2012 ENE Outstanding Alumni Awards
BSE IDE, BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, 1979
General Partner ONSET Ventures
GROWING UP IN CLARKSVILLE, INDIANA, Leslie Bottorff loved the TV shows The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman—and spent a good deal of time tending to the (imagined) broken legs of her dolls. Her early interest in the technology of medicine, combined with a strong performance in high school on the JETS (Junior Engineering and Technical Society) test, led her to pursue biomedical engineering through Purdue’s Interdisciplinary Engineering program.
At Purdue, Bottorff had the opportunity to conduct research with Drs. Leslie Geddes, Joe Bourland, Willis Tacker, and Charles Babbs—a group of researchers and educators who involved undergraduate students in their work—and she received stellar mentoring from Profes- sor Dick Grace, head of Interdisciplinary Engineering at that time, who helped her fashion a custom course of study and explore a range of career choices. Outside the classroom, she was active in Grand Prix, Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, and Old Masters.
On earning her bachelor’s degree from Purdue in 1979, Bottorff joined GE Medical Systems’ sales force.
A desire to work in marketing prompted her to earn an MBA (Harvard Business School, 1985). She spent 19 years in sales and marketing roles in both venture-backed start-up companies and large companies, including serving as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Medtronic’s CardioRhythm division.
In 1998, Bottorff joined ONSET Ventures, which invests in early-stage medical technology companies. She has worked closely with entrepreneurs at the seed stage to formulate and validate their companies’ business plans, including serving as interim VP of Marketing and Business Development for Embolic Protection. She has served in board or advisory roles for portfolio companies including Spinal Concepts, VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Neuronetics, Sadra Medical, Flexuspine and Relievant.
Bottorff serves on advisory boards or as program faculty at several universities, including Stanford University and Purdue University, and is a member of the board of directors of Purdue’s Alfred Mann Institute and the alumni advisory board for Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.