March 15, 2011 - 5:30 - 7:00 PM

Please join us for our first meeting of the 2011 Technology Entrepreneur Speakers Program, focused on technology entrepreneurship.

The Technology Entrepreneur Speakers Program Series is presented by The Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Center and KCnext and is intended to help entrepreneurial companies in their growing needs in every stage of their lifecycle, from start-up and later-stage technology. This program could not be provided to you without the generous support of our sponsors: Polsinelli Shughart PC, Citizens Bank & Trust, Arsalon Technologies, Sprint and University of Missouri - Kansas City.

About Our Speaker:
Nicholas Franano, M.D. is founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novita Therapeutics, LLC.

Before founding Novita, Dr. Franano was a founder of Proteon Therapeutics, Inc., where he served as CEO from 2001 until he recruited his successor in 2006. He then served as Chief Scientific Officer until 2009.

Dr. Franano led the development of Proteon’s business plan and formulated the initial pre-clinical and clinical development plans for PRT-201, the first drug capable of permanent blood vessel dilation, acting as a “biological stent” for patients with chronic kidney disease and peripheral vascular disease. He also built out the company’s R&D capability and manufacturing platform, managed the company’s internal research efforts and intellectual property portfolio, and helped recruit the company’s current management team.

As CEO, he raised $22 million in angel and venture capital financing and later as Chief Scientific Officer helped raise an additional $62 million of financing. He played a key role in negotiating an agreement granting Novartis AG the option to acquire Proteon for at least $550 million in upfront and milestone payments after completion of a Phase 2 clinical trial with PRT-201.

Among the other achievements of Dr. Franano and Proteon, in 2009 the company was named a Fierce Biotech “Fierce 15” company and was selected as a “2010 Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum.

Dr. Franano has received numerous research awards, grants, and fellowships and has published abstracts and articles in several peer-reviewed journals. In 2009, Dr. Franano was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Central Midwest.

Date | Time of Event:
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.*
* Doors open at 5:00 p.m. | Speaker begins promptly at 5:30 p.m.

All programs held at the Law Offices of Polsinelli Shughart PC
700 W. 47th Street, Suite 1000 | Kansas City, MO 64112

Early Registration - Individual Ticket - $25 ($30 at the door)
To register for this event, visit the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Program website and click on the "Register Now" button. For questions regarding this event, contact Abigail Wadsworth at 816.235.6063 or via e-mail at

Click here to view the full invitation.

Mark Your Calendar:
Our next Tech ESP event will be Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Our guest speaker will be Ivan Brown of Matrix Medical Solutions, LLC.