Victor F. Russo,
PhD. - Victor F. Russo was former President and Chief Executive Officer of Ben Franklin Technology Center of Central and Northern Pennsylvania, Inc. and Managing Member, Penn Venture Partners. Vic Russo directs the activities of the Center located at Penn State. The Center's mission is to grow small technology companies and provides financial support spanning the full range from Research and Development to raising capital from private sources. The total program consists of company investments, operational assistance and support for activities with Venture Capital and private investors. The Center is a Joint Venture participant with Zero Stage Capital in one of the SBA's conditionally approved New Markets Venture Capital Companies. Prior to Ben Franklin, Vic was Director of Technical Programs with United Technologies Corporation in Shanghai, China where he opened the first wholly foreign-owned technology center in China. He established several joint ventures with the largest companies in China, including Aviation Industries of China. Previously, he was Director of European Operations for United Technologies Research Center based in Munich, Germany where he opened UTC's first European research center in Aachen, Germany. He established JV's with Daimler Benz, Finnmechanica and British Aerospace. Prior to these international assignments, he was Director of Business development for UTRC. Vic Russo has a diploma in Advanced Management Program from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Ph.D. in Physics from Penn State and a BS Physics from University of New Hampshire.
Carla Kikken-Jussen - Carla Kikken-Jussen is Vice President Medical Devices for Medpace, Inc. Ms. Jussen has over 30 years of experience in the medical device industry covering medical device clinical research and European Regulatory Affairs. Ms Jussen's industry experience includes her work with the Technical Committees and Working Groups of the European Commission in various areas: CEN-TC-316 "Animal tissues and their derivatives utilized in the manufacture of medical devices"; CEN-BT-WG 132 "Methods for analysis of Allergens" and NEN-301-007 "Quality Systems for Body Materials". Ms Jussen served on the board of the Life Sciences Limburg Group and is a member of the Dutch Standardization Institute (NEN), the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS) European Advisory Committee, the Orange County Regulatory Affairs organization, Member of the Board of Certification for CMDA (Certified Medical Device Associate) clinical evaluation and is Chairperson of the Board of Vimecon GmbH. In 2008 Carla was the first woman to be awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year by Rabobank Demarrage and in 2010 was awarded the Best Woman Entrepreneur by the Dutch Federation of Businesswomen. Carla has been named one of the 100 most influential business women in The Netherlands by Next Women 100 for her contributions as a consultant in the medical technology field. In 2012 MediTech - the company she founded in 2000 - merged with Medpace to form a comprehensive global development group, conducting clinical research and regulatory affairs consultation for medical device.
William Chang - William Chang is a Director in the Capital Markets Group of M&T Bank. In such capacity, Mr. Chang serves as the Director of the Bank's private placement activities and corporate advisory services. Mr. Chang's primary responsibilities include funding raising in the private placement market with products ranging from senior institutional debt, mezzanine debt, to equity. Mr. Chang has worked with companies across various industry segments as well as different stages of development. In addition, Mr. Chang assists companies in an advisory role in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, strategic evaluation, valuation, buyouts and divestitures, and general corporate advisory services. Immediately prior to joining M&T Bank in 1992, Mr. Chang was a senior manager in the Financial Services Practice of KPMG Peat Marwick's New York Office. In such capacity, he was responsible for managing audit engagements of multinational financial institutions, including top tier commercial banks and investment banks. During his tenure, he was also responsible for managing the firm's "Asian Desk" in coordinating firm-wide efforts on Asian financial clients. Mr. Chang also managed the publication of several of the Firm's technical literature addressing issues affecting the financial services industry. Mr. Chang holds a M.B.A. degree in finance from New York University and is a magna cum laude graduate of Pace University. He is a CPA, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of CPAs. Mr. Chang is a board member of the Queens Botanical Garden, having served as its Chairman for three years between 1997-2000. In such capacity, Mr. Chang spearheaded many of the Garden's strategic initiatives, including the launching of a master construction plan involving total funding of over $60 million. Mr. Chang worked closely with many local and state government representatives, private citizen groups as well as corporate supporters in carrying out his board responsibilities.
Bradley Melnick - Bradley Melnick is a career management consultant spanning a variety of roles, including operations management and efficiency, capital budgeting and forecasting for health care systems, bankruptcy, and general management consulting. Bradley currently leads and advises operational efficiency and improvement programs on behalf of functional leaders and executives in each of the UnitedHealth Group's segments as Vice President of Enterprise Performance. The scope of Bradley's work spans health benefits and services operations with particular experience in contact center operations, print / fulfillment and third party purchasing. Bradley gained his deep consulting expertise from his work at UnitedHealth, Booz Allen Hamilton (now Booz & Co), Strata Decision Technology, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Bradley holds an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business and a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign.
Mahmud Wazihulla - Mahmud Wazihullah is Managing Partner of The Small Business Oracle and Director of the Entrepreneurship Institute at Mercy College. Mr. Wazihulla is a seasoned entrepreneur and accomplished investment banking professional. Mr. Wazihullah started his career as an investment banker at Drexel Burnham Lambert and Management Consultant at The Boston Consulting Group. Mr. Wazihulla started and built several companies from vision to start-up and growth stage. The first he sold to a Private Equity company. The second is a successful Commercial Real Estate company that is now run by his employees. Mr Wazihulla is currently founder of LetsOrderNow.com, an online company which helps restaurants increase revenues and decrease costs, allows users to order lunch more conveniently and empowers both to donate meals to the needy at no cost. Mr Wazihulla lived, worked and travelled in over 25 countries. Mr Wazihulla brings an international perspective to the Institute. He was born in a corrugated hut in Bangladesh with no running water, and so he instills a socially mindful orientation in his students, employees, and young aspiring entrepreneurs. Mr. Wazihulla is a graduate of Electrical Engineering from University of Pennsylvania, Finance at The Wharton School and an MBA from Stanford University.
Dr. Denise Barbut - Dr. Barbut was brought up in Istanbul, Turkey. Dr Barbut was trained as an internist and subsequently as a neurologist in Great Britain and the USA. Denise received her bachelor's degree from University College London and her Medical Degree from University College Hospital. She did her post-graduate training at Imperial College, the Royal Brompton Hospital and the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queens' Square. Dr. Barbut is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom. She completed her neurologic training at Weill-Cornell Medical School and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and did a fellowship at Weill-Cornell Medical Center. Subsequently she became an Attending Physician and Professor of Neurology at Weill-Cornell Medical Center, where she headed the Neurovascular Division and the Stroke Research Program. Dr. Barbut left academia in 2000 after founding the second of her 6 biotechnology companies. Dr. Barbut is sole author or lead author on close to 200 issued or pending patents, mostly relating to methods for neuroprotection, hypothermia, the treatment of cerebral ischemia, head trauma, pain and neuromodulation. She is also the lead or senior author on over 50 articles. Dr, Barbut has been involved in founding, funding and running biotech companies for 17 years. The first two of her companies are sold, the third is on the market and the remainder are at earlier stages of development. Her main interest is in neurologic disorders. She is currently Founder and Chair at Sarentis Therapeutics and Astuce, Chair at Novo Biosciences, Director at Israel Brain Technologies, advisor to Serpin Pharmaceuticals and to Alzheimer's Disease Drug Foundation as well as a venture partner at Hadean Ventures.
Emanuel Martinez - Martinez is General Managing Director for GreenHills Ventures, LLC, a private investment holding company managing several investment arms headquartered in New York City and Luxembourg. Mr. Martinez manages the firm's investment activities, portfolio management, strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions with primary focus on the sectors the firm makes its investments. Prior to GreenHills Ventures, Mr. Martinez was a private investor and member of an investor group which invested and participated in the successful acquisition of sixdegrees.com to YouthStream Media Network (OTCBB: YSTM), a public company for $125 million, and followed by the successful acquisition of E@wonders, Inc. to BuyItNow for $150 million. Mr. Martinez is an active private investor and financial consultant and advisor to multi-family offices and corporate investment firms. Mr. Martinez brings wealth of over 30 years prior senior level corporate financial management and mergers and acquisition experience as Managing Director for Mergers & Acquisition at Citibank, NA, American Express Corporation, Coastal Oil, Inc. Inlumen, Inc., Dial Corporation, Seagram's Beverage Corporation, Olsten Financial Services, Coopers & Lybrand, LLP. In 1994, Mr. Martinez was appointed by Governor of Georgia, Zell Miller, as a member of Operation Legacy to work with Fortune 1000 companies in preparation for the 1996 Centennial Olympics Games. Mr. Martinez holds a M.B.A in Finance and a B.A. in Accounting from St. John's University and Harvard Business School Executive Management Program in Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Finance. Mr. Martinez was a Certified Public Accountant (Inactive) at Coopers & Lybrand, LLP (PriceWaterhouse Coopers, LLP). Mr. Martinez is an active investor and financial advisor serving on the advisory committees and board of GHV Angel Capital Group, AngelPool - Angel Group Advisory Board (www.angelpool.org), AdmieMobile, True Share Vault, Cloudnician-Kinician, N2-GS, Inc., Soshio, Inc. Mr Martinez is on the advisory committee for the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce (www.spainusstartup.com/advisory) and other board related activities on behalf of the firm's investment activities (www.boardprospects.com). Mr. Martinez is fluent in Spanish and conversant in Italian and Hebrew and lives with his wife and son in New York City. Mr. Martinez is a supports the National Community and Volunteer Services of America, a national not-for-profit organization which supports homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Mr. Martinez frequently volunteers with his son at several soup kitchens and senior homes in New York City and Pennsylvania.