Assistant Vice President for Commercialization
Director, Office of Technology Licensing
University of Florida
Mr. O’Connell has broad-based expertise managing and building teams and commercializing technology. Most recently, he served as the Director of the Office of Technology Transfer at the University of Miami, acting as an agent of change from June 2013 until he arrived at UF OTL. In that role, he increased deal flow by 100 percent while reducing expenses, made it easier for faculty to disclose their inventions, and founded programs to reach out to faculty on UM’s engineering and marine science campuses.
Prior to his time at UM, Mr. O’Connell was Director of the Michigan Venture Center with the University of Michigan, where he lead an office that produced more than 10 startups per year based on university technology. Between 2008 and May 2013, he founded and created Michigan’s first startup company accelerator, directed a mentor-in-residence program to draw entrepreneurial talent into the university, and managed relationships with more than 100 venture capital firms. He also was the driving force behind the Coulter Translational Program that earned $20 million endowment from the Coulter Foundation and nurtured technology business formation that led to more than $30 million in VC funding.
Between 2005 and his arrival at University of Michigan in 2008, Mr. O’ Connell directed operations at Sensicore and Xoran Technologies, both startups in the Michigan area. He transitioned Sensicore’s manufacturing and operations out of “startup mode” and ramped up production to meet sales goals, resulting in an exit to GE. At Xoran, he initiated the CE Mark, ISO 13485 and FDA Manufacturing Compliance program and established a startup operations facility for manufacturing CT scanners. He built a 10-person team, set up supply chain, freight, shipped and installed 140 scanners, generating $35 million in sales and shipping product on time 100 percent of the time.
At Stryker Instruments, from June 1996 through March 2005, he worked his way from project engineer, where he manufactured bone cement, to manager, where he introduced more than 30 new products including power tools, analgesia pumps, and interventional pain devices, eventually serving as manager of operations business units, where he managed three units. In that role, he managed 45 employees and netted $60 million in sales.
Mr. O’Connell also served as Chief Evaluator Helicopter Pilot, 89th Operations Group, at Andrews Air Force Base. He earned his M.S. in engineering management from the University of Maryland and a B.S. in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.