “critical role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.” She’s bringing everything she learned running a startup with her, including one big principle — people matter most.

“The success we had at Practice was almost entirely due to the people who ran the business,” Foote said. “The lessons of how to hire and develop people are two skills I believe will serve me well as an investor.”

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Digital health and bioinformatics company EyeGuide, is gaining a chair of its scientific advisory board in Ruben Echemendia, a sports-related brain injury and neuropsychology expert.

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EyeGuide, a brain heath and tech startup that uses eye-tracking tech to capture, chart and analyze data to better understand and monitor the wellness of people like athletes, medical and other industry workers, seniors and people in the military.

“Dr. Echemendia has an incredible passion for and commitment to helping athletes, with skills ranging from recreational to elite and professional levels, and to ensuring that the best approaches are readily available to support the brain health of these athletes,” CEO Patrick Carney said in a statement. “We share this same passion and commitment.”

Echemendia will provide expertise and professional consultations as well as support the company’s initiatives and scientific research. He’ll also work closely with EyeGuide’s executive team to build out the board with other experts in the brain health and sports medicine world.

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Imvax, Inc., an Old City-based clinical-stage biotech company, just added a chief scientific officer to its roster.

Imvax is focused on the development of patient-specific vaccines and immunomodulatory strategies for the treatment of malignant gliomas, just added a chief scientific officer to its roster. The company raised $40 million in the fall, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Mark Exley joins the company as it is developing Imvax’s lead product candidate, IGV-001, for the treatment of newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme. Exley was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and at the University of Manchester, UK, where he retains honorary appointments.

“Mark brings a wealth of experience to Imvax in the regulation of the immune system to treat cancer and other diseases,” said CEO John Furey (also the former COO of Spark Therapeutics). “He will provide our team with invaluable insights and leadership as we continue to build on the current promise of our early clinical trial work with IGV-001 and execute on the future clinical development of this asset.”

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