E. Taylor-Smith, General Partner
Ralph E. Taylor-Smith is a General Partner of Battelle Ventures L.P. and Innovation Valley Partners L.P. and he is also a member of the strategic advisory management team for the Battelle Growth Capital Corporate Investments Fund. Ralph is based at the Washington DC regional office located at Battelle’s Crystal City site. He covers all aspects of the venture investment business, including deal sourcing, due-diligence, deal negotiation and transaction closing, Board of Director duties, start-up company development and financial exits. Ralph has led various venture investments for the firm and served on the Board of Directors for ten companies. Successfully exited previous investments for Ralph include: BioVigilant Systems Inc. (acquired by Azbil-Yamatake Corporation), Nistica Inc. (acquired by Fujikura Corporation), SafeView Inc. (acquired by L-3 Communications Corporation), Sypherlink Inc. (acquired by Saama Technologies Inc.), Hi-G-Tek Inc. (acquired by Eagle Technologies Private Equity Holdings). Ralph now currently serves on the Board of Directors for the following active companies: BlueFin Robotics Inc., SeeByte Ltd, CosmosID Inc., GridQuant Inc., Rajant Inc., RemoteReality Inc. Prior to entering the venture capital industry, Ralph gained significant experience in technology R&D, business development and investment banking. He worked previously as a Senior Research Scientist at Bell Labs, in Business Development at Lucent Technologies, and as an Investment Banker on Wall Street at GoldmanSachs and JPMorgan.
At Bell Labs (originally the R&D unit of AT&T Corporation and Lucent), Ralph worked almost ten years as a Research Scientist, Engineer and Technology Manager, focused on semiconductor microelectronics processing, photonics components and fiber-optics devices, advanced materials and nanotechnology. He authored over 40 scientific publications and technical conference presentations, had his research work featured in BusinessWeek and Fortune Magazine and was cited by MIT Technology Review Magazine as one of the top 100 technology innovators in the USA for 1999-2000. In addition to R&D, Ralph worked on business development/strategy teams supporting Lucent Microelectronics (which became corporate spinout named Agere Systems Inc. subsequently merged into LSI Corporation), the Lucent Optical Network Communications group (now merged into Alcatel) and the Lucent Corporate Ventures group. After Lucent, Ralph made a transition to Wall Street investment banking, working at GoldmanSachs and then at JPMorgan, on mergers/acquisitions, equity offerings and convertible-debt transactions. At GoldmanSachs, Ralph covered the Technology Media & Telecommunications (TMT) industry sector, focusing on semiconductor microelectronics, photonics, communications infrastructure hardware and software. At JPMorgan, Ralph covered the Chemical Technologies industry sector, focusing on Specialty Chemicals, BioPharmaceuticals, Oil & Gas, and Energy/Power. He then joined the investment team at Battelle Ventures.
Ralph gained his academic training from Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), receiving a PhD in Engineering (Chemical & Biological Engineering focus) and an MBA in Finance (Corporate Finance & Strategic Planning focus). He holds twelve patents issued to Bell Labs, OFS Optics and Agere Systems for innovations in semiconductor microelectronic devices, optical-fiber & photonics, fuel cells, flat panel displays, and nanotechnology systems. Ralph was selected as a Kauffman Fellow by the Center for Venture Capital Education & Entrepreneurial Leadership, affiliated with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. He was also appointed a Robert Toigo Foundation Fellow in Finance & Technology Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Business Management and appointed a Price-Babson SEE Fellow in Entrepreneurship Education & University Curriculum Development at Babson College Center for Entrepreneurship. Ralph remains active in higher education as a University adjunct professor and senior lecturer in Engineering Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship and Science/Technology Commercialization. In addition to his several for-profit Corporate Board Directorships, Ralph serves various non-profit educational organizations, academic colleges and universities as Advisory Board Member or Board of Trustees Member, including Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Princeton University Engineering and others; he also works regularly with the National Science Foundation (NSF) on SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) programs.