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XLerateHealth’s founders have decades of experience relative to innovation, the startup ecosystem, healthcare and civic undertakings.
All are from the Midwest and are passionate supporters of both the regional and national “innovation economy.”

Bob Saunders

Chairman & Co-founder

Bob is a General Partner of OCA Ventures (Chicago), a Founding Partner of Saunders Murdoch and Associates (Louisville/Boston), and is an active investor in many healthcare startups. Bob was a Managing Director and General Partner at Chrysalis Ventures from 1997 to 2009. Bob was a founding board member of MetaCyte Business Lab, the University of Louisville’s life science incubator. Over the last 30 years, he has invested in several dozen startup companies and has mentored 100+ startups. Bob received a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and an M.A. from Harvard University. He was both a Fulbright Scholar and a Marshall Scholar

Ted Smith

Ted is an Associate Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and prior to that an Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at UofL’s  Envirome Institute. Prior to UofL, Ted was the CEO of Revon Systems a digital health start-up. Ted has also served as the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Louisville, KY. 

Ted was also an early member of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) of Health IT as the US Department of Health and Human Services where he focused on the DC-to-VC and Health Datapalooza programs with Aneesh Chopra (US CTO) and Todd Park HHS CTO). Ted co-founded MedTrackAlert in 2007 which was acquired by Remedy Health in 2009. Ted was the general manager of CNET’s B2B brands and was a founding board member of NASA’s National Space Biomedical Research Institute Industry Board. Ted holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from Allegheny College and an MA and PhD in cognitive neuroscience from Miami University (Ohio). Ted’s completed his post-doctoral studies at MIT.

Bobby Ferreri

Bobby is currently the Founder and Managing Partner of Ferreri Partners – a Louisville based law firm. After gaining distinction as a member of the American Inn of Court at the Brandeis School of Law, Bobby was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 2004. Following his admittance, he has spent his career in litigation, economic development and entrepreneurial advisory roles. His current practice is focused on employer and small business related issues offering both legal expertise and practical solutions. Bobby has a B.S. in Finance from Miami University, and both a J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Louisville.

Jackie Willmot

CEO & Co-founder

Jackie has 30+ years of experience in the healthcare industry including 13 years as a clinician and 15 years as an executive at Humana in the Innovation Center including 3 years working for a Humana Startup in the United Kingdom. Since leaving Humana in 2009 Jackie was trained by Steve Blank in his ‘Lean Launchpad Educators Class’ at Stanford University, has worked with 300+ startups, and serves as a business coach in a variety of capacities. She was a founding member and on the Board of Directors of the Network for Entrepreneurial Women and has worked with healthcare startups via the LaunchIt program where she works closely with Coulter, ExCITE, and I-Corps funded companies. Jackie is a Principal Investigator (PI) on an NIH funded initiative to create the XLeratorNetwork in the Southeast IDeA States and also sits on the External Review Board (ERB) for the NIH funded KYNETIC program, the University of Kentucky’s External Advisory Committee (EAC) for the NIH funded CCTS program, and the Review Panel for the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust’s BioTech Accelerator Program “EnTRUST”. She is a Master’s prepared Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist and holds an MBA from the University of Louisville’s entrepreneurship program, a Master’s of Science from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Baccalaureate Nursing degree from Villa Maria College.