PNC Business Innovation Summit

Friday, April 22, 2022

The Business Case for Social Innovation

Social innovation exists in the for profit and not for profit industries. This year’s conference we will hear from several for profit social innovators who are solving human and community issues. Stay tuned for the line up of amazing innovators.


Ian McClure
Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation and Economic Impact; Exec. Director, UK Innovate

Ian McClure is the Associate Vice President for Research (AVPR), Innovation and Economic Impact for UK Innovate at the University of Kentucky (UK) where he leads efforts to translate UK discoveries for the public good, seek equitable returns on UK intellectual property, develop innovative approaches to develop, fund and support opportunities for near-stage research, seek grant funding to enhance UK’s investments in innovation, and expand industry and other collaborative research programs with UK Research and in Kentucky more broadly. Ian is also an advisory board member for the Oak Ridge Institute and the chair of IPwe’s Advisory Committee for University Technology Transfer.

He was Executive Director of the UK Office of Technology Commercialization where he oversaw a team of staff managing the University’s innovation, intellectual property and startup portfolios. Ian is also a PI on two NIH grants, is the new Chair-Elect of AUTM (Association of University Technology Managers) and will become AUTM Chair in February 2022. He chairs the Ohio Valley Affiliates for Life Sciences (OVALS), and is a co-founder of Kentucky Commercialization Ventures, a state-funded program to provide IP and tech transfer services to all other universities in the state that do not currently have dedicated IP and tech transfer resources. Ian began his career as a Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and Intellectual Property (IP) transactions attorney. Following private practice, he helped build a start-up company in Chicago, IPXI, that was the world’s first financial exchange for IP and technology rights, which he led through product development, capital raise, proof of concept and growth to 30+ full-time employees and two offices.

Ian was Vice President of IP Strategy for Black Stone IP (acquired by Houlihan Lokey), a boutique investment bank headquartered in San Francisco focused on IP-rich M&A and technology-driven transactions. In parallel, he teaches graduate courses on the Law & Business of IP Management at Chicago-Kent College of Law and the University of Kentucky College of Law. Ian is a founding member of the LES Standards Initiatives’ Intangible Assets in the Boardroom committee and has been named one of the World’s Leading IP Strategists by IAM Magazine every year since 2012.

Ian has published extensively in law and business journals related to the intersection of IP, business process, and corporate governance, including with top IP & Technology law reviews such as UC Berkeley, Fordham University, and Santa Clara University. He has presented to numerous symposiums and conferences on IP licensing, valuation, risk, and strategy. Ian graduated cum laude with a degree in economics from Vanderbilt University, magna cum laude with a Juris Doctorate from Chapman University School of Law, and a Master of Laws in Intellectual Property Law (L.L.M.) from DePaul University College of Law.

Sarah Sanders

Zoom Links

Friday 4:00-7:15pm

Saturday - Undergraduate 8:00 am-5:00pm

Saturday - Graduate 8:30am-1:45pm






Simon Sheather, Dean - Gatton College of Business and Economics

John L. Gohmann, Regional President – PNC Bank



Anne J. Brooks, Partner – PwC





Silas Deane, President and CEO – VendEngine, Inc.

Brad Zapp, Co-Founder & Managing Partner – Connetic Ventures




Keynote Presentation

Sarah Sanders, Co-Founder – NATIVE


Sarah Sanders
Co-Founder of NATIVE

NATIVE is a platform using A.I. to understand consumer preferences and help companies create products that people love.

Sanders began her career working in hospitality at the Tavern Restaurant Group, a family-owned business started by her father in Lexington, KY. Sarah’s passion for the food and beverage industry has been apparent since a young age, but during graduate school, Sarah began to focus on technology and sustainability. Sanders earned her undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Kentucky and her MBA in International Business from Xavier University.

Sarah Sanders


Anne J. Brooks
Partner, PwC

Anne is a Partner in PwC’s Private Company Services (PCS) Assurance practice based in Kentucky with experience providing financial statement audit services and audits of internal control to both private and publicly held clients. Anne spent three years developing and delivering digital products tailored for the franchise space. In this role, she has had experience in an extensive customer development process, technological feasibility assessment, product fit/roadmap studies, and go-to-market strategy development. She continues to assess and develop new ideas through the use of the customer voice.

Anne graduated from the University of Kentucky with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting. She is a member of the AICPA, KYCPA, and the NABA KY chapter.  She is on the board of the United Way of Kentucky and is active in recruiting and professional development activities for the firm.  Anne enjoys spending time with her daughter Niya, boxing, and ballet. She is passionate about continually developing herself and helping others grow into their fullest potential. 

Silas Deane

Silas Deane
President and CEO, VendEngine, Inc.

Silas Deane is CEO of VendEngine, Inc., a 50+ employee company named by Deloitte as one of 2020's "Top 300 Fastest-Growing Technology Companies in North America." Deane oversees all aspects of the company, including contract negotiation, sales, general management, financial review, accounting and auditing review, technology development, and customer relations. He earned his BA in economics from the Gatton College of Business and Economics in 1989.

Silas Deane

John L. Gohmann
Regional President, PNC Bank, Lexington

Gohmann has a wealth of business and leadership experience that includes twelve years of local financial services experience. Prior to joining PNC as wealth management director in 2009, he was a client advisor in JPMorgan Chase Bank’s private banking group, a registered representative with Smith Barney, and was an attorney with the McCoy, Baker, and West law firm.

Gohmann received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Centre College. He has also earned both a Master of Business Administration and a Juris Doctor from the University of Dayton.

John Gohmann

Brad Zapp
Founder, Connetic Ventures

Brad Zapp is the founder of Connetic Ventures. Prior to that, he co-founded Legacy Financial, which he successfully exited in 2014. His passion for angel investing began with a small investment in Choremonster, which turned his home into a joyful place. He says his investment strategy of binge-watching startup pitches was derived from years of watching Dexter and Madmen has paid off. 

Brad Zapp