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Jon Soderstrom Joins Wilson Sonsini as Chief Licensing Advisor

Soderstrom was previously managing director of Yale University’s Office of Cooperative Research

In his prior role at Yale, Soderstrom participated in a collaboration that recently created a “VC and Tech Transfer Template for an Early-Stage Life-Science Startup License” to help entrepreneurs launch start-ups

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide, announced today that Jon Soderstrom is joining the firm as its chief licensing advisor (East) in the New York office.

Soderstrom is well known throughout the East Coast’s venture capital and academic communities as an expert in technology transfer. He was the managing director of Yale University’s Office of Cooperative Research (now Yale Ventures) until June 2021, when he stepped down to take a role as strategic advisor for technology transfer and commercialization. During Soderstrom’s more than 25 years at the university, his department was responsible for managing Yale’s intellectual assets in a way that generates the most benefit for the public and offers a financial return to back additional research efforts through corporate partnerships. It also oversaw the development of business concepts for new companies based on the university’s intellectual property.

“Jon was crucial in Yale’s development of research projects that brought cutting-edge technology and ideas into everyday life,” said Ian Edvalson, Wilson Sonsini partner and co-leader of the firm’s technology transactions practice. “His standing within the entrepreneurial community on the East Coast will help Wilson Sonsini develop important relationships with clients. His grasp of technology and pharmaceuticals—as well as his understanding of how companies are built—will be a huge benefit to our clients. We are excited that Jon has joined the firm and look forward to the future.”

Soderstrom recently represented Yale in a collaboration that created a “VC and Tech Transfer Template for an Early-Stage Life-Science Startup License” to help entrepreneurs launch start-ups based on their discoveries and innovations. On November 28, 2022, a team of university technology transfer experts, venture capitalists, and law firms announced that their collaboration effort, which started in Spring 2020, led to a “representative” term sheet that an investor and an academic institution might use to begin discussions around launching a life science start-up. The objective was to create a reasonable approach, with terms and clauses that most parties could use in most situations. The philosophical underpinnings can be found here: “Term Sheet Recommendations for Launching University Life Science Startups” and “Recommended Process Improvements for Launching University Life Science Startups,” initially released in December 2020. Since then, the creators have incorporated those principles into a term sheet template (available in both PDF and Word versions) with full clauses, which can be downloaded and used freely by any parties that wish to do so.

Soderstrom was also instrumental in the development of more than 45 new ventures at Yale that raised over $1 billion in venture capital backing. The companies include Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASQ: ACHN), Arvinas (NASQ: ARVN), NextCure (NASQ: NXTC), Biohaven Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: BHVN), and Inozyme Pharma (NASQ: INZY).

Before joining Yale in 1996, Soderstrom served as the Director of Program Development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and as the Director of Technology Licensing for Martin Marietta Energy Systems, where he negotiated the first patent license and Cooperative Research and Development Agreements from a National Laboratory to a commercial partner.

Soderstrom earned a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1980 and a B.A. from Hope College in 1976.

About Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

For more than 60 years, Wilson Sonsini’s services and legal disciplines have focused on serving the principal challenges faced by the management and boards of directors of business enterprises. The firm is nationally recognized as a leading provider to growing and established clients seeking legal counsel to complete sophisticated corporate and technology transactions; manage governance and enterprise-scale matters; assist with intellectual property development, protection, and IP-driven transactions; represent them in contested disputes; and/or advise them on antitrust or other regulatory matters. With deep roots in Silicon Valley, Wilson Sonsini has 19 offices in technology and business hubs worldwide. For more information, please visit


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