MystartupXX Leadership

Lada Rasochova, Ph.D., MBA

Dr. Lada Rasochova is the Executive Director of the California Institute for Innovation and Development (CIID) at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego, managing director of the Rady Venture Fund, founding director of StartR and mystartupXX accelerators, and CEO of Dermala Inc., an early stage biotech startup. Dr. Rasochova has been involved in commercialization of pharmaceutical and biotechnology products for the past 25 years. She spent more than 15 years in pharma and biotech industry where she held various leadership positions, most recently as the Leader of Vaccine Technologies and Director of New Business Development in the Dowpharma division of the Dow Chemical Company. She built and managed the Human Vaccine division in Dow, led the development of novel vaccine and immunotherapeutic drug leads, and advanced several candidates into human clinical trials. Prior to Dow, she was with Mycogen, a San Diego biotechnology startup that was acquired by Dow Chemical in 1998. After joining the UC San Diego in 2009, Dr. Rasochova co-founded CIID that serves as the hub for innovation, entrepreneurial education and technology commercialization at UC San Diego. She started the Rady Venture Fund, a venture capital fund at the UC San Diego that invests in early stage technology ventures and provides hands-on education opportunities to UC San Diego students, StartR accelerator that provides support to emerging startup companies, and mystartupXX that supports the next generation of female founders and female-led technology startups. Dr. Rasochova serves as the advisor and board member of several startup companies, board member of the Center for Drug Discovery Innovation and NSF-supported Center for Aerosol Impact at UC San Diego and a judge for the Nokia XChallenge/XPrize, and Plug and Play competitions. She is the Astia Angels advisor. Dr. Rasochova is the faculty member at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management. She teaches graduate level courses in Technology Commercialization and Venture Capital Management. Dr. Rasochova is a microbiologist/virologist by training; she received her Ph.D. in MCDB from ISU and MBA from UC San Diego. She is an inventor on several patents, author of a number of scientific publications, and recipient of numerous national and international awards, honors and recognitions.


Kimberly Davis King, MBA

Kim Davis King has over 17 years in the venture capital industry. Kim has been focused on investing and mentoring startups and high growth companies. Kim is also currently a lecturer at the Rady UC San Diego Rady School of Management, an adjunct professor at the San Diego State University, on the oversight committee for Evonexus, a San Diego incubator, and heads business development for Cashie Commerce. She also co-directs the UCSD student accelerator programs mystartupxx and StartR. Kim is an advisor to several early stage and growth companies including Porfolium, Cashie Commerce, Skylit Medical, Cypher Genomics, Email Co-Pilot, ZafeSoft, Aria.io, Doctible, PhiloMetron and Verve Wireless. In 2007, Kim relocated to San Diego and opened the office for Hercules Technology Growth Capital. Before joining Hercules, Kim was a General Partner with IDG Ventures from 1997 to 2006. She played an active role in managing and investing over 9 years a $120 million captive fund. She led multiple investments in software and technology infrastructure. Successful IPO investments included F5 Networks (FFIV), ServicMetrics (Exodus) and VA Linux (LINUX). Prior to joining IDG Ventures, she was an Associate at BankAmerica Ventures. She has also served as a product manager in the Multimedia Publishing Group at Microsoft and spent four years as a consultant at Andersen Consulting. Kim holds a B.S in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. She sits on various non-profit boards and holds leadership positions including the UC San Diego mystartupXX, UC San Diego StartR, RSF Unit Rady Children's Hospital, EvoNexus, HBS Alumni Board, National Charity League, and the RSF Foundation.

Advisory Board

Julia R. Brown

Julia R Brown, an executive from the life science industry, is a member of the board of directors of drug development companies, Targacept, Inc. and Biodel, Inc. She has previously served on the board of directors of six other drug development companies. Brown was with Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. from 2000-2008, serving as executive vice president and advisor to the CEO.  Prior to joining Amylin, she was executive vice president of Dura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Julia spent over 25 years with Eli Lilly and Company in progressively more senior roles.

Julia is current board chair of Corporate Directors Forum, a southern California organization dedicated to high standards of corporate governance. She is a former member of Women Corporate Directors and the National Association of Corporate Directors. She is a member of the boards of CONNECT and CleanTECH San Diego. Brown is a trustee and past chair of the UC San Diego Foundation board of trustees.

In 2012, Julia received UC San Diego Chancellor's Medal for extraordinary service in support of the university's mission. In 2014, the UC San Diego Alumni Association honored Julia as Honorary Alumna of the Year. In 2010, Julia received CONNECT's award for "Distinguished Contribution to the Life Science Innovation."She was a winner of the San Diego Business Journal's "Women Who Mean Business" award in 2006. In 2005, the Girl Scouts San Diego named Julia one of San Diego's Ten Cool Women. Julia has twice been honored in San Diego's "Tribute to Women in Industry."

Barbara Bry, MBA

Barbara Bry is a San Diego entrepreneur in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Currently she is the chief operating officer of Blackbird Ventures that invests in and incubates early stage technology companies. She has been on the founding team of two companies and three nonprofit organizations. Barbara was a co-founder of Atcom, the leader in developing Internet kiosks and high-speed internet access in hotel rooms. The company was sold in 1999 in a transaction valued at $80 million and is now owned by Cisco. In addition, Barbara was on the founding management team of Proflowers.com, which completed a successful initial public offering in December 2003 as Provide Commerce and was sold to Liberty Media for $477 million in 2006. Barbara is also the founder of San Diego Athena (http://athenasd.org/), San Diego's premier organization for women technology executives and entrepreneurs. She spent 10 years at the University of California, San Diego where she was the first associate director of CONNECT, which has received international recognition for its efforts in linking technology entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success. She served also as the founding editor and CEO of Voice of San Diego, an innovative news and information Web site that has been featured nationally for its leadership in community based journalism. 

Last year, Barbara was appointed by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She is the first San Diegan to be selected. Barbara has helped to promote and advance women in the sciences and technology fields. She started Athena San Diego under University of California, San Diego Extension with that goal in mind, and it has grown into an organization with more than 500 members. She was an Inductee into the "2012 San Diego County Women's Hall of Fame". Barbara was the founding President of Run Women Run(2008) a non-partisan organization which advocates for encouraging and supporting qualified women to run for public office. She has a B.A. degree in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and a masters' degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.

Lisé Markham

Over the course of 25 years in broadcasting, Lisé’s passion was the operational side of business development seeking out innovation in technology and partnerships considered to be on the forefront of the broadcast digital future. Her experience lies in startups and turnarounds in private and public enterprise with expertise in regulatory and public policy environments as well as bootstrap, angel, and venture capital markets.

Hired by the Tribune Company of Chicago, she was the first female vice president and general manager in the company’s 150 year-history. She oversaw the purchase of a turnaround television station in San Diego for $70.2M, and turned it into one of the more profitable investments for Tribune in just five years.

As an entrepreneur, Lisé founded DMTV, Direct Mail Television, an algorithm-based platform for increased ratings performance with Tribune Television, Univision Television Group, CBS Radio/TV, the Fox Television Network, Twentieth Television, and Warner Bros. Television, with a successful exist in 2008. She then founded Emic Interactive Media with her mobile partners serving as brand consultant, investor, wealth creator and startup advisor to a diverse array of operations in digital media, tech, tech-healthcare, business services and consumer facing products.

This summer, she will launch a new business, Fueled. Fueled Consults will help startups and scalable businesses align with the right partners immediately whether as vendors, suppliers, eco-partners or other asset partners. She wants to ultimately create jobs, which can only be done if businesses succeed.

Gioia Messinger, MA, MBA

Gioia Messinger is a serial entrepreneur, executive and innovator.  She serves as the Founder and CEO of LinkedObjects, Inc., a technology and business strategy firm specialized in the Internet of Things. Most recently, she was Founder & CEO of Avaak, Inc. (acquired by NETGEAR), a venture-funded company that provides simple and beautiful connected products for the home.  During her time at Avaak, Ms. Messinger was the Principal Investigator and managed a project that deployed large-scale sensor networks (IoT) under a DARPA grant. Prior to Avaak, she founded SUMMIT Design Technologies, Inc., a San Diego based engineering services firm.  In that role, she contributed to the development of the first wireless Endoscopic Capsule or PillCam™ - a revolutionary, patient friendly diagnostic product and one of the first wireless ingestible devices ever conceived. Earlier in her career, she served as Founder and CEO of MedSmart, Inc. (acquired by Kaiser Permanente) a medical information systems company that developed disruptive patient centric electronic health record software.

Gioia is an Advisor at the von Liebig Center at UC San Diego and is on the investment committee of the Triton Technology Fund, an early-stage seed fund dedicated to investing in UCSD related companies.  In conjunction with UCSD, she is currently involved on a project, funded by a Latin American Development Bank, looking to establish a technology accelerator in the US to promote innovation and intellectual property development in the Latin region.

In addition to her executive and entrepreneurial endeavors, Gioia is the Chief Judge for the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a $10 million competition to bring healthcare to the palm of your hands, and the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, a competition to transform medical sensors.  She is a Global 100 Mentor at the Founder Institute and a visiting lecturer and mentor at the Rady School of Management at UCSD.  She serves on the Board of Directors of Vicon Industries (NYSE:VII) and several private technology firms. 

Ms. Messinger received her master's degree in Business Administration, with highest distinction, from the University of California-Irvine and BS/MA degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California-San Diego.  She has 10 patents granted and 5 pending.

Heather Mueller, Esq.

Heather Mueller has a team of five attorneys and patent agents who work collaboratively with clients to provide excellent patent and trademark services.  Heather has over twenty years of experience in developing and optimizing patent portfolios. She specializes in patent strategy, licensing, agreements, analysis, searching, prosecution, and IP due diligence.

Prior to founding The Mueller Law Office, Heather was Associate Chief IP Counsel at Siemens Corporation where she handled complex IP issues and managed patent attorneys and staff in Siemens' West Coast Office.  She obtained broad legal experience including leading patent license negotiations, handling due diligence matters for both acquisitions and venture capital investments, as well as overseeing patent portfolio strategy and development and patent prosecution efforts. Her primary technical areas included telecommunications, semiconductor devices, medical systems, and software.

Heather began her legal career at Townsend and Townsend and Crew as a member of the Electrical and Electronics Patent Prosecution Group, where she specialized in drafting patent applications and other patent-related documents.

Heather holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Management (Cum Laude) from Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Heather is a member of the California State Bar and registered to practice with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Heather supports her local community by being (i) an active member of the Excellerators Cabinet for the Salk Institute and (ii) an advisory board member and mentor for mystartupXX, a UCSD accelerator promoting female students interested in entrepreneurship in technology.