“It’s time to pass the reigns,” Sinsheimer, 57, told WRAL TechWire on Thursday, after finishing his last day on the job.
“Building the WIN was a lot of fun, and I hope impactful for the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Founded in 2016, WIN is in charge of connecting NC State alumni with its university’s startups through an angel investing platform and the Seed Capital Endowment Fund, its co-investment fund.
Over the last 26 months, Sinsheimer said the group has invested $9.45 million in 16 high growth companies.
“We were able to showcase the university’s strengths in the life sciences, engineering, food science, and forest bio materials. The diversity of deal flow has been astonishing.
“I look forward to watching WIN continue to support alumni entrepreneurs across the country. WIN is a bold manifestation of the university’s ‘Think and Do’ spirit.”
Sinsheimer has no immediate plans for his next move.
“My father is ill in Arizona. I’m going to spend more time with my family and take a bit of a pause,” he said.
WIN looks for replacement on contract basis
Tom Miller, NC’s senior vice provost for academic outreach and entrepreneurship, praised Sinsheimer’s tenure as WIN’s managing director.
“He has done a fantastic job to get it where it is today,” he told WRAL TechWire.
In a letter to WIN members announcing Sinsheimer’s plans earlier this month, Miller emphasized this point.
“WIN’s growth and impact to date has been remarkable, well beyond our plans and expectations when WIN was founded just over two years ago,” he wrote.
As a result, the group recently appointed Brett Danforth to serve in the new position as managing co-director “to support WIN’s growth trajectory”.
With Sinsheimer now stepping down, there are no immediate plans to replace him on a permanent basis. Instead, in consultation with ‘key university leaders’, Miller said they determined the best course of action would be to bring “an additional individual on a contract basis to assist with the workload following Joe’s departure”.
“This solution would allow us to respond more quickly to fill the gap, plus it allows us the opportunity to evaluate WIN’s current structure and, if needed, restructure to better support its greater than expected growth to date,” he wrote.
He added: “Our immediate plan is to bring in a seasoned individual with extensive experience in venture and/or angel investing who can help with the workload, particularly in identifying and curating opportunities to present to the WIN membership. We have developed a short list of qualified candidates and are currently in conversation with a key prospect.”
In the meantime, WIN member Tom Laundon has volunteered to take the lead in developing recommendations for a member advisory committee.
“This structure was part of the original WIN proposal, but has not yet been implemented,” Miller wrote.
“We appreciate Tom’s willingness to move this forward and believe that it will be a valuable resource as WIN continues to grow and evolve. We look forward to engaging the advisory board in planning next steps.
“I met yesterday with Chancellor Randy Woodson, Provost Warwick Arden, and interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Mary Peloquin-Dodd to share our plans as outlined above. They reiterated their strong commitment of support for WIN and assured me that it would be properly resourced for continued success.”