Innovations Team

Our robust team of market analysts, subject matter experts and former medical industry leaders is deployed via our INVENT® process to ensure the most promising inventions are positioned to succeed in the ever-changing healthcare marketplace. Expertise from across Cleveland Clinic and our external network is solicited to offer strategic advice for select inventions. If a technology is deemed to merit a new venture, an independent team of investment and operational professionals will facilitate spin-off company formation, fundraising and governance.
D. Geoffrey Vince, PhD
D. Geoffrey Vince, PhD

D. Geoffrey Vince, PhD

Executive Director


D. Geoffrey Vince, PhD, is Executive Director of Innovations at Cleveland Clinic. He also holds The Virginia Lois Kennedy Chair in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Therapeutics and chairs the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

In his role as Executive Director of Innovations, Dr. Vince is aligning Cleveland Clinic’s technology development strategies with scientific and research priorities—including unprecedented growth in data and computing sciences—to accelerate the development of new treatments and drugs. He is also capitalizing on Cleveland Clinic’s innovative culture to build strategic partnerships and alliances with industry to drive revenue growth through commercialization of intellectual property, which will help fuel medical advances and economic growth in Northeast Ohio.

Dr. Vince obtained his PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Liverpool in 1989. He came to Cleveland Clinic BME as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 1992, rising to Associate Staff by 2003.

In BME, Dr. Vince and colleagues invented a new methodology for imaging the interior of coronary arteries using intravascular ultrasound. This methodology, “Virtual Histology™,” was patented and later licensed to Volcano Therapeutics (now Volcano Corp.).

In 2005, Dr. Vince left Cleveland Clinic to join Volcano’s Cleveland office as Director of Research. In 2006, he became Vice-President of Clinical and Advanced R&D, moving to Volcano’s headquarters in San Diego, California. His invention is now a product of some 7,000 units worldwide. (Volcano was purchased by Philips in 2015.) Dr. Vince returned to Cleveland in 2011 to become Chair of Cleveland Clinic BME.

Dr. Vince is currently Principal Investigator of the Cleveland Clinic site for a grant awarded under the NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI) program, an initiative of the NHLBI/NIH. He is an inventor on more than 60 patents or patent applications in the United States and worldwide. More recently, Dr. Vince has been working with colleagues at Cleveland Clinic to develop a breathalyzer for simple, non-invasive, early detection of COVID-19.


Contact Information:



Jim Ellis, JD, MBA
Jim Ellis, JD, MBA

Jim Ellis, JD, MBA

Managing Director, Pre-Market Innovations

Jim Ellis, JD, MBA, is the Managing Director for Pre-Market Innovations at Cleveland Clinic where he supports the Inventor Engagement and Technology Assessment Teams.  Jim also oversees the Lerner Research Institute’s Proof-of-Concept (PoC) Office where he supports inventors pursuing external funding (SBIR/STTR/DOD) to support early stage technologies development, the Cleveland Clinic SPARK (technology selection and development, and inventor education), and the Innovation Fellows Programs (technology development training). 

Prior to focusing on medical technology development, Jim was the Finance Manager and then the Institute Administrator for the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute (LRI).  During his tenure, the LRI never missed budget and has continued to be a great place to work. He helped to develop the Research Communications, Compliance, Trainee Development, and Fund Development Offices. He served on many teams and committees to build programs like the Research Centers of Excellence Program (CoE) which builds Team Science, and implemented the Care Affordability efforts, in which we the LRI emerged a leaner, more efficient and productive research organization with annual funding continuing to exceed all previous records. He helped to oversee many construction projects including the Barrier, Pre-clinical MRI, and the Metabolomics facilities.

Jim is a licensed attorney in Ohio and CPA (currently inactive).  His experiences in law, business, healthcare, and research position him to effectively accelerate biomedical research discoveries into new medical products. 


Contact Information:

216 444-9234

Joseph Rich, JD
Joseph Rich, JD

Joseph Rich, JD

Sr. Director, Governance, Grants & Policies


Joseph T. Rich, JD, MBA is responsible for new venture development and growth, and manages the relationships between the boards and executive teams of CCI and OBVF portfolio companies. He also is the Portfolio Manager of the Ohio Third Frontier sponsored, $30 million+ Ohio BioValidation Funds early stage investment program. He has extensive business development expertise through his involvement in the organization and start-up of numerous financially successful companies. Mr. Rich possesses industry-specific expertise in life sciences, venture capital investments and angel financing, joint ventures and other strategic alliances involving technology commercialization. He has led many OBVF deal teams that resulted in successful OBVF investments. Mr. Rich serves as a Board Member and or Corporate Officer for over 15 early-stage companies, and led the successful exit of portfolio company FlexLife to LifeWatch Services, Inc. He has a decade of technology commercialization experience, previously serving as a senior member of Cleveland Clinic’s New Venture group. Prior to Cleveland Clinic, he served as vice president and general counsel for The University of Akron Research Foundation, where he was instrumental in numerous corporate ventures and international deals. He is actively involved in higher education in the State of Ohio, and has served on the Board of Trustees of The University of Akron after an appointment by the Ohio governor. Mr. Rich received a BS in Biology from John Carroll University, an MBA in Finance from The University of Akron and a JD from The University of Akron.


Contact Information:

216-445-1594

Michael Austriaco
Michael Austriaco

Michael Austriaco

Director, Business Analytics


Since 2010, Michael has led market intelligence efforts within Innovations. Under his direction, the Business Analytics team is dedicated to qualifying and quantifying the commercial potential of new medical technologies. This is accomplished through comprehensive, data driven assessments spanning patentability, marketability, financial modeling and related diligence activities designed to optimize portfolio management and mitigate investment risk. Efficiency, resourcefulness and deep domain expertise are the key value drivers the Business Analytics team brings to Innovations and its strategic partners. Prior to joining the Clinic, Michael spent more than 11 years at Health Research International, an independent medical market research and consulting firm, most recently as Vice President. During this time, he authored numerous syndicated industry reports and worked closely with a broad range of medical technology firms from local start-ups to multinationals on custom primary and secondary research projects. Michael earned a BA in business administration (cum laude, Marketing major) from the Richard T. Farmer School of Business at Miami University.


Contact Information:

216-445-2475

Sarah Stamp
Sarah Stamp

Sarah Stamp

General Manager, Operations & Administration


Sarah is the General Manager of Operations & Administration and is responsible for all work pertaining to financial, administrative, and human resources activities of Innovations. Sarah has over 20 years in healthcare and is recognized for her expertise in practice management and strategic and business planning. Prior to rejoining Cleveland Clinic, Sarah worked as a Consultant at The Gateway Group, Vice President of Medical Operations at The MetroHealth System, and as an Administrator at Cleveland Clinic.  Her work centered on directing and managing medical group practices, developing and executing strategic initiatives, front end revenue enhancement and improving the performance of existing product lines.

Sarah received her BS in business administration degree from John Carroll University and her MBA from Cleveland State University.


Contact Information:

216-445-8532

Shawn Zimmer
Shawn Zimmer

Shawn Zimmer

Director, Finance

Shawn Zimmer, CPA has over fourteen years of experience in accounting, financial reporting, management and internal controls. Shawn joined Cleveland Clinic Innovations in August 2016 as Director of Finance. Prior to joining Innovations, he was the Chief Financial Officer of a privately owned company, responsible for developing and growing an accounting department, monthly reporting, cash flow management and Enterprise Resource Planning system integration. He also spent a significant portion of his career in public accounting at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Shawn provided audit, accounting and business advisory services to a wide range of clients, including publicly traded, privately held, and early-stage companies with revenues ranging from $10 million to +$1 billion.
 
Shawn earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting and Master of Accountancy from Bowling Green State University. Shawn is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Ohio Society of CPAs.

Contact Information:

216-218-5828

Todd Schwarzinger
Todd Schwarzinger

Todd Schwarzinger

General Manager, Business Development & Licensing

Todd Schwarzinger joined the Cleveland Clinic in January 2022 as General Manager, Business Development and Licensing for Innovations where he leads the business development and partnering efforts for Cleveland Clinic’s deep portfolio of innovative technologies. Todd joined the Cleveland Clinic with over 20 years of innovation leadership, investment banking, investing and consulting experience in healthcare and life sciences. 

Prior to joining the Cleveland Clinic, Todd led the launch of the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University, where he served as Chief Commercialization Officer, and served as a Venture Partner with Refinery Ventures. Todd also served as a Managing Director and head of the Life Sciences and Healthcare practice at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) for the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Todd and his team focused on lending, banking, and relationship solutions for healthcare clients of all life stages spanning biopharma, medical device, digital health, diagnostics and life science tools.

Prior to joining SVB, Todd was an Executive Director in the healthcare investment banking division at Morgan Stanley where he advised a broad range of medical device and biopharmaceutical clients on mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, the equity and debt capital markets. In his nearly nine year career at Morgan Stanley across both London and New York, he was responsible for life sciences M&A transactions totaling over $5 billion and raised over $3 billion in capital markets transactions spanning North America, Europe and Asia.

Todd serves on the board of Cleveland Clinic portfolio companies Centerline Biomedical and Method AI.

Todd holds a bachelor’s in Finance from Miami University and received his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.


Contact Information:

216 445-4731

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