Keynote Speakers

'', given by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director , Hayden Planetarium

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director , Hayden Planetarium

Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, is an internationally renowned astrophysicist, science policy advisor, and media personality.  A thought-leader in science and technology, Dr. Tyson has served on Presidential commissions on the future of the US Aerospace Industry and continues to serve on NASA’s Advisory Council. He has received eighteen honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given by NASA to a non-government citizen. He has written countless professional papers as well as ten books, including New York Times bestseller Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries, The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet, and The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist. Among his many television and media appearances, he hosted PBS-NOVA’s mini-series Origins, the NSF-funded pilot radio program StarTalk, and is currently working on a 21st century reboot of Carl Sagan's landmark television series COSMOS, to air in 2014. Tyson was voted Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive by People Magazine in 2000.

'', given by Harry Moser, President, Reshoring Initiative

Harry Moser, President, Reshoring Initiative

Go beyond the headlines of Macbooks made in America and GE appliance manufacturing returning to Louisville.  The resurgence in American manufacturing is broad.  Harry Moser, Founder and President of the Reshoring Initiative will deliver insights into the trend, what types of products are leading the charge, and what the new American manufacturing industry might look like. Harry will showcase examples of small to mid-size manufacturers that have made the move. He will also discuss the new economics driving sourcing decisions.

Harry founded the Reshoring Initiative to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. after working for GF AgieCharmilles, starting as President in 1985 and retiring 12/31/10 as Chairman Emeritus. Largely due to the success of the Reshoring Initiative, Harry was inducted into the Industry Week Manufacturing Hall of Fame 2010 and was named Quality Magazine’s Quality Professional of the year for 2012.  Harry participated actively in President Obama’s 1/11/12 Insourcing Forum at the White House and won the Jan. 2013 Economist debate on outsourcing and offshoring.  He received a BS in ME and an MS in Engineering at MIT in 1967 and an MBA from U. of Chicago in 1981.  

Session Speakers

Peggy Adams, Executive Director, Greater Syracuse Business Development Corp.

Peggy Adams has worked as the Executive Director of the Greater Syracuse Business Development Corporation (GSBDC) since 2000. Previously she had worked in the Greater Syracuse Chamber’s Economic Development Department from 1984 to 1992. As the Executive Director of GSBDC, she is responsible for marketing, underwriting, processing, closing and servicing loan requests. Peggy has over twenty-two years of experience in the economic development field in Central New York with the last eighteen years devoted to commercial lending. She received her Bachelors and MBA degrees from Syracuse University.

'', given by Nasir  Ali, CEO, Upstate Venture Connect

Nasir Ali, CEO, Upstate Venture Connect

Nasir Ali is a resident of Syracuse, NY and the founder and Executive Director of the Seed Capital Fund of CNY, a private LLC whose members are actively engaged in funding and supporting early stage tech companies. He is a Managing Director of the StartFast Venture Accelerator, a key UVC initiative. Ali also serves on the boards of the Upstate Venture Association of New York and Chequed.

'', given by Patrick Ambron, CEO, BrandYourself.com

Patrick Ambron, CEO, BrandYourself.com

Patrick Ambron is the CEO and co-founder of BrandYourself.com, the first DIY platform that makes it simple for anyone to take control of their own search results. Patrick is recognized as a leading expert in online reputation management and Search Engine Optimization. In 2011, his company was named New York's #1 Emerging Technology Business, making his team the youngest company ever to win the $200K prize. Most recently, he was recognized by the White House as one of the Empact 100 Top CEO's under 30 and named Young Entrepreneur of the year by the SBA. Patrick has led BrandYourself to secure over $1 million in venture capital and grow to over 20 full time employees. They were recently named the the overall StartUp winner at SXSW. His ideas on Online Reputation and business have been quoted in Fox News, the Huffington Post, FastCompany, Mashable, TechCrunch, the New York Post, the WSJ, the NYTimes, PandoDaily, US News & World, ABC, NPR and more. He is recognized as a thought leader in the new media landscape and co-developed the new media curriculum at the #1 School of Information Studies, in the United States, at Syracuse University.

'', given by Dr. John  Bay, Advanced Technology Program Development Consultant, CYBER NY Alliance

Dr. John Bay, Advanced Technology Program Development Consultant, CYBER NY Alliance

Dr. John Bay is a leading cybersecurity consultant. Previously he was Sr. VP and Director of Research at Assured Information Security, and served as Chief Scientist of the Information Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Rome. AFRL is the center for advancement and application of information systems science and technology for aerospace command and control, with an annual budget over $700 million. Before joining the Lab, Dr. Bay spent 11 years as a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dr. Bay received a BS from Virginia Polytechnic, MS/PhD from Ohio State University.

'', given by Ed  Bizari, Entrepreneur in Residence – Rochester, Launch NY

Ed Bizari, Entrepreneur in Residence – Rochester, Launch NY

Ed Bizari is an accomplished Sales, Marketing and Business executive with nearly 30 years of global experience working with emerging technologies. Ed has held positions with Fortune 500 as well as start-up companies in the areas of software, telecommunications, and health services. He has a comprehensive understanding of scalable growth and bringing new products and technologies to market. Ed also serves as a mentor/adviser in HTR LaunchPad, a Rochester, NY-based lean start-up incubator program facilitated by High Tech Rochester. Ed holds an MBA and a BSEE from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

'', given by Mark  Boden, Senior Fellow, Corporate Research, Boston Scientific Corporation

Mark Boden, Senior Fellow, Corporate Research, Boston Scientific Corporation

Mark is a Senior Fellow in the Corporate Research Division of Boston Scientific. He has been at Boston for 9 years, working on Interventional Cardiology, Peripheral Vascular, Urology, Women’s Health, and Endoscopy projects. He has a Ph.D. from UMass Lowell in Polymer Chemistry and Plastics Engineering and specializes in biomaterials, drug/device combination products, and early stage research into disease states.

'', given by Paul  Brooks, Entrepreneur in Residence-Syracuse, Launch NY

Paul Brooks, Entrepreneur in Residence-Syracuse, Launch NY

Paul has over 35 years of management experience in industry sectors as diverse as office equipment, computer equipment leasing, enterprise software, marketing communications, and emerging business development. He is the Entrepreneur in Residence for LaunchNY, assisting start-up businesses in Central New York. Paul was previously Executive Director of the Syracuse Technology Garden focused on creating technology businesses and fostering entrepreneurship. Paul created and implemented programs to evaluate potential and develop commercialization opportunities for early-stage entrepreneurs. A native of Syracuse and graduate of Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, Paul earned a BS in Accounting and Master’s Degree in Marketing Management.

'', given by Scott  Cassety, Entrepreneur in Residence – Buffalo, Launch NY

Scott Cassety, Entrepreneur in Residence – Buffalo, Launch NY

Scott Cassety is President of Advanced Storage, Inc., a commercial real estate and project management company. In addition, he serves in a sales and training leadership role for a regional moving and storage company. Scott is a proven business leader and entrepreneur with core competencies in sales, financial and project management, and market development. He spent much of his career growing and developing businesses. In addition, Scott is an angel investor and Entrepreneur in Residence for LaunchNY. A varied background of serial entrepreneurship provides him the unique ability to provide assistance and insight to our region’s next great entrepreneurial successes.

'', given by Somak Chattopadhyay, Managing Partner, Armory Square Ventures

Somak Chattopadhyay, Managing Partner, Armory Square Ventures

Somak Chattopadhyay has been operating or investing in early stage startups in the NY metro area since 1999. Somak leads investments in a variety of sectors including digital media, information services, and the Software-as-a-Service sectors. Somak is a member of the board of directors at Altruik, Ignighter, Mobile Commons, ReachForce and Truveris. Previously, he was at Edison Venture Fund, where he sourced and evaluated investments in the tech-enabled services sector and launched the firm’s New York office. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

'', given by Mary Carol  Chruscicki, Executive Director, CYBER NY Alliance

Mary Carol Chruscicki, Executive Director, CYBER NY Alliance

Mary Carol “MC” Chruscicki is Executive Director of the CYBER New York Alliance, a coalition of businesses, academic institutions, government agencies and community leaders in information and cyber technology innovation working to strengthen the Cyber Eco-System in Central New York. MC has over 30 years experience managing development of distributed information and communications capabilities. After receiving a Masters in Computer Science from SU and B.S. from SUNY Cortland, she launched her career as a computer scientist at the AFRL Information Directorate, later joining The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC), acquired by Northrop Grumman. She is co-owner of AX Enterprize LLC.

'', given by Michael  Cleveland, Director of Sales,  Hollowick, Inc.

Michael Cleveland, Director of Sales, Hollowick, Inc.

For the last 13+ years Mike has been employed as Director of Sales for Hollowick Inc., a manufacturer of tabletop lighting and chafing fuel items used by the Food Service industry. Hollowick is located in Manlius, NY. A key component of this role is in International Sales Management. Mike has a number of experiences at International trade shows, domestic trade shows with foreign visitors, networked with many peers and worked with many resources to seek international distribution of Hollowick items. Hollowick exports products everywhere from Canada to Australia, from Singapore to Cancun, and many places in between.

 

'', given by Robert  Doyle, Associate Professor - Department of Chemistry, Adjunct Professor of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Syracuse University

Robert Doyle, Associate Professor - Department of Chemistry, Adjunct Professor of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Syracuse University

Professor Robert Doyle holds a PhD in Chemistry from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland and was an RSC fellow at the Australian National University and Anderson Foundation fellow at Yale University. He is currently a tenured Professor at Chemistry at Syracuse University and Professor of Medicine at SUNY, Upstate Medical University and holds an appointment at the VA medical Center. Professor Doyle is working with several industrial partner including Wrigley/Mars and Pfizer.

'', given by Martin  Edic, Director, Innovocracy

Martin Edic, Director, Innovocracy

Martin is co-founder and CEO of 24PageBooks Inc. and a founding partner at Wing Digital, a digital marketing agency. He has served as Director of Marketing for three software-as-a-service companies; Bluetie, Techrigy and Catertrax. Martin is the author of eight business and design books. He was a founding Board member of Digital Rochester Inc. and RochesterGrowth and is involved in economic development initiatives in the Greater Rochester NY area. Martin is also a member of the teaching team for the HTR LaunchPad program.

'', given by Andrew Farah, Founding Partner, Rounded Development LLC

Andrew Farah, Founding Partner, Rounded Development LLC

Andrew Farah is one of the founding partners of Rounded. The 16-person software design agency is headquartered in Syracuse, NY. Andrew is also a technical mentor to fledgling local and student startups. He studied information management, writing, and communications at Syracuse University. He's fond of commercial rocket ships, Indiana (his dog), and his wife, Dori.

'', given by Jeremy Gilbert, Ph.D., Professor of Biomaterials and Chemical Engineering, L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University

Jeremy Gilbert, Ph.D., Professor of Biomaterials and Chemical Engineering, L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University

Dr. Gilbert is Professor of Biomaterials in the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research – Part B: Applied Biomaterials, and Past-President of the Society for Biomaterials. Dr. Gilbert was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers in 2004 and was inducted in 2012 as a Fellow of the International Union of Societies of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE). He is the Founder of SU’s Biomaterials Institute.

'', given by Donald Golini, Founder, SANICA Ventures, Rochester

Donald Golini, Founder, SANICA Ventures, Rochester

Don Golini has over 20 years experience in the development, management and commercialization of new technologies. He has spent the last three years working extensively with early stage, growth-oriented companies that are seeking equity investments. In his capacity as Manager of the RIT Venture Capital Fund and Chairman of the Rochester Angel Network, he regularly engages with companies through due diligence activities, advice, and mentoring. Don has authored many technical publications, is named on seven U.S. patents, and has been widely recognized for his role in transforming the state-of-the-art in precision optics manufacturing.

'', given by Bob Herz, Director, NYS Senate Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation, & Entrepreneurship

Bob Herz, Director, NYS Senate Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation, & Entrepreneurship

Bob Herz is Director of the NYS Senate Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation, & Entrepreneurship. This year the committee was largely responsible for the creation of the most robust incubator legislation in the country. Prior to that (2010-2012) he was director of the South side Innovation Center (SSIC), which in 2012 was named Incubator of the year by the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA). Mr. Herz has consulted on biotechnology development in China, written hundreds of laws, and is a published poet who also edits and publishes the literary magazine Nine Mile Magazine and a small poetry press.

'', given by Hutch  Hutchison, Program Director – Virtual Design & Prototyping, NYMEP

Hutch Hutchison, Program Director – Virtual Design & Prototyping, NYMEP

Hutch Hutchison comes to MEP with over 30 years of high technology engineering management experience, having led cross-functional development and operations teams in diverse environments as research, engineering, and manufacturing. Hutch has been in Director, VP or C-level positions in 5 corporations, and is CEO of his own, small business in color metrology. Hutch has a MBA from the William E. Simon Graduate School, University of Rochester, and Electrical Engineering degrees from RIT and Penn State Universities.

'', given by Rami Y.  Katz, Chief Operating Officer, Excell Partners, Inc.

Rami Y. Katz, Chief Operating Officer, Excell Partners, Inc.

Rami Katz is the Chief Operating Officer for Excell Partners, Inc. managing due-diligence and investment processes. Prior to joining Excell, Rami served as the Director of Technology Commercialization at High Tech Rochester working with entrepreneurs, researchers and start-up firms to evaluate the commercial potential of new technologies. He managed the creation of over 50 business plans that led to raising over $40M in capital. Rami earned his MBA from the University of Rochester and J.D. from the Tel-Aviv University in Israel.

'', given by Joanne  Lenweaver, Director, WISE Women’s Business Center

Joanne Lenweaver, Director, WISE Women’s Business Center

Joanne is the Director of the WISE Women's Business Center, an SBA funded center assisting women to start and grow businesses thorough one-on-one counseling, training and workshops, and mentorship. Previously, she co-founded and was President and Creative Director for Lenweaver Advertising + Design, Inc. and FoodWeb®. Joanne also served as Communications Director for Hospice of CNY and Director of Marketing for CNY SPCA. Joanne’s was awarded the Zonta Crystal Award 2013, Red Cross “Women Who Mean Business” 2012, Falcone Center “Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award” 2012, and The US Small Business Administration “Women’s Business Center of the Year” 2010.

'', given by John  Liddy, Entrepreneur in Residence, The Tech Garden Syracuse Student Sandbox

John Liddy, Entrepreneur in Residence, The Tech Garden Syracuse Student Sandbox

John Liddy currently serves as Entrepreneur in Residence for the Tech Garden, Syracuse University, Le Moyne College, Cayuga Community College, and Mohawk Community College helping these institutions advance student entrepreneurial activity and engagement through innovative coursework and hands on activities both on and off campus. As part of his efforts in helping create and evolve these programs, Liddy directs the Syracuse Student Sandbox – a program that has grown to include over 100 student teams and over 125 business professionals from the community. Additionally, Liddy works with existing business and educational institutions seeking make their organizations more entrepreneurial.

'', given by Anthony  Martino, Director Northeast Cyber Forensics Center , Utica College

Anthony Martino, Director Northeast Cyber Forensics Center , Utica College

A 20-year veteran of the Utica, N.Y., Police Department, Anthony Martino is an expert in cyber crimes and cyber forensics, participant in the United States Secret Service electronic crime task force, and co- founder of the Central New York Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He received the Wallie Howard Jr. Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Martino holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo and a master’s degree in economic crime management from Utica College, where he researched wireless data network security.

'', given by Patrick T.  Mather, Milton and Ann Stevenson Professor of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University

Patrick T. Mather, Milton and Ann Stevenson Professor of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University

Patrick T. Mather earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Penn State in Engineering Science and Mechanics and a Ph.D. in Materials at U.C. Santa Barbara in 1994. He worked for the Air Force Research Lab before beginning his academic career at University of Connecticut, Chemical Engineering, in 1999. He moved to Case Western Reserve University where he established a research program on functional biomaterials. Dr. Mather came to Syracuse University in 2007, where he is the Milton and Ann Stevenson Professor of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Director of the Syracuse Biomaterials Institute.

Carolyn May, Senior Economic Developer, Onondaga County

Carolyn May has more than thirty years’ experience in economic development, community development, business collaboration, and government relations. She specializes in the creation of community-business change models and programs, several of which have earned state and national awards. Carolyn interned for the late Congressman Ned Pattison and managed the State Capitol Office of State Assemblyman Eugene Level. She held senior government affairs and community development positions with the City University of New York, Syracuse University and the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation/National Grid. Carolyn is a cum laude graduate of Russell Sage College and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

'', given by James Muldoon, Partner, Harris Beach PLLC

James Muldoon, Partner, Harris Beach PLLC

Mr. Muldoon is a partner at Harris Beach and focuses on the enforcement and defense of intellectual property infringement in federal and state courts. Mr. Muldoon has been involved in numerous patent infringement lawsuits, litigated federal trademark, unfair competition and antitrust claims. He prosecutes patent and trademark applications in a wide range of technologies, counsels clients, assesses intellectual property portfolios, the licensing and sale of intellectual property rights, and advises clients in technology transfer programs.  He is a “Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property” by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in patent litigation.  

'', given by Seth Mulligan, Executive Director, The Clean Tech Center

Seth Mulligan, Executive Director, The Clean Tech Center

At the Syracuse Technology Garden, Seth Mulligan serves as the Executive Director for the Clean Tech Center, a strategic business development accelerator, which helps develop renewable and clean energy technology companies in New York State. He is also Director of Venture Development for CenterState CEO providing high level venture development assistance for early stage entrepreneurs, emerging businesses, and innovation industry leaders. He provides assistance in developing business plans, marketing plans and funding strategies. Seth holds an MPA degree from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, as well as Baccalaureate and a Masters of Professional Studies Degrees from Alfred University.

'', given by Cindy Oehmigen, Senior Project Manager, TDO

Cindy Oehmigen, Senior Project Manager, TDO

Cindy has over 30 years of diversified manufacturing and engineering management experience. In her role at TDO, she helps guide companies through change, improve manufacturing competitiveness, create team environments, reduce costs, and grow the top line. Her experience crosses a wide variety of businesses including manufacturing, healthcare, and entrepreneurs. Previously, Cindy held positions with Crouse-Hinds, Loretto, Carrier, Tessy, and Allis-Chalmers. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial & Management Engineering from the University of Iowa and a Masters in Business Administration from Syracuse University. Cindy is a graduate of United Technologies Lean Manufacturing University and the NIST Emerging Leaders program.

'', given by Joan  Powers, Director, Small Business Development Center, Onondaga Community College

Joan Powers, Director, Small Business Development Center, Onondaga Community College

Joan has been with the SBDC since 1996. Prior to joining the SBDC, she worked in the private sector for eighteen years in the accounting department of a Fortune 1000 corporation. Joan received the SBA’s Syracuse District Women’s Business Champion Award for 2004. She also received the New York State Small Business Development Center 3rd Runner Up for Business Advisor of the Year in 2004, Lead by Example award in 2010 and Excellence in Service award in 2010. Joan previously served as Assistant Director. She received her B.A. and M.S. degree in accounting from Syracuse University.

 

'', given by Anthony Rotolo, Professor of Practice, Syracuse University iSchool

Anthony Rotolo, Professor of Practice, Syracuse University iSchool

Anthony Rotolo is a leading expert on emerging technologies, social media and digital culture, and a professor at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies. He is co-author of The Book on 3D Printing, an easy-to-understand guide to 3D Printing technology and its many uses.

'', given by Christopher A. Scholz, Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University

Christopher A. Scholz, Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University

Professor Scholz has a background in ocean science and marine geology, and today studies the geology of large lakes. Much of his current research is focused on reconstructing the past climates of tropical Africa, from sediments found in the lakes of East Africa’s Great Rift Valley. Professor Scholz’s paleoclimate research is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. His laboratory is also supported by a consortium oil and gas companies.

'', given by Tom Schryver, Chief Investment Officer, Launch NY

Tom Schryver, Chief Investment Officer, Launch NY

Tom Schryver is an experienced entrepreneur and investor having served as founder and senior executive of high-growth companies. Tom successfully structured companies and raised capital in the forms of private venture capital, venture debt, and grants and loans from local, state and federal agencies. He managed accounting and compliance and helped guide strategy, growth, and development. Previously, Tom was Director of Finance for the Triad Foundation and worked with UBS Investment Bank and Banc of America Securities. Tom has an AB from Cornell University and MBA from Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

'', given by Rick Shindell, President, Zyn Systems and SBIR Gateway

Rick Shindell, President, Zyn Systems and SBIR Gateway

Rick Shindell, president of Zyn Systems, has been providing support to the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) for more than 25 years. He is a long time SBIR advocate and is the editor of the "SBIR Insider" newsletter and host of the SBIR Gateway web site. Rick has received many honors for his work including a Lifetime Achievement Award for Small Business Innovation Advocacy from the National Small Business Association (NSBA) and the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC), and a National SBIR Tibbetts Award.

'', given by Zachary Shulman, Managing Partner,  Cayuga Venture Fund

Zachary Shulman, Managing Partner, Cayuga Venture Fund

Zach Shulman has been Director of Entrepreneurship@Cornell since October 2013. Previously, he was Associate Director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute at Johnson and Senior Lecturer of Entrepreneurship. Zach is a Managing Partner at Cayuga Venture Fund where he serves on boards of six portfolio companies. Previously, Zach was General Counsel and Chief Investor Relations Officer of Spike Broadband Systems and an associate at the law firms of Harris Beach in Ithaca and Ropes & Gray in Boston. He earned a BS from Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and graduated from Cornell University Law School, magna cum laude.

'', given by Marcie Sonneborn, SBIR & Innovation Specialist and Professor of Practice, TDO and Syracuse University

Marcie Sonneborn, SBIR & Innovation Specialist and Professor of Practice, TDO and Syracuse University

Marcie is a business development and management consultant specializing in innovation, technology, creativity, SBIR/STTR, and strategic planning. Marcie is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Syracuse University’s iSchool and prior to that was an adjunct faculty at the Whitman School of Management, teaching entrepreneurship and creativity courses. Marcie is also the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Innovation Specialist for the Central New York Technology Development Organization (TDO). SBIR and STTR are federal programs funding early stage high-risk technology development, from which Marcie’s clients have received over $100 million over the last ten years.

'', given by Steve Suhowatsky, Chairman, Seed Capital Fund of Central New York

Steve Suhowatsky, Chairman, Seed Capital Fund of Central New York

Steve has extensive experience as CEO of public and private companies with expertise in building businesses through acquisitions and divestitures, start-ups, financing, LBO transactions, international expansion and management restructuring. He is active in pre seed workshops for entrepreneurs and interested in assisting and building entrepreneurial and pre seed companies in the US and Asia. Steve’s assignments cover national and international companies, cross discipline enterprises and entrepreneurial or established ventures.

'', given by John  Tracy, Senior International Trade Specialist, United States Department of Commerce

John Tracy, Senior International Trade Specialist, United States Department of Commerce

John Tracy is a Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce whose primary mission is to help US companies increase their international business. Prior to coming to Commerce he worked for an international logistics, freight forwarding and Customs brokerage company in Rochester, a Hong Kong-based steamship line in New York, and managed international logistics for a chemical company in New Jersey. A native of Utica, NY, John earned a BS in Economics from Clarkson University and an MS in International Transportation Management from the New York Maritime College. John is a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP).

'', given by Dr. Lav  Varshney, Computational Creativity Leader, IBM

Dr. Lav Varshney, Computational Creativity Leader, IBM

Dr. Lav Varshney is a researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He conducted graduate and postdoctoral research in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at MIT. He has been a visiting scientist at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland and at Cold Spring Harbor, New York. His research interests include information and coding theory, collective intelligence, data analytics, sociotechnical systems, and neuroscience. Dr. Varshney received a B. S. from Cornell University, and S. M., E. E. and Ph. D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT.

'', given by Mark  Weldon, Executive Director of Corporate Relations, Syracuse University

Mark Weldon, Executive Director of Corporate Relations, Syracuse University

Mark is responsible for strategic corporate partnerships, launching technology-based spinout companies, and the creation of internal venture funds at the university. Prior to that Mark managed intellectual property and its licensing at SU. Before that, Mark spent 12 years creating technology-based ventures as a serial entrepreneur. His corporate experience spans a decade of roles in strategic planning, internal consulting, international mergers & acquisitions and global consumer products division management at Unisys, Bausch & Lomb and Carrier Corporation. Mark has a JD and MBA Finance from Syracuse University and has 3 utility patents issued and 4 pending.

'', given by John Wen, Ph.D., Director - Center for Automation Technologies & Systems, Head – Industrial & Systems Engineering, RPI

John Wen, Ph.D., Director - Center for Automation Technologies & Systems, Head – Industrial & Systems Engineering, RPI

Dr. Wen joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1988 where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering and the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering. Since 2005, he has served as the Director of a NY State sponsored interdisciplinary research center, Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS). He received his B.Eng. from McGill University in 1979, M.S. from University of Illinois in 1981, and Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1985, all in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Wen has over 200 refereed publications and six patents. He is a Fellow of IEEE.

'', given by Josh White, Consultant,

Josh White, Consultant,

Mr. White is an independent IA Consultant and full time PhD Candidate at Clarkson University in the Engineering Science Department. He has worked as a Federal Contractor for the past decade in high-speed network capture, intrusion detection systems, dataset management, language text processing, network analysis, vulnerability analysis, privacy and legality of PII (Personally Identifiable Information). Mr. White holds an AAS in Computer Network Technologies from FLCC and both BS and MS degrees in Telecommunications from SUNY IT.

'', given by El-Java  Williams Abdul-Qadir, Director, Southside Innovation Center

El-Java Williams Abdul-Qadir, Director, Southside Innovation Center

El-Java Williams Abdul-Qadir is the Director of the South Side Innovation Center as well as the Program Coordinator/Business Navigator for START-UP NY and SBA PRIME. He is himself a graduate of SSIC’s inaugural Entrepreneurial Assistance Program Class of 2008-2009. Previously he has been Business Navigator at Syracuse University, Associate Director of Student Activities at Temple University, Residence Director at Syracuse University, and Counseling Coordinator at Dunbar Association, Inc.

'', given by Phil  Zaleski, Business Area Manager of Cyber Security Programs, Exelis Corporation

Phil Zaleski, Business Area Manager of Cyber Security Programs, Exelis Corporation

Software engineer Phil Zaleski conducts research and development, technology transition, project and program management, and business development in the information assurance and cyber security domains. Full-scale enterprise IT security operations, enterprise protection planning, and cyber security education and training are his current key focus areas.

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