Penn Center for Innovation

PCI Ventures

Michael D. Poisel, MS, MBA

Director, PCI Ventures

Mr. Poisel is responsible for managing PCI Ventures, including transitioning technologies into start-up companies, assisting the principal investigators with funding strategies including grant applications, as well as mentoring the developing companies.
Prior to UPenn, Michael made investments in enterprise software and business services for NewSpring Capital, Apax Partners and GE Capital spanning more than ten years in private equity. He began his career in manufacturing operations for General Electric/Lockheed Martin and participated in the successful completion of several commercial and government satellite programs.
Michael graduated with honors in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, holds an M.S. in Systems Engineering from The Moore School of Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania, and has an M.B.A. in finance and entrepreneurial management from The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dora Mitchell, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, PCI Ventures

Dr. Mitchell is responsible for working directly with UPstart portfolio company management teams to develop business strategies, fund raising plans, marketing materials, and commercialization grant applications in order to increase the overall visibility of the portfolio.
Prior to joining PCI Ventures, Dora was a member of the Health and Life Sciences team at Battelle Ventures, LP, where she evaluated technologies, made investment recommendations and participated in due diligence and fundraising. Dora was involved in various aspects of portfolio company management with a focus on early stage companies.
Dora has a broad background in the biological sciences having worked both in research and technology transfer after earning her PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University.

Karina Sotnik

Senior Consultant, PCI Ventures

Ms. Sotnik is responsible for helping PCI Ventures and UPstart companies with marketing and business development activities. She is also responsible for creating custom programs within PCI Ventures.
Prior to joining PCI Ventures, Karina gained two decades of experience in marketing and business development for companies large and small in Silicon Valley and beyond. She specializes in launch, operations and expansion of small businesses in the US and internationally.
In addition to consulting for PCI Ventures, Karina also serves as an advisor and mentor for incubators based at two of Russia's top universities. Her educational background is in engineering, with a master's degree in computer science. She lives in Philadelphia with her family.

Adrienne McDonnell

Logistics & Marketing Specialist, PCI Ventures

Ms. McDonnell is responsible for working directly with principal investigators to move through the company formation process, managing the PCI Ventures company portfolio, developing company logos, websites and marketing materials, and providing administrative support to the PCI Ventures team.
Prior to joining PCI Ventures, Adrienne completed a BA in Geography from Macalester College. Adrienne graduated summa cum laude and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In addition to working at PCI Ventures, Adrienne is currently working on her Masters degree in Urban Spatial Analytics through PennDesign. Beyond geospatial analysis, Adrienne's interests include web and graphic design.

Mike Dishowitz, PhD

Associate, PCI Ventures

Dr. Dishowitz supports the overall business development activities with PCI Ventures portfolio companies, and manages several capital acquisition and accelerator programs, including Jolt Funding, UPtheOdds grant writing strategies, and the UPstart student volunteer program. Prior to joining PCI Ventures, Mike was a member of ICON Commercialisation & Outcomes, a boutique consulting agency, where he specialized in Pricing & Market Access and Asset Valuation of life science technologies. Mike graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

John S. Swartley, Ph.D., MBA

Associate Vice Provost for Research and Executive Director

Dr. Swartley is the Deputy Director of the Center for Technology Transfer and supports the efforts of PCI Ventures.
Prior to joining Penn in 2007, Dr. Swartley served as Senior Vice President and Partner of BCM Technologies (BCMT), the venture capital investment subsidiary of Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Swartley joined BCMT in 2003 from the Yale University Office of Cooperative Research where he was Associate Director of the Medical Campus.
Dr. Swartley has participated in the formation and oversight of more than two dozen university spin-out companies that have collectively raised over a half billion dollars of investment capital from public and private sources. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Bates College, an MBA from the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University, and a Ph.D. in Microbial & Molecular Genetics from Emory University.