UW News

June 26, 2008

Veteran high-tech executive named to head TechTransfer

A veteran executive of Seattle’s high-tech community has been named to lead UW TechTransfer, the unit that commercializes the results of UW research.

Linden Rhoads, who has held senior management positions in Seattle-area companies for 20 years, becomes UW’s vice provost for technology transfer Aug. 14.

Established in 1982, UW TechTransfer has helped create more than 235 companies, many of them in Washington, and manages more than 2,000 issued and pending patents around the world. In fiscal year 2007 the intellectual property licensed to industry through UW TechTransfer generated $38 million for the University.

Rhoads described her role during the last 10 years as a serial entrepreneur, mentor capitalist and investor. She has been involved with a number of successful Seattle-based startups, either as co-founder, active director or interim chief executive officer. They include ChiliSoft (acquired by Sun Microsystems), streaming media-search-services provider Singingfish.com (acquired by Thomson Multimedia, then by AOL), online advertising metrics leader AdRelevance (acquired by Media Metrix, then Nielsen Netratings), personalized large-scale email-campaign software provider GBI (acquired by Exchange Applications) and Nimble Technology, a tech transfer company based on work by UW Computer Science & Engineering.

Rhoads earned her undergraduate degree in geophysics from Smith College and a law degree from the UW in 2000. While at the UW she co-authored an article for the National Law Journal and focused her third-year thesis on the then new and ethically complicated practice of outside counsel requiring or accepting stock options in start-up company clients.

Rhoads has been an active member of the UW community, having been appointed by the governor to the board of the Washington Technology Center as well as serving on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the UW Law School, the steering committee for the UW Law School Capital Campaign and the campaign committee for the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering.

“I am incredibly delighted to have recruited as vice provost someone with Linden’s talents and experience to lead UW TechTransfer into the future,” said UW Provost Phyllis Wise. “The visionary management of technology transfer is of growing importance to our faculty as they seek opportunities to commercialize intellectual property and build partnerships with the external community. I believe Linden is the ideal person to take on this challenge.”

Rhoads will manage a staff of about 50. In fiscal year 2007 more than 500 researchers from 64 departments disclosed innovations to TechTransfer. The unit’s Web site is at http://depts.washington.edu/techtran/.