Penn Center for Innovation

PCI Ventures

Michael D. Poisel, MS, MBA


Mr. Poisel is responsible for managing PCI Ventures, including transitioning technologies into start-up companies, assisting the principal investigators with funding strategies including grant applications, as well as mentoring the developing companies.

Prior to UPenn, Michael made investments in enterprise software and business services for NewSpring Capital, Apax Partners and GE Capital spanning more than ten years in private equity. He began his career in manufacturing operations for General Electric/Lockheed Martin and participated in the successful completion of several commercial and government satellite programs.

Michael graduated with honors in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, holds an M.S. in Systems Engineering from The Moore School of Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania, and has an M.B.A. in finance and entrepreneurial management from The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mike Dishowitz, PhD

Director of UPstart

Dr. Dishowitz manages a portfolio of PCI Ventures startup companies, focusing on the medical device, biotechnology, and therapeutic sectors. His primary responsibility is to build businesses that commercialize Penn intellectual property by recruiting management, developing business strategies, fundraising, supporting company operations, and executing deals. He is also the director of Penn’s medical device startup accelerator, DevelUPmed, and manages several capital acquisition and business development programs.

Prior to joining PCI Ventures, Mike was a member of ICON Commercialisation & Outcomes (formerly PriceSpective), a boutique consulting agency, where he specialized in asset valuation and pricing & market access of emerging life science technologies. Before entering industry, Mike spent several years in academia, studying the impact of cell signaling pathways on orthopaedic injury and repair. He is also co-founder of a startup company based on his thesis research that uses a combination drug-device to promote bone formation and regeneration.

Mike graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jordana Barmish, MBA, DPT

Associate Director

Dr. Barmish collaborates with Penn clinicians, researchers, faculty and staff to commercialize their inventions via the formation of new ventures. She manages a portfolio of med tech, healthcare IT and life science companies.

Prior to joining PCI Ventures, Jordana created strategic partnerships for a corporate startup operating in the connected health space. Through preceding work at Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures and at CHOP’s Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Jordana discovered her passion for supporting founders and entrepreneurs to bring their meaningful solutions to market. Before entering the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Jordana started her career treating patients with neurologic and vestibular conditions, as a Physical Therapist.

Jordana graduated with a B.Sc. in Psychology from McGill University, a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT) from Duke University, and an MBA in Strategic Management from Temple University.

Bhavana Mohanraj, PhD

Assistant Director

Dr. Mohanraj manages a portfolio of life sciences companies, partnering with Penn faculty, researchers, and staff to build startups around innovative medical devices, therapeutics, and diagnostic technologies.

Prior to joining PCI Ventures, Bhavana was the Director of R&D for Biorez, an early-stage regenerative medicine company, where she developed implants for the sports medicine market. Her interest in entrepreneurial ventures developed during her time in academia, where she co-founded a startup based on a drug delivery system to improve orthopedic tissue repair.

Bhavana graduated with a B.S. and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jaime Sweet

Pennovation Center Programming Manager

Jaime is the Pennovation Center's Programming Manager, where she acts as the community's relationship manager, develops entrepreneurial seminars and workshops, manages the Mentor-In-Residence program, and coordinates events with JPOD@Philadelphia and 1776.

Jaime graduated from Temple University where she received her B.A. in Film and Media Arts. She also earned a certificate from the Temple's Fox School of Business - Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute.

Raquel Giron

Administrative Coordinator

Raquel provides administrative support to the PCI Ventures team. She is primarily responsible for coordinating all aspects of company formation, managing schedules, preparing marketing materials, updating websites, and supporting UPstart companies.

Prior to joining PCI Ventures, Raquel was the Medical Education Program Assistant for the Pediatric Residency at the University of New Mexico. She coordinated the Pediatric Grand Rounds and provided support to the directors and 50 resident physicians.

Raquel graduated with a B.A. in Secondary Education with a concentration in Spanish from the University of New Mexico.

PCI Ventures @ the Pennovation Center
3401 Grays Ferry Avenue
Pennovation Center, Suite 229
Philadelphia, PA 19146


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