Philippe Sommer, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the i.Lab at U.Va. is responsible for managing Darden’s entrepreneurship program as well as its broader educational efforts around innovation including the recently launched i.Lab. Sommer also has a joint appointment with UVa Innovation where he works extensively with the larger U.Va. community on new university-wide entrepreneurship initiatives, such as the U.Va. Entrepreneurship Cup, iStart course and the Venture Summit. Prior to joining Darden, Sommer was a founding partner of WestMed Venture Funds, publicly registered life-sciences venture-capital funds affiliated with CIBC/Oppenheimer, Inc. He has also served as director of business development in the medical products group for Pfizer, Inc. Sommer has extensive experience in fund management, venture capital, private investments, M&A, licensing and technology transfer. The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership is part of the Batten Institute.
Sommer serves or has served on a number of boards:
- Coulter Foundation Grant to the Biomedical Engineering Department
- nanoSTAR Institute (nanotechnology)
- Buchanan Endowment Program of the Medical School
- Launch Pad Fund supporting diabetes research at UVa
- Center for Health Policy at UVa
Mr. Sommer has been on the search committees for the Director of UVa Innovation and the Virginia Center for Translation and Regulatory Sciences (VCTRS). Mr. Sommer has also lectured in the School of Public Health Sciences and the UVa Medical School.
Sommer holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BA with Honors from Amherst College.