Topspin CEO Leo Guthart and Partner Steve Winick Join Accelerate Long Island’s Board
Roslyn, NY, November 7, 2013- Accelerate Long Island, a regional non-profit organization founded by Long Island’s research institutions and business community to foster the creation of an innovation-based economy, announced an alliance with Topspin Partners, Long Island’s largest venture capital firm, to fund and support startup technology companies on Long Island.
At the same time, Accelerate Long Island announced that Leo Guthart, Topspin’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, and Steve Winick, Managing Director at Topspin, were appointed to the Accelerate Long Island Board.
Prior to founding Topspin, Dr. Guthart was President, CEO and Chairman of Ademco Security Group, which he joined in 1964. Under his tenure, the company grew from a fledgling manufacturer to become the Pittway Corporation Security Group, a $1.5 billion enterprise. This group encompassed the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of security systems in addition to a number of security-related businesses. Following its sale to Honeywell International in 2000 for $2.2 billion, he was named as CEO of Honeywell’s Security and Fire Solutions Group. Dr. Guthart currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he is the treasurer, the Board of Trustees of Hofstra University, and the Board of Trustees of the Stony Brook Foundation. Dr. Guthart has also served on the boards of several publicly traded companies. Dr. Guthart received his A.B. in Physics from Harvard and his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. He also received a Doctorate from the Harvard Business School with a specialty in Corporate Finance and served on the faculty at Harvard as a Ford Foundation Fellow.
Steve Winick serves as the Managing Director of Topspin Partners. Mr. Winick came to Topspin from Honeywell, Intl., where he most recently served as CIO of its $2 billion Security Group. He had been with Honeywell (and the Ademco division of Pittway Corp., before its acquisition by Honeywell in 2000) for over 21 years as CTO of the security business, as well as founder and president of its wireless communications services business. Mr. Winick also serves on the Board of the Long Island Angel Network. Mr. Winick received a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1971 and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1972, also from Penn. He received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and is both a member of the Bar of the State of New York, and a registered Patent Attorney. He presently serves as a Director of Thermolift, Inc., Celmatix, Inc., Setpoint Medical, Inc., Mirimus, Inc., GenDX, Inc. and Certerra, Inc.
As part of its alliance with Accelerate Long Island, Topspin Partners, a $213 million venture capital and private equity firm, will participate in the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund (LIETF). LIETF was created to match seed-stage grants by Accelerate Long Island for Long Island-based startup technology companies.
Accelerate Long Island received an award of $500,000 from the New York State Empire State Development in 2011 to provide grants of up to $50,000 each in early stage technology startup companies on Long Island. These grants require simultaneous matching funding by private investors, such as the LIETF. Accelerate Long Island is currently evaluating Long Island startup companies for funding.
To further the collaboration with Topspin Partners, Accelerate Long Island will also have an office at Topspin Partners in Roslyn.
“Topspin Partners has played a key role in advancing research-based startup companies for many years and Accelerate Long Island looks forward to aligning ourselves with Topspin to further the formation and advancement of high tech startups,” said Mark Lesko, Executive Director of Accelerate Long Island. “Leo Guthart and Steve Winick have a wealth of experience in venture capital and tech transfer and the entire Long Island entrepreneurial ecosystem will benefit greatly by having them directly involved and overseeing the mission of Accelerate Long Island.”
According to Leo Guthart, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Topspin Partners, “At Topspin Partners, advancing science and technology through commercialization has always been one of our top priorities. The new alliance with Accelerate Long Island will allow Topspin to connect with even more research-based startup companies to help grow Long Island’s innovation economy and create successful companies.”
“Our alliance with Accelerate Long Island will enhance our ability to transition groundbreaking research from the bench to high tech startup companies,” said Steve Winick, Managing Director at Topspin Partners. “Topspin Partners looks forward to examining new portfolio opportunities and continuing to expand Long Island’s high tech economy.”
Kevin Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Association and Chairman of the Accelerate Long Island Board commented that, “Accelerate Long Island’s alliance with Topspin Partners will allow the organizations to work together to commercialize technology and create new high tech startup companies. This will ultimately benefit Long Island’s innovation economy as new high tech jobs are created.”
About Topspin Partners
Topspin Partners, LP is a $213 million Long Island-based venture capital and private equity fund that was founded in August 2000 by Leo Guthart and Jim Simons. Topspin is the successor fund to the Long Island Venture Fund, a successful venture capital fund, which began investing in 1995. The firm is an affiliate of Renaissance Technologies, a well-known hedge fund.
Topspin has a history of funding research-based startups on Long Island. Two recent investments, Certerra and Mirimus, are successful Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory spinouts currently located on the laboratory’s campus. Certerra is two years old and is a contract research organization providing novel high-throughput mouse brain screening for drug discovery in neuroscience. Mirimus was established in September 2010 and develops engineering customized mouse models with reversible gene silencing capability for research and drug discovery. Topspin also has led investments in SetPoint Medical, a company founded by Feinstein Institute Director Kevin Tracey that is dedicated to treating patients with debilitating inflammatory diseases, and Thermolift, a high-tech startup located at the Stony Brook University Advanced Energy Center that is developing a thermally driven heat pump for heating, cooling, and hot water in one device.
About Accelerate Long Island
Accelerate Long Island is a unique collaboration among Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Hofstra University, the North Shore-LIJ Feinstein Institute, Stony Brook University, and Long Island’s business community led by the Long Island Association, and is dedicated to commercializing research and creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Accelerate Long Island fosters an innovation-based economy on Long Island by offering funding, mentoring, events and a network of technology-focused entrepreneurs to support the development of early stage start-up technology companies. For more information, visit www.accelerateli.org. Twitter: @AccelerateLI.