About Us

Alignment Ventures, LLC

Alignment Ventures is a seed-stage venture firm with heavy operational emphasis focused on the life sciences. We spin companies out of University technology and serve as interim CEOs until sufficient risk reduction tasks are achieved to raise a Series A. We are life science seed artists with over 100 years of experience starting, building, financing and exiting from biotech, medical device, health care IT and life science tools companies, both as CEOs and as life science venture capitalists. In an era when many investors are going later stage and seemingly morphing into private equity firms, we stick to our knitting and focus on the earliest stages of biomedical company development. If it saves lives, if it is early stage and if it is revolutionary, not evolutionary, we're interested.

Comprehensive Approach

We start with a development in science or engineering that solves a critical unmet medical need. We form a newco, and serve as an interim management team, with one of us taking the lead as the interim CEO. We invest our own capital and raise non-dilutive funds while managing the many risk reducing tasks that need to be performed to get our seedlings to the point where they can raise a Series A financing. This involves technology licensing, IP strategy, recruitment of an industry-experienced VPR&D, design and execution of risk reducing experiments that establish commercial proof of concept, setting strategy, writing the business plan and financial models, market research, competitor analysis, financing strategy, recruiting the right long-term CEO with decades of operational experience in the appropriate niche. Then we raise the Series A, back out and do it again.

Not Our First Rodeo

We have done this before, over and over. At MIT, at Norwest Venture Partners, at Medical Innovation Partners and with other seed artists at major venture capital firms. This is hard stuff. And you rarely get it right the first time through. Don't go it alone.

Coin jar with a small dichotomous plant growing from it

Our Team

A picture of Michael Tippie

Michael Tippie, General Partner

Michael is currently the CEO of Lipidomics. He has previously been a life science venture capitalist (Norwest Venture Partners, Medical Innovation Partners, Milk Street Ventures, ONAMI), a senior executive in early stage life science companies (TomegaVax, CNS Response, Avior Therapeutics, LifeSpan BioSciences, StressGen Biotechnologies, Tacora) and a research chemist in the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry (Syntex and Syva Research). Michael has done strategic alliances with many pharma companies, as well as raising over $300 MM in equity capital, including two IPO's to date. Michael holds an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT, an MS in Chemistry from the University of Washington as well as a BA in Chemistry from Reed College.

A picture of Duffy DuFresne

Duffy DuFresne, General Partner

Duffy is the currently the CEO of OmnEcoil, developing medical devices to image and biopsy the prostate under MRI guidance. He is an experienced biotech and medical device startup CEO with a strong background in deal negotiation, business startups, raising financing, international business, organizational development, marketing/sales, R&D program management, and corporate strategy. CEO stints: Ischemix, Pacgen Biopharmaceuticals, Zelos Therapeutics, Conjuchem, Anika Therapeutics. Duffy has raised ca. $200 MM in private and public financings for these firms and in several instances built these companies from an early startup phase to a successful exit point. Multinational roles: Managing Director Boots Pharmaceutical Ltd. Nottingham, U.K., General Manager Baxter Baxter Travenol Labs Inc., Director of International OMNIS Surgical, Division Manager Japan Tavenol Ltd. (Baxter, Japan) Tokyo Japan.

A picture of Rachel Dreilinger

Rachel Dreilinger, General Partner

Rachel is currently the CEO of NeuraMedica, developing bioabsorbable surgical clips for durotomy repair in spinal surgery. Rachel has been a biomedical engineer at Aurora Biosciences (now Vertex Pharmaceuticals), Illumina, Acumed and Quantum Medical Concepts and has over a decade of medical device consulting experience as well. Rachel holds a BS in Bioengineering from UCSD.

A picture of Cecile-Emmanuelle Kenny

Cecile-Emmanuelle Kenny, Associate

Cecile is finishing her Biology degree at Reed College, Spring, 2018. She assists Alignment Ventures in deal sourcing, technology assessment and general due diligence. Her thesis at Reed involves the use of qPCR and transcriptome library creation and analysis to determine the transcriptional basis of the difference in salt tolerances between diploid and tetraploid Arabidopsis thaliana.


TomegaVax. Michael, CEO. Life long effector memory T-cell responses demonstrated in 500 monkeys in several infectious disease. Merged with Vir Biotechnology 9/16. $500 MM Series A 10/17 http://www.vir.bio

Neuramedica http://neuramedica.us

Rachel, CEO. Bioresorbable polymer clips to close the dura of the spine during Neurosurgery. Additional applications in OB/GYN and General Surgery.

OmnEcoil. Duffy, CEO. Devices to allow the imaging and biopsy of prostate under MRI guidance in one procedure.

Lipidomics. Michael, CEO. Lipids applied topically to normalize the skin barrier in eczema and other inflammatory skin diseases.

Contact Us

6270 SW Wendover Terrace,
Portland, OR 97223
2212 10th St, Berkeley,
California 94710, United States