Founder and Managing Partner, Neworks
Judy Albers is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Neworks and a co-founder of Pre-Seed Workshop-New York. PSW-NY is currently serving Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca, Syracuse, Binghamton, Potsdam, Albany, and Long Island. Over 200 teams and 1200 high-level professionals have participated in nearly 40 PSWs resulting in over 60 company start-ups formed.
Prior to launching Neworks, Judy was the Chief Operating Officer at Excell Partners where she co-managed a state-supported Seed Fund, screening opportunities, conducting due-diligence, negotiating equity-based investments, and providing oversight for a portfolio of 21 companies. Along with her partner at Excell, Judy also launched the $eed-NY campaign in 2009 to further increase the level of seed capital available to NYS start-ups www.seedny.org. Prior to Excell, Judy was a Vice President at Trillium Group, another Rochester-based Venture Capital firm, where she co-managed the University Technology Seed Fund. Judy is a frequent speaker and panelist at local, regional, and national entrepreneurship conferences, business plan competitions, and venture forums. An academic at heart, she is an ardent analyst and author of studies related to entrepreneurship. Her papers, which have reached a regional, national, and international audience, can be downloaded at www.excellny.com, www.seedny.org, and www.psw-ny.org. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Western New York Venture Association. In previous careers, Judy has served as a chemistry professor at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, a defense analyst for U.S. Sixth Fleet in Naples, Italy and a research chemist at 3M Company in St. Paul, Minnesota. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry with Distinction from Duke University, a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Brandeis University, and completed her post-doc in Chemistry at Princeton University.
Michael A. D'Eredita, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, iSchool of Syracuse University
Michael D'Eredita is an Assistant Professor at the iSchool of Syracuse University. His research lies at the intersection of human cognition, collaboration and information technology, with a specific focus on high performing teams and emergent communities.
D'Eredita is part of a growing core of Upstate entrepreneurs and faculty focused on promoting entrepreneurship among Upstate campuses. Recent efforts of the team include the Student Startup Accelerator, a scalable social entrepreneurial effort focused on building a foundation for student start-ups across Upstate. Its focus is helping young entrepreneurs launch their ventures by building viable founding teams and developing working relationships with experienced mentors, coaches and investors. The effort includes: What's the Big Idea? and Idea2Startup, campus-wide courses focused on idea development, alpha/beta development and venture creation; the Syracuse Student Sandbox, a business incubator for both students and recent alumni of the Upstate region; and The Orange Tree Fund, established specifically for students at the stage of both business model and proof-of-concept development.
D'Eredita is a co-founder and principal of True North Group, LLC, an executive coaching firm that has helped hundreds of individuals and organizations establish the practice of high performance. He is also a co-founder of both D'Eredita D'Sign & D'velopment, Ltd., a company focused on the development of marketable widgets and web-based technologies and, most recently, Veda Sport, LLC., an assembly and distribution company.
D'Eredita coached the Finnish and Portuguese National Rowing Teams to international medals and continues to coach individual athletes and crews. D'Eredita received his B.S. in Physics from LeMoyne College and a MS and PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Syracuse University.
Founding Executive Director, Business Incubator Association of NYS
A resident of New York City, David Hochman is a consultant in technology-based economic development, serving clients in the government and non-profit sectors. In New York, he serves as founding Executive Director of the Business Incubator Association of New York State, Inc. As a national consultant for Battelle's Technology Partnership Practice, he has coauthored several landmark studies and has consulted to philanthropic foundations that are supporting regional strategies for technology- or innovation-based economic development. He is an advisor on innovation and entrepreneurship issues to Living Cities, a New York City-based collaborative of 22 of the nation's largest private foundations and corporate givers.
Earlier in his career, he served as Deputy Director of the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, where he managed a $125 million program of academic/industrial research centers and created a network of associated technology-commercialization programs. In the early 1980s, he co-founded and served as COO of a software venture based in New York City.
He holds an A.B. in the history of science from Princeton University and an MBA in finance from NYU's Stern School of Business. He has also taught strategic management to MPA students in NYU's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, as an adjunct associate professor. He has been honored for contributions to community development by the Mayor and City Council of Philadelphia while a resident of that city in the early 1990s.
Marnie LaVigne, Ph.D.
Director, Business Development
Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology
New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences (Buffalo/Niagara Region)
A native of Buffalo, New York, Dr. LaVigne holds a BS in neuroscience and a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester. She has spent over 20 years creating new products and start-up businesses involving innovative applications of technology in healthcare and life sciences across a range of sectors, including work with managed care (e.g., Aetna USHealthcare), pharmaceuticals (e.g., Bristol-Myers Squibb), medical devices (e.g., Welch Allyn) and medical informatics (e.g., Medscape/MedicaLogic, now GE Medical and WebMD).
After cofounding Patient InfoSystems, a technology-based consumer health management company which had an Initial Public Offering within two years of incorporation, she subsequently joined a Web portal and medical informatics company, Medscape, where she was Chief Marketing Officer.
Since 2001, Dr. LaVigne has focused her efforts back in Upstate New York to grow the life sciences industry, first as an independent consultant, then with BuffLink, an economic development organization in Buffalo.
In her current position as Director of Business Development for the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology at the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences, Dr. LaVigne is responsible for creating partnerships and commercialization linkages that facilitate the transfer of technology coming from the region’s premier research institutions in a ‘bench to the bedside’ approach facilitating economic growth and creation of jobs in the Buffalo Niagara region and Upstate New York.
Dr. LaVigne is an editorial board member for Biotechnology Healthcare and Disease Management, and a member of the Board of Directors for Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, the Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board, and the Women’s Business Center at Canisius College.
Center for Economic Growth (Albany/Capital District)
Peter Pritchard is currently a Program Director for the Center for Economic Growth (CEG), primarily focusing on initiatives supporting early-stage technology venture funding opportunities, including the Tech Valley Angel Network (TVAN).
Most recently, Pritchard was a Licensing Associate for Renssela... More Peter Pritchard is currently a Program Director for the Center for Economic Growth (CEG), primarily focusing on initiatives supporting early-stage technology venture funding opportunities, including the Tech Valley Angel Network (TVAN). Most recently, Pritchard was a Licensing Associate for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was responsible for the identification, management and out-licensing of technologies resulting from research at the university, principally involving physical sciences research topics such as nanotechnology, materials science and engineering, semiconductor and microelectronics and mechanical systems.
Prior to this position he was a Product Manager for Intermagnetics General (IGC) in Latham, N.Y., where he led the commercial development activities related to open magnet products. Pritchard also spent 12 years with GE in the Energy, Industrial and Global Research businesses.
He received his BS in Engineering from Brown University in 1987 and his M.S. in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2005. Pritchard is a graduate of GE's Technical Sales Program and a current member of the Licensing Executives Society.
James S. Senall
President, High Tech Rochester
Jim joined HTR as President in February 2009, where he manages all aspects of the organization in supporting innovators, entrepreneurs, and manufacturers in the nine-county Rochester/Finger Lakes Region. Jim also serves as Director of the Rochester Angel Network, a group of 30 accredited investors interested in seed and early stage opportunities.
Prior to joining HTR, Jim was Managing Director of Business Development at Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), where he was responsible for growing the local emerging business sector. This included efforts to fill infrastructure gaps, develop new programs, and drive collaboration among community partners to foster increased numbers and success rates of startup companies. His achievements included formation of the Rochester Angel Network, the RENEW NY virtual business incubator, annual regional business plan contests, and several other initiatives. Jim also led efforts at GRE to identify emerging industry sectors for regional growth, with particular focus on the Clean Tech sector. He developed and implemented a strategic plan focused on wind, solar, biofuel, and fuel cell opportunities, which included local cluster development, business attraction, and matchmaking activities.
Prior to GRE, Jim worked as a consultant to several early stage technology companies, and before that was employed by Advanced Vision Technologies, a semiconductor/MEMS startup, where he was involved in raising several million dollars in venture funding. Additional experience includes various operational and engineering assignments at TYCO Electronics in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
Jim holds a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, an MBA in Marketing and Entreprenurship from the Simon School (University of Rochester), and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma National Business Honor Society.
Marcene S. Sonneborn
President, Innovation Management Consulting Inc.
Adjunct Professor in Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University
Marcene Sonneborn, President of Innovation Management Consulting, Inc. works in the general areas of strategic planning, marketing and early stage financing for research and development. She provides technical and business assistance to clients in ideation, new concept and product development, technology transfer and commercialization, organizational planning, team development, and strategic partnering.
Marcie has operated the CNY SBIR/STTR Outreach program on contract for the Central New York Technology Development Organization (TDO) since 1992. This program, funded by the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR), covers a 35-county region in Central New York, including the Capital District, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier, and the North Country in addition to the five counties in Central NY. She has also provided training across New York State for SBIR advisors in other regions, including New York City and Long Island. She works across universities in Central New York beyond Syracuse University, including Cornell University, Clarkson, Rensselaer Polytechnic, SUNY Albany, and has an SBIR outreach office at Upstate Medical University. She also consults across technologies, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, engineering, information and computer science, and others. In October, 1997, Marcie was a recipient of the second annual Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. This award is given for economic impact of technological innovation, business achievement, and effective collaborations and state and regional impact and support.
In her business development consulting practice, Marcie has supported efforts across the Syracuse University campus to facilitate university spin-offs since 1985. As an Adjunct Professor in the Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) Department in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University since 1998, she has taught Introduction to EEE, both online and in the classroom. Since Fall 2003, she primarily teaches "Imagination, Entrepreneurship and Creative Problem-Solving." Marcie works with many of the departments and faculty in the schools and colleges participating in Syracuse University's Kauffman Initiative. She has taught "Creating the Future of Virtual Business 3.0" in the iSchool, and on the faculty team for the "What's the Big Idea" course.
Marcie has published articles in international journals for technology innovation, has been on editorial boards for technology transfer and management, and wrote a chapter on Marketing of Financial Services for a textbook published in Eastern Europe, and a 2002 publication for Adams Media about taking a business online.