Steve Tokarz is an experienced C-level entrepreneur, fundraiser and business developer and has been active in early-stage company and product development for the past 30 years. In his most recent corporate role at Masco Corporation, a Fortune 200 company with revenues of $7+ billion, Steve served as Sr. VP of Product Development and Engineering for several of its domestic and international operating companies.
He then transitioned to the start-up world where he developed his own companies, investing & raising $20+ million for start-ups and early-stage companies while establishing relationships with investors from the USA and Asia.
He is founder of Cantilever Investors; a blend of the best of Venture Capital and Private Equity to invest in and provide support to early-stage companies. Cantilever acts as both investor and, for the select few, operators in the company. Cantilever also has close relationships with the Tech Transfer offices of the University of Michigan, Michigan State, Western Michigan & Michigan Technological Universities, previously serving as Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. Cantilever successfully spun-out five university companies, raising over $5M in nondilutive capital.
Through his connections with Cantilever, Steve has adopted roles as investor, CEO and board member in several of Cantilever portfolio medical/life science companies including:
– StabiLux Biosciences a spin-out from Michigan Technological University. It’s platform technology enables biomedical researchers to detect what was previously undetectable by utilizing high brightness dyes in bio-medical imaging.
– Peptinovo Biopharma, a patented drug delivery platform, Peptide-Amphiphile Lipid Micelle (PALM), that selectively targets higher doses of proven chemotherapies into tumor cells while keeping the chemo away from healthy tissues. PALM prevents serious side effects like peripheral neuropathy from occurring, improving patient outcomes by eliminating dose limiting side effects while improving safety–something no other chemotherapeutic has been able to accomplish.