CCTS Brings Gulf Venture Capitalist Syed to UVM to Share Investment Model at Forum
- By Jennifer Nachbur
Senior venture capitalist Hany Syed, investment director of RHT Partners in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), helped launch the first-ever Gulf-Vermont Investment Forum on September 7, 2012 in the Billings North Lounge on the University of Vermont campus. The event was free and open to the public.
Organized by the UVM Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies and RHT Partners, the forum was an interdisciplinary gathering of students, academics and representatives from the local Vermont venture capital community. Participants had an opportunity to meet Syed and engage in open dialogue with him on such diverse topics as: a new model for funding academic initiatives; cultural issues surrounding Islamic finance; sovereign wealth as an enabler of expanding Western medical education to the Middle East; and opportunities for Vermont to share its intellectual capital with sister states of comparable size in the Gulf.
Syed, who received his B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and M.B.A. degree from Columbia University, has held senior venture roles in RSM Equico and Partheo. His organization – RHT – was established in 2006 by a senior team of western-trained investment professionals with the support of leading UAE investors. A corporate finance and private equity investment firm, RHT sources, evaluates and manages post-acquisition direct investment on a deal-by-deal basis for, and on behalf of, a group of prominent investors looking to make direct equity investments into knowledge-based industries. RHT seeks to create longstanding relationships between prominent institutions and spin-off companies and its group of prominent Emirati investors, from whom it has raised around $150 million in recent capital commitments. Some focus areas include: medical and business education, clinical and translational science, health IT, and health economics. More information on recent investments can be found on the RHT website.
Directed by Richard Galbraith, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, the UVM CCTS is an innovative multidisciplinary program focused on clinical and translational science (CTS) – the body of knowledge that spans basic biology, clinical medicine and health policy that allows scientists to develop new approaches and systems to improve human health. Studies in CTS help translate knowledge from the cellular and molecular level into interventions for individuals and populations. The UVM CCTS provides an opportunity for young professionals to be trained in clinical and translational research and links them to a fellowship that allows them to actively perform such research in conjunction with a mentor, with the goal of helping produce the next generation of well-trained, independently-funded clinical and translational researchers.