Fellows Directory

Jim O'Connell


Jim has over 10 years of operational, financial and entrepreneurial experience in the life sciences. Jim is CEO and Co-Founder of MNI, a newco startup in the life sciences field in the Philadelphia, PA area.

Previously, Jim was an EIR and earlier a Principal in Safeguard Scientific's life sciences group, He was responsible for screening deals, conducting due diligence, and supporting Safeguard's partner companies. Focus areas included diagnostics, bioactive devices, medical technology, and healthcare IT.

During business school, Jim completed internships at Quaker BioVentures, Commons Capital, and Liquidia Technologies in business development.

Prior to that, he was in the Corporate Ventures/Business Development group of Becton Dickinson, a Fortune 500 medical technology firm. Earlier, Jim held progressive positions in sales, marketing and business development at Chemdex, a pioneering startup that raised $450M in financing. Jim started his career in R&D at Biosite and helped develop the firm's blockbuster BNP panel, diagnosing congestive heart failure.

Education, Personal, and Fellowship

Jim received a BS in biochemistry from Virginia Tech and served as class president for four years. Jim also holds an MBA from the Wharton School, where he led the University of Pennsylvania's $70K Business Plan Competition and received a fellowship in healthcare entrepreneurship.

Jim is a member of Kauffman Fellows Class 12 and served his fellowship under mentor Gary Kurtzman at Safeguard Scientifics.