4 Minutes with…Todd Taylor, Fredrikson & Byron; board member, ABO

August 28, 2014 |

ToddTaylorTell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

We help bioeconomy companies get it done. From setting up their company, raising money, protecting IP, building a plant, strategic partnerships, IPO and M&A’s, if a bioeconomy company has a legal need, we can help.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

I am focusing on helping clients build their businesses, whether that means steel in the ground or structuring their financing or strategic relationships. I am always looking to grow professionally and enjoy new challenges.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?

A viable, non-subsidy based business model needs to be created. Building commercial scale projects that work and are sustainable.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change?

A return to entreprenuership. The Bioecononomy has become too heavily reliant on gov’t programs to justify itself. Investors are often reluctant because of the political instability, but too often we foster that concern. Focus on what a buyer needs and work backwards to a solution.

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?

“It is not what we have that will make us a great nation; it is the way in which we use it.” – President Teddy Roosevelt. I believe we have an obligation to responsibly use and protect our environment. The Adv. Bioeconomy industry helps me do that.

You’ll be speaking at the next ABLCNext conference in San Francisco this November. What’s special about that week for you?

I love the “vibe” at ABLCNext. People excited over deals, people unhappy with funding or policy, people trying to meet other people to do deals, and helping people meet someone that could really make a difference for them. For a person that is naturally introverted, I really enjoy letting me extroverted self have the spot light.

What was your undergraduate major in college, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway? 

Political Science and History, focusing on National Security. I attended the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. It was an easy choice to go there, because my mom was the Director of HR and I got to attend at a significant discount. I really wanted to work in national security/defense/intelligence.

Who do you consider your mentors?

As a lawyer, my father, who told me to do something more than just say “no” to clients, but find a way to help them get their job done.

What’s the biggest lesson you ever learned during a period of adversity?

There is always hope. When faced with adversity now, I take a step back, assess my position and the situation. Upon reflection, things are almost never as bad as they first seem and every problem has a solution.

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry? 

I like good wine, hunting with friends and now my daughter, driving fast and hiking/camping.

What are 3 books you’d want to have with you, if you were stranded on a desert island?

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Complete Series, by Douglas Adams
A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
Foundation Series, by Isaac Asimov.

What books or articles are on your reading list right now?

Things that Matter, by Charles Krauthammer
The Wide Lens, by Ron Adner
A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson

What’s your favorite city or place to visit, for a holiday?

Hawaii. Was there in July for two amazing weeks. Anyone hiring a damn good lawyer there?

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Category: Million Minds

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