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.
Akhil Saklecha, MD
Akhil Saklecha, MD

Akhil Saklecha, MD

Managing Director, Ventures
Dr. Saklecha is the Managing Director of Cleveland Clinic Ventures where he leads investments into startup companies for one of the world’s top healthcare systems. He currently sits on the boards of Cardionomic, Cleveland Diagnostics, Enhale Medical, Enspire DBS, Mitria Medical, Navigate Cardiac Structures, Neurotherapia, and Zehna Therapeutics.
 
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Ventures, Akhil was a Partner at Artiman Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm with over $1.2 billion under management. While at Artiman, he led investments in early-stage start-up companies and served on the boards of Cellmax Life, Oncostem Diagnostics, Slive, ApplyBoard, DateMySchool, and HomeUnion. In addition to his Board of Director roles, he also served as CEO of Slive, an early stage diagnostics company. Prior to joining Artiman, Akhil served in administrative roles at Aultman Hospital in Ohio as Medical Director of the hospital’s regional transfer program and Chairman of the Emergency Department and Level II Trauma Center. He was also CEO of Canton Aultman Emergency Physicians, a professional services firm that provides physicians, mid-level providers, and coding expertise to multiple hospitals and urgent care centers. In this same time period, Akhil participated at the local, state, and national levels of governing institutions within emergency medicine, healthcare quality, information technology, managed care, and emergency medical services.
 
Akhil is Board-certified in Emergency Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He continues to practice emergency medicine at Cleveland Clinic on a part-time basis where he remains connected to clinical care, patients, and physicians. Akhil graduated from the combined accelerated B.S./M.D. program at Northeast Ohio Medical University. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Summa Health System and holds a M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
 

Contact Information:

216-444-5757

Jim Zalar
Jim Zalar

Jim Zalar

General Manager, Business Solutions


Jim is General Manager, Business Solutions at Cleveland Clinic Innovations. Jim works with outside organizations to help with commercialization, operation, and business development needs. He partners with Innovations staff members to provide customized solutions for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and established companies. Service offerings include business diagnostics, market segmentation, introduction to the healthcare financial ecosystem, key opinion leader and subject matter expertise introduction and other services needed by early stage organizations. Additionally, he works with investors and funds looking for due diligence or pre-investment services, as well as companies looking to understand market entry barriers and solutions. Jim has over 20 years of experience in healthcare operations and consulting services. Prior to joining CCI, he was the Institute Administrator for the Cleveland Clinic’s Orthopaedic and Rheumatologic Institute and Director of the Cleveland Clinic Innovation’s Enterprise Solutions team. His work centered on monetizing workflows, trade secrets and non-IP protectable solutions. Jim has also worked at finding solutions and introducing partners centered around healthcare solutions.

Jim received his BSBA in Finance from John Carroll University. He has an MBA from Cleveland State University and has his Series 6 and 63 securities license.


Contact Information:

216-445-5179

Mary Kander
Mary Kander

Mary Kander

General Manager, Technology Commercialization

Mary Kander is the General Manager of Technology and Commercialization for Cleveland Clinic Innovations. In this capacity, Mary oversees all activities relating to the management, assessment, development and commercialization of Cleveland Clinic inventions.  Mary has over 20 years of experience in medical product development and commercialization, including over 11 years commercializing technologies created at Cleveland Clinic.   Previously, Mary held a number of management positions, at Invacare Corporation, a manufacturer of medical devices for the home care market and at Procter & Gamble Co.  Mary has a B.A. from John Carroll University and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  

Contact Information:

216-445-3288

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 Cleveland Clinic 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 CCF, Sarah worked as a Consultant at The Gateway Group, Vice President of Medical Operations at The MetroHealth System, and as an Administrator at CCF.  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

Susan Bernat
Susan Bernat

Susan Bernat

General Manager, Strategic Marketing


Susan Bernat is the General Manager of Strategic Marketing for Cleveland Clinic Innovations. In this capacity, Susan oversees the strategic planning, development and implementation of marketing and communications initiatives for CCI. Susan is also responsible for the vision and execution of the annual Medical Innovation Summit. Prior to assuming this role in January 2014, Susan was the Director, Operations & Finance for CCI since November 2004. She was responsible for all fiduciary management including fiscal planning and other related financial activities. Susan also assists with establishing and implementing strategic goals and oversees long-range facilities planning. She served as the Director of Finance for the GCIC with responsibilities including development and implementation of strategy for ensuring financing of the GCIC consortium operations and management of financial performance and budgets. Prior to joining CCI, she was responsible for budget and contract negotiations within cardiology research at Cleveland Clinic. She received her undergraduate degree in Accounting from Kent State University, and an MBA from Cleveland State University.


Contact Information:

216-444-5538

William Morris, MD
William Morris, MD

William Morris, MD

Executive Medical Director

Dr. William Morris is the Executive Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations. Dr. Morris has been a staff member of Hospital Medicine at Cleveland Clinic since 2006. In his former role as Associate Chief Information Officer he had oversight of design, development, and deployment of all clinical IT systems and health IT innovations. Dr. Morris also continues to practice medicine, and in 2017 was elected to Board of Governors on which he currently serves.

Dr. Morris earned his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and completed training in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. He also received his MBA in 2017 from Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management.


Contact Information:

216-445-4731

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