Abigail Barrow | Director, Massachusetts Technology Center
Abigail Barrow is the Founding Director of the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC). The MTTC is state-funded and supports technology transfer activities from public and private research institutions to companies in Massachusetts. The center works with technology transfer offices at all research institutions; faculty, researchers, and students who have commercially promising ideas; and companies across the commonwealth.
Prior to joining the MTTC, Dr. Barrow served as managing director of William J. von Liebig Center at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). The von Liebig Center was created in 2001 to support the commercialization of research being performed in the Jacobs School of Engineering. Dr. Barrow worked in a variety of roles at UCSD CONNECT from 1990 to 2001. CONNECT’s programs focused on supporting early stage high-tech and biotech companies and in particular helping them raise funding from venture capitalists and corporate partners. Dr. Barrow has also worked with other regions where the CONNECT program has been successfully replicated, including Scotland and Scandinavia. Dr. Barrow is a Fellow of UCSD’s Beyster Institute and an Xconomist for Xconomy.com.
Deborah Hopkins | Chief Innovation Officer and CEO, Citi Ventures
Debby is Citi’s Chief Innovation Officer and CEO of Citi Ventures. She founded, designed, and built Citi Ventures from the ground up, recognizing the critical role innovation must play in supporting the broader organization amid accelerating disruptive forces. Based in Palo Alto, Debby and her team partner with Citi’s businesses and functions to shepherd creativity and implement pervasive solutions. Her mandate also includes analyzing market signals and trends to identify new ideas and activities in fintech as well as seeking investment opportunities in core domain areas relevant to financial services.
Michael Malone | Ronnie & Eugene Isenberg Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Vice Chancellor for Research & Engagement, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Mike was educated in chemical engineering at Penn State University and at UMass Amherst where he joined the faculty in 1980. At UMass he was Director of the Process Design and Control Center for nine years, Head of Chemical Engineering for six years, and then Dean of Engineering for five years until 2009. He has been a Visiting Scientist in Central Science & Engineering at the DuPont Company and has done extensive consulting and teaching for industry in the US and internationally. He is the author of numerous technical articles, a textbook, and holds two patents on catalytic distillation. He has won several awards for his research on process design and for his teaching. Currently, he team-teaches an interdisciplinary course on Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Isenberg Program at UMass Amherst.
Mike Marasco | Clinical Professor and Director, Northwestern University Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
After 20+ years working in the corporate world, Marasco joined the faculty of the Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as a clinical full professor and director of the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (FCEI). FCEI is dedicated to evolving engineering beyond the application of the sciences to the creation of businesses that capitalize on innovations. Marasco has been teaching entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship for the past 14 years. For the past ten years, he had been an adjunct professor in the McCormick Master of Engineering Management program teaching Technical Entrepreneurship.
Marasco continues to be a zero and early stage investor through his venture capital company, Solesde. He currently sits on the boards of Sportiqe, Zone Medical, and Context Media. Previously, Marasco was the acting chief marketing officer and vice president of CRM at Bally Total Fitness where he led their transition into a multi-channel integrated marketing organization. He was also the founder and general manager of the Chicago office of Digitas where he guided the office from startup to a staff of 80 providing interactive and relationship marketing services to companies like Allstate, Best Buy, Brunswick, and others. His background includes key roles at Organic, Inc. and Solucient, Inc.
Marasco researches how established businesses can successfully foster new businesses through corporate venturing. He also focuses on the concept of “bootstrapping” – how to grow a company with little or no capital. Marasco received his BS in accountancy with high honors from DePaul University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
KT Moortgat | Independent Consultant
KT Moortgat is an enabler of technology translation and commercialization, through startup incubation, investment decision making, and corporate partnering and licensing. She is currently an independent consultant for growth-stage and public companies.
Prior, as a partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, KT was responsible for sourcing and assessing potential investments in healthcare and energy companies. She developed actionable investment theses proposing new investment areas, including diagnostics for disorders of the central nervous system, biofuels, and synthetic biology. During the six year period of the firm’s particularly high investment in startups based on academic inventions, she led university outreach and engaged key opinion leaders and young technology innovators through the MDV Innovators Award. She also supported Mohr Davidow portfolio companies in partnering, market expansion strategy, and defining technology applications and product markets.
KT was the founder and director of the hub of entrepreneurship at the University of California San Francisco, launched in conjunction with QB3 Institute and which brought to the university a range of resources and services for entrepreneurs including mentoring, networking, and training in business planning, drug development, and intellectual property.
KT has advised private and public institutions on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, including the Kauffman Foundation, the University of Southern California, the National Academy of Engineering, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health.
Donna Petkanics | Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Donna Petkanics is a partner in the Palo Alto office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Her law practice focuses on the representation of growth companies, with a particular emphasis on corporate and securities issues. She represents both privately held and public companies across a broad range of industries, including telecommunications, Internet infrastructure, networking, life sciences, computer software and hardware, clean technology and energy, and electronics. She has experience representing companies in many types of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, and joint ventures. She also counsels clients who are starting new businesses with respect to general corporate matters and protection of their intellectual property.
During her tenure at the firm, Donna has served in a number of management positions, including managing director of operations and chair of the Operations Committee from 2000 to 2006; member of the firm’s board of directors, Policy Committee, and Compensation Committee; associate managing partner of the firm; and co-chair of the Hiring Committee and Nominating Committee. She served on the board of directors of the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation from 2000 to 2010. She began practicing at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in 1985.
Youseph Yazdi | Executive Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design
Youseph Yazdi, PhD, MBA, joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2009 and the Carey Business School in 2011. He is the Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design, a center focused on training leaders in medtech innovation and commercialization. He is also Director of the Johns Hopkins – Coulter Translational Partnership, established in 2011, which supports translational medical innovations emerging from collaborations between BME faculty and School of Medicine clinicians.
Dr. Yazdi is a graduate of Rice University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and holds MS and PhD degrees in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He also earned the MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business with a minor in Entrepreneurial Management. Dr. Yazdi has over 20 years of experience in early-stage medical device innovation, including 13 years in industry. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and serves on several related advisory boards and committees. Dr Yazdi is an inventor on several patents in the fields of ultrasonics and biophotonics that are incorporated into successfully commercialized medical devices.
Paul Yock | Weiland Professor of Medicine and the founding co-chair of the Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University
Dr. Yock is internationally known for his work in inventing, developing and testing new medical devices, including the Rapid Exchange™ balloon angioplasty and stent system, now the primary system in use worldwide, and the Doppler-guided hypodermic needle system, P-D Access™. Dr. Yock also authored the fundamental patents for intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging and founded Cardiovascular Imaging Systems, now a division of Boston Scientific. Dr. Yock’s research focuses on preclinical development and clinical trials of catheter devices, most recently in the area of stem cell delivery to the heart. Dr. Yock also founded and directs the Program in Biodesign, which is a teaching and mentoring initiative focusing on the process of needs finding, invention and technology translation in the biomedical field.
Todd Warren | Adjunct Professor of Computer Science, Northwestern University and advisor to and an investor in Divergent Ventures
Todd Warren divides his time between the technology industry and entrepreneurial educational ventures. He is an advisor to and an investor in Divergent Ventures, focusing on early-stage companies. In addition to advising Divergent and their investments, Todd is an adjunct professor in computer science at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering. He also serves on the board of Pcubed, a global consulting firm focused on large-scale program and project management.
Todd worked for Microsoft for over 21 years in a variety of product management, general management, and product development roles. He was a corporate vice president from 2003 to 2009. From 2005 until 2009, Todd was responsible for the development and technical product strategy for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system and related products. Todd retired from Microsoft in February 2009.
Todd joined Microsoft after completing a BA with Honors in Computer Science and Economics at Northwestern University. At Northwestern he serves on the board of trustees as well as a number of advisory boards in the university.
emeritus board members
Jerry Engel | Adjunct Professor, Haas School of Business; Founding Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, University of California at Berkeley
Jerry Engel is a veteran of Silicon Valley. After a successful career advising and founding entrepreneurial ventures, he joined the University of California at Berkeley in 1991 to found the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship. Mr. Engel is an adjunct professor at the Haas School of Business and instructs in both the school’s MBA and Executive Education programs specializing in Entrepreneurship, New Venture Finance, Corporate Innovation, Venture Capital and Private Equity. Engel is also co-founder and General Partner of Monitor Venture Partners, a venture capital firm organized in collaboration with the Monitor Group, investing in early stage technology ventures.
Jerry has founded successful entrepreneurial firms, taken several publics and sold others to major corporations. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of several high potential venture capital-backed and privately held firms. Previously he was the Managing Partner of Entrepreneurial Services for Ernst & Young in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the firm’s National Director of Capital Resources, a practice specializing in new venture financing. He is experienced in building programs to develop entrepreneurship faculty, with a specialty of working with business executives, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to develop them into highly effective college instructors. Since 2005 he has helped to create and lead the Intel Entrepreneurship Initiative, which has trained hundreds of faculty in more than 40 sessions conducted throughout the world. The initiative has included five global symposia held at the University of California-Berkeley that have brought together leading alumni of the program for intensive “train-the-trainer” instruction. His most recent research and publications focus on the nature of innovation processes in firms, communities and global networks. Professor Engel was the 2010 recipient of the NCIIA-Olympus Corporation Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award.