Chad Robbins, left, is the co-founder and CEO of Adaptive Biotechnologies, which he co-founded with his brother, Harlan Robins, right, a theoretical physicist turned computational biologist and head of science for the company. (Adaptive biotechnology picture)
– The founders of adaptive biotechnologies and brothers Chad and Harlan Robins are among the new SPAC Life Sciences directors.
The company for blank checks is called CM Life Sciences III Inc. It is listed on the NASDAQ as of April 7. SPAC targets companies in “three separate areas of the life science industry that are often fragmented: life science tools, synthetic biology, and diagnostics.”
In an email to. , Chad Robbins said his and Harlan stake are “completely independent” of Adaptive Biotechnologies in Seattle, which were rolled out to the public through a traditional IPO in 2019.
The brothers got involved through their relationship with Elie Casdin, a longtime investor in adaptive biotechnology and founder of Casdin Capital. He is the sponsor and CEO of the new SPAC, Casdin Capital and the third blank check company for Corvex Management. The second has a merger agreement with the SomaLogic protein platform, and the first has an agreement with the Sema4 genome platform.
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SPACs have grown in popularity since last year, with 308 SPAC IPOs completed in 2021, including several life sciences and healthcare-related SPACs. Seattle-based company Nautilus Biotechnology decided in February to go public with SPAC led by Arya Sciences Acquisition Corp III.
“SPACs provide an alternative fundraising avenue that is well suited to a particular company profile,” said Chad Robins. “The quality of the sponsor and the profile of the target company are important.”
It is not uncommon for executives of public corporations to join the SPAC board of directors, said Matthew Kennedy, chief IPO market strategist at Renaissance Capital. He referred to executives at Quantum Scape and Uber who had joined the Khosla Ventures acquisition.
Kennedy said it can be troubling when the management team of a public company has too many obligations on the board of directors or a conflict of interest with other associated companies.
“If the CEO sits on five other boards, even if there is no conflict, that will still be a distraction,” he said. “However, while it may not be ideal, I think sitting on another board is common enough that we don’t think too much about management.”
In addition to his work as CEO of Adaptive Biotechnologies, Chad Robbins currently sits on the boards of AltPep, Headlight, Life Science Washington, and AdvaMedDx. Harlan Robins is the Chief Scientific Officer of Adaptive Biotechnologies and was previously the Director of the Computational Biology Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Lance Solomon. (Photo Prometica)
– Seattle-based educational technology company Promethean promoted Lance Solomon to Product Manager. He joined Promethean in 2018 and was most recently Executive Vice President, Operations.
Prior to Promethean, Solomon was a Director of Supply Chain and Procurement at Amazon Web Services and a former Vice President of Supply Chain at Logitech.
“During my time leading the Operations and Client Success Program, I was fortunate to understand how Edtech operates from the school and district point of view,” Solomon said. “I look forward to further developing our product strategy to meet the educational needs of the teams, and drive student participation and success.”
Solomon replaced Stephen Halliwell, who recently left and is now vice president of global sales at Mapbox’s data platform.
Frank Catalano, a longtime education technology consultant, joined ParentSquare, headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, as Chief Marketing Officer. It is headquartered in Seattle.
Founded in 2011, ParentSquare is a K-12 student interaction platform used by school districts, teachers, and families. The company also recently appointed Chad Stevens, a former education leader for Web Services for Amazon Web Services K-12, as Chief Strategy Officer.
Catalano is also a former shareholder of. Covering education technology, culture, science fiction, the arts, and the convergence of media and technology.
Brett Greene, founder of New Tech Northwest, joined the blockchain software development platform R3 as a global developer relationship marketing leader. Headquartered in New York, R3 was established in 2014 and uses its software to facilitate blockchain networks in the financial, insurance, and banking industries.
Greene founded the New Tech Community Northwest in 2012 with Red Russak and previously ran the organization full-time.
Known for its outreach events, New Tech Northwest took its community activities online at the start of the pandemic. The organization plans to offer a mix of online and offline events in the future and has recently appointed Wesley Yurovchak as Director of Marketing and Society.