Steve VanNurden, MBA

Associate Vice Chancellor for Biotechnology


Steve VanNurdenSteven P. VanNurden, MBA, is the associate vice chancellor of biotechnology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and also serves as president and CEO of the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority (FRA) in Aurora, Colorado. VanNurden works with CU Anschutz faculty and staff to develop a strategic vision to foster discovery and innovation in order to grow and diversify funding for the research enterprise. He started CU Innovations in 2016 to reinvent the way technology transfer is conducted at a university.

Now known as the Fitzsimons Innovation Community, the FRA was formed in 1996 as a unique partnership between the University of Colorado and the City of Aurora, Colorado, to create a life science innovation community that links discovery and innovation with entrepreneurship. Currently home to 76 companies, the FRA is committed to building a vibrant life sciences community by providing companies with the resources and environment in which to thrive.

Prior to coming to Colorado, VanNurden was chair of Mayo Clinic Ventures, the commercialization arm of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. During his tenure, Mayo Clinic Ventures commercialized nearly 2,000 Mayo Clinic discoveries, inventions and other intellectual property through conventional licensing agreements, collaborations and directly investing in start-up companies. The direct investment into Mayo Clinic-related start-up companies began in 1998, which allowed Mayo to evaluate internal technologies for possible formation and direct investment into start-up companies. Under VanNurden’s direction, the program resulted in the formation of over 50 companies with a positive return on investment back to Mayo Clinic.

Before becoming chair of Mayo Clinic Ventures, VanNurden held a variety of positions in the other operating divisions during his 22 years at Mayo Clinic, including serving as the first director of electronic publishing in the Health Information Division. During his tenure, several award-winning CD-ROMs and websites were created, including the vision, business strategies, product development and successful launch of Mayo Clinic Health Oasis and Mayo Clinic HealthQuest Online in 1995 (now known as websites. He also served as an industry liaison to the U.S. Health and Human Services Committee on the Emergence of Interactive Health Communication. 

Previously, VanNurden held management positions at Cargill, Inc. and U.S. Bank, and was vice president of Aerodrome Airline Services, Inc., a small aviation company. He holds degrees in accounting and finance, and a master’s degree in business administration.

Fitzsimons Innovation Community Website



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