Richter, Melinda

Founder, Prescience International


With over 15 years of global experience in creating, financing and managing innovative companies in emerging and convergence technologies, Melinda Richter specializes in accelerating the development of products-to-market, and companies-to-investment.

Ms. Richter is the founder and CEO of Prescience International, a full-scale management firm that focuses on accelerating the commercialization of science and technology by starting and operating life science and cleantech centers of innovation, including incubators, institutes and foundations. The Prescience innovation center portfolio now includes the San Jose BioCenter, the Environmental Business Cluster (EBC) and Janssen Labs.

Under Ms. Richter's leadership, the San Jose BioCenter—a $12M state-of-the-art 40,000sf life science research center and incubator—was named one of the best life science incubators in the U.S. by CNN, and was honored by the National Business Incubation Association with its 2009 Incubator of the Year Award. She was also instrumental in raising more than $3M in funds, $3M in donations for its operational growth and new revenue streams.

Ms. Richter also oversees the EBC, one of the first cleantech incubators ever to be established in the U.S. Ranked as a "Top 10 Incubators Changing the World" by, the EBC has successfully attracted more than 22 cleantech companies and continues to lead the way in pushing forward innovative emerging green technologies.

To open January 2012, Janssen Labs, part of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, will be led by a team under Ms. Richter's guidance. Janssen Labs will enable innovative life sciences companies to rapidly deliver better solutions to the healthcare challenges faced today.

Prior to Prescience International, Ms. Richter created and directed the ASTIA Life Science Incubator (formerly the Women's Technology Cluster). She also served in strategic roles with Nortel Networks, where she spent more than 8 years working throughout Asia, North America, Europe, and Central and Latin America. While at Nortel, Ms. Richter addressed acquisitions, strategic planning, marketing, contract negotiations, engineering and manufacturing optimization, world trade market development, and general management of an IT business unit. She left Nortel to start eTreasurer, an online financial services portal for SMEs.

Ms. Richter currently sits on the governing board of the National Business Incubation Association and the boards of University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business BioExec Institute, the San Jose State University's Masters of Biotechnology Program and UCSF's School of Dentistry. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and an M.B.A. from INSEAD in France. She currently resides in San Francisco.

Listen to an interview with Melinda