Venture Development Expert Joins Colorado State to Globally Launch University Technology Breakthroughs

A well-known Colorado business development executive has joined the Colorado State University faculty to promote the university’s development and application of its advanced technology throughout the United States and in countries throughout the world.

Paul Hudnut, who has taken the newly established position of director of venture development at Colorado State, previously served as vice president of business development for PR Pharmaceuticals, executive vice president for Heska Corporation and in several management positions at US WEST and its subsidiaries.

"Colorado State University is fortunate to have such a respected and successful high-tech business entrepreneur accept this important leadership position," said Tony Frank, vice president for research and information technology at Colorado State. "We are confident that Paul’s experience and expertise will enable the university to apply and disseminate its breakthroughs in science and technology throughout the worldwide marketplace with the emphasis of addressing serious world problems such as air pollution and disease."

Hudnut’s venture development role at Colorado State includes enhancing the application and development of university technology emphasizing its renowned infectious disease research; launching technology that will help solve global problems, such as the growing challenge of air pollution in Asia; working with the Colorado State University Research Foundation, business faculty and students to develop business plans for these technologies through Colorado State’s Entrepreneurship Center; and establishing partnerships with government, industry and non-governmental organizations to disseminate and commercialize Colorado State research results.

Hudnut’s projects include proactively facilitating patent filing and license negotiations for technologies created through Colorado State’s world-class infectious disease program. This Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence concentrates on improved means to diagnose, treat and prevent four categories of infections: those caused by retroviruses, which cause AIDS and other diseases; mycobacterial infections, which cause tuberculosis and other diseases; vector-borne diseases, which through insect transmission cause encephalitis and other diseases; and blood parasites, which are the major cause of disease in the world. Current research specialties within the program focus on tuberculosis, West Nile virus, yellow fever, dengue, hantaviruses and Lyme disease, among others.

Additionally, Hudnut will be responsible for pursuing the creation of start-up companies based on breakthroughs from the infectious disease program or other Colorado State technologies.

An example of such a company is EnviroFit International, Ltd., a recently formed non-profit company that will use advanced two-stroke retrofit technology developed by the university’s Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory to help solve air-pollution problems in third-world countries. EnviroFit is working with Colorado State engineering faculty and students, private companies, local governments and overseas foundations to establish funding for a Manila pilot project that will use the technology in an effort to dramatically reduce the city’s air pollution. This technology can help alleviate the region’s dangerous particulate emissions that result in more than 2,000 premature deaths, 9,000 cases of severe respiratory illness and over $420 million of associated economic losses every year.

"We are focusing on CSU research that helps solve serious world problems," Hudnut said. "We are trying to put in place the right collaborations between the university, governments, foundations and private companies to move these technologies out of the laboratory and into the real world where they can make a big difference."

As a general manager with US WEST, Hudnut had full profit and loss responsibility for businesses with up to 100 employees and $10 million in revenue. He was responsible for the multi-market launch of CityKey, the first commercial interactive television service. Hudnut’s work at PR Pharmaceuticals included acquisitions, technology licensing and establishing collaborations with pharmaceutical companies. While at Heska, a local biotechnology company, Hudnut was involved in the company’s Initial Public Offering and was responsible for strategic alliances, acquisitions and technology licensing. During Hudnut’s tenure at Heska, the company grew from 60 to 500 employees and from no sales to over $50 million in revenue, a majority of which was from acquired companies and technologies.

"Paul was a critical member of our senior management team," said Bob Grieve, CEO of Heska Corporation. "Paul joined Heska prior to our going public. He was invaluable with the completion of a number of important licensing and contract opportunities. Paul was very important to the company with his strategic insights."  

In his position at the Entrepreneurship Center at Colorado State’s College of Business, Hudnut will teach senior level entrepreneurship courses designed to give students the opportunity to create real, viable business plans.

"We are indeed lucky to find such a talent," said Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Business at Colorado State. "The university and the College of Business’ entrepreneurship program are fortunate to have someone of Paul’s caliber on our team to lead this initiative. His background in law combined with his experience in the pharmaceutical industry allows us to continue our efforts to build a preeminent program in technology transfer. In doing so, he will certainly help us with our effort to build a world-class business program that contributes vitally to the economic development of the region."

Hudnut earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado College in 1980, a law degree from the University of Virginia Law School in 1984 and completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School in 1991. His community involvement includes serving on the board of directors of the Rotary Club of Fort Collins and as a member of the Diamond Peaks Mountain Bike and Ski Patrols. He has previously served on the board of directors for the Fort Collins Area United Way, the board of trustees for the Colorado Venture Center, and the Fort Collins Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.