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The Aurora Funds Adds Dr. William New As Special Venture Partner


World-Renowned Non-Invasive Medical Device Entrepreneur Brings Four Decades of Experience

Research Triangle Park, N.C. and Palo Alto, C.A. (June 11, 2003) – The Aurora Funds, one of the leading early stage venture capital firms in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, announced today that Dr. William New has joined the firm as a Venture Partner for Aurora Ventures IV, the firm’s $85 million fund that closed earlier this year.
New brings more than 40 years of experience, encompassing careers as an engineer, physician, entrepreneur and educator. In 1981, New founded and served as chairman of Nellcor Incorporated, a medical electronics manufacturer, which was sold for $2 billion in 1995. He currently serves as the Associate Dean for Bioengineering, Oregon Graduate Institute, at Oregon Health & Sciences University. He also serves as Founder and Chairman of publicly traded Natus Medical Inc. (, and Chairman and CEO of The Novent Group. Prior to pursuing his entrepreneurial endeavors, he spent 25 years as a Clinical Associate Professor for the Department of Anesthesia at Stanford University School of Medicine. He also spent 12 years as an electronic and development engineer.

New is a prolific inventor, having authored 15 patents, including the Pulse Oximeter, a device now used in 90% of operating rooms to monitor oxygen and perfusion levels in anesthetized patients. As an inventor and entrepreneur at heart, New’s decision to join the firm was influenced by Aurora’s focus on seed and early stage investments.

“I have worked with Aurora since 1994 and saw that while other firms got caught up in raising larger funds and writing bigger checks, Aurora stayed true to the seed and early stage entrepreneurs,” said New. “Aurora takes what some may consider to be an old fashioned approach to investing, but it works. Good investors are willing to roll up their sleeves to help entrepreneurs. They must also know when to put in more time and money, or when to finally pull the plug.”

Along with fellow venture partners Richard Holcomb and Tom McMurray, New will help Aurora identify and evaluate new investment opportunities, and will work closely with the firm’s portfolio companies. 

“Bill has served as an advisor to Aurora since the beginning, and I am very excited that he has agreed to take a more active role with us,” explained Jeff Clark, Managing General Partner of The Aurora Funds. “Because of his amazing career, he is uniquely able to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and investors. This new role will allow him to share even more of his experience and wisdom with Aurora and our portfolio companies.  We are thrilled to have one of the pre-eminent non-invasive medical device entrepreneurs as part of our team.”

New already has some words of wisdom to share with entrepreneurs. “The best time to start a company is in the bottom of a recession, when you have unprecedented access to inexpensive space and a huge talent pool. While it may be hard to raise money in times like these, good deals will get funded, and a good entrepreneur should take the time necessary to build a solid company,” he added.

New’s academic accomplishments are as impressive as his professional ones, having earned a MS in Management from Stanford University Graduate School of Business; a MD from Duke University School of Medicine; a PhD in Physiology from the University of California; a MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford; and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford.

About The Aurora Funds
The Aurora Funds is a seed and early-stage venture capital firm providing capital, connections and strategic help to entrepreneurs with early stage life science and information technology companies. Since its inception in 1994, Aurora has invested in over 40 companies.  Aurora’s investment team members have over 35 years of combined venture capital experience and over 40 years of high technology operational experience. Aurora’s breadth of venture capital investment and operational experience enables the firm’s active approach to working with entrepreneurs to help build successful companies.  The firm is investing out of its recently closed fourth fund of $85 million, and has over $155 million of total capital under management. 

Aurora typically invests in seed and first round financing opportunities. The firm’s initial investment size ranges from $50,000 in a seed investment to as much as $2.0 million in a first round financing. The firm has the capacity to invest between $4 million and $7 million throughout the life cycle of an investment. More information is available at

Shawn Ramsey-Kroboth
SRK Communications (for The Aurora Funds)

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