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The IP Factory Advisory Board

Brian Romansky:
Member of Business Development Committee
Mr. Romansky is the Director of New Business Opportunities at Pitney Bowes. In this role, he is responsible for the management of an internal incubator that supports new growth businesses within existing business units. In addition, Brian runs the Employee Innovation Program, a collection of tools and processes that challenge employees at all levels to engage in innovation and change management. This combination of activities enables him to work with new concepts from their early stages through commercial launch and incubation. Brian holds masters degrees in Electrical Engineering and R&D Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Chris Kalish:
Chris Kalish is an innovation and technology consultant with more than 25 years of experience in Information Technology and systems architecture. As the Director and Chief Technology Officer of the General Electric edgelab research facility, Chris managed strategic corporate initiatives from New Product Introductions (NPIs) and Market Entrance Strategies to stochastic risk modeling and econometrics. Prior to his tenure at GE, Chris was a Technical Fellow at PepsiCo, where he was responsible for global systems architecture and technology strategies. Chris is the immediate past Chairman of the Connecticut Technology Council, a statewide association speaking for more than 2000 technology companies and providing a strong voice for innovation in Connecticut. His research experience includes parallel systems and hardware and compiler design and he has led applied studies in emerging technologies, such as biometrics, sales force automation, and broadband wireless technologies. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science from Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Harry Penner:
Harry Penner has spent 35 years with life sciences companies and been growing new bioscience companies in Connecticut since 1993.

He is a founder of New Haven Pharmaceuticals (Executive Chairman), Prevention Pharmaceuticals (Executive Chairman), Affinimark Technologies (Chairman), Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, RxGen, and MAK Scientific. He was President & CEO of Neurogen Corporation (Nasdaq) from 1993 to 2001, and an EVP of Novo Nordisk A/S from 1985 to 1993 (EVP for North America from 1988 to 1993 and EVP General Counsel in Denmark from 1985 to 1988).

He has been BioScience Advisor to the Governor (CT), Co-Chair of CURE, Chair of the CT Technology Council, and Chair of the CT Board of Governors of Higher Education. He has served on the boards of more than a dozen public and private bioscience companies: currently Celldex (Nasdaq), New Haven Pharmaceuticals, Prevention Pharmaceuticals, Affinimark, and Marinus. Mr. Penner holds degrees from Virginia (BA), Fordham (JD), and NYU (LLM).

Kevin Didden:
Coming Soon.

Kevin Williams:
Kevin is a senior management executive experienced in growing new business by leading the design, development and manufacture of electro-mechanical equipment, robotic systems, and software. Blends technical knowledge with strong operational and project management skills to build effective teams and improve financial performance by reducing costs and increasing operating efficiencies. Experience in strategy development and executive management team operation. Strong knowledge of international business operations, manufacturing and culture, especially in China.

Kevin is the former Vice President of Research & Development & CTO for Gerber Scientific, Kevin holds a BSEE from Northeastern University and a MSEE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Kevin is active in several professional organizations including the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Technology Council, the Advisory Board of the University of New Haven Tagliatela School of Engineering, and the advisory board of the Academy of Aerospace & Engineering in Windsor, CT. He is also a Gerson Lehrman Group consultant.

Michael Werle:
Dr. Werle is Founder and Senior Technical Advisor of FloDesign Wind Turbine Corp., Founder and President of FloPropulsion Systems LLC, a member of Connecticut Innovations’ Technical Advisory Board, a former member of Connecticut’s Board of Governors for Higher Education, an international technology development and management expert and a past president of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. In 1995 he retired from 18 years service with United Technologies Corporation (UTC) as the Director for International and External Programs in the Office of Science & Technology. He also previously served as the Head of the Gas Dynamics and Thermophysics Laboratory of UTC’s Research Center. Prior to that he was a Professor of Engineering for 10 years on the faculties of the University of Cincinnati and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He started his career as a researcher in US Navy research laboratories in Maryland. He has over 20 patents, advised and graduated 14 PhDs and has published over 40 papers in referred journals. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Stephen Bloch:
General Partner, Canaan Partners

Having been an entrepreneur and practicing physician, Dr. Steve Bloch knows firsthand how to navigate the opportunities and challenges of building successful healthcare companies. Stephen spearheads Canaan’s investment efforts to find companies that make healthcare more efficient, especially in healthcare IT and related services.

As executive chairman, Stephen led Canaan’s investment in Advanced BioHealing (ABH) in 2005. In 2011, ABH was acquired by Shire in an all-cash deal worth $750M, generating a 15X return for Canaan.

Currently, Stephen is a board director at Liquidia, Cylex, Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Dicom Grid, Axial Exchange, and Mitraspan. He is also chairman of the Connecticut Venture Group. Before joining Canaan in 2002, Stephen founded Radiology Management Sciences (RMS), a pioneer in managing radiology benefits for health plans where he was CEO for 6 years. Stephen helped start OmniSonics Medical Technologies, which engineered novel ultrasonic catheters for treating vascular occlusive disease and co-founded TeleRad, an early teleradiology services company. Prior to embarking on startups, Stephen was a strategic consultant for Arthur D. Little, a global consulting firm. In 2002, Stephen was a Ewing Marion Kauffman Fellow, an educational program to develop future leaders in venture capital.

He obtained his AB from Dartmouth College, he received his MA in the history of science and public policy from Harvard, and he earned his medical degree from the University of Rochester. Steve received his medical training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (radiology) and Lenox Hill Hospital/Cornell Medical School (internal medicine).

Susan Froshauer:
Susan is an experienced scientist, mentor, entrepreneur and investor with skill at connecting academic expertise and technology with the commercial sector. She is currently President and CEO of CURE, The Bioscience Network of Connecticut. From 2010 to 2013 Susan was Director of the Technology Exchange Portal at the University of Connecticut’s Office of Economic Development. In this role Susan assists Connecticut-based entrepreneurs and organizations with initiatives that train students, create jobs and contribute to economic development. She connects ideas with business expertise, business plans with investors and industry with scholars.

Until 2010, Susan served as President and CEO of Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, which she co-founded in New Haven in 2000. Under her leadership, Rib-X raised more than $160 million in private equity, bridge financing and government grants and built a robust pipeline of antibiotics to treat serious hospital infections. Prior to Rib-X, Susan served as a member of Pfizer’s Strategic Alliance Group where she was key to the creation of a $200 million investment portfolio that transformed the Pfizer global research and development strategy, helping the company identify new resources for drug discovery.

Susan received a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University and a B. A. from Connecticut College. She performed post-doctoral research at Yale Medical School in the Department of Cell Biology as a Jane Coffin Child’s Fellow.

Tom McInerney:
Coming Soon.

Victor Budnick:
Victor Budnick joined Ironwood Capital in 2006 with a focus on early and growth stage companies, including both equity and venture debt investments. In 2010 he co-founded Ironwood Capital Connecticut, which manages capital focused on financings in Connecticut companies. Victor leads the effort to invest those funds across the capital spectrum in companies at various development stages.

Since 2007, he has been a partner and member of the investment committee of Ironwood’s equity fund with a primary focus on growth capital and mezzanine investments in expansion stage businesses. For over 10 years, Victor was the President and Executive Director of Connecticut Innovations, the State of Connecticut’s investor in emerging technology companies and a national model for public investment in the health care and technology sectors, achieving returns commensurate with its most successful private sector peers. Throughout his investment career, he has served as a board member or participated as a board representative and advisor to more than 50 companies.

From 2010 to 2011 he served as the initial Lead Venture Mentor at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute and helped create the venture mentoring program. He continues as a member of the YEI Operating Board. He has received the Connecticut Technology Council’s 2011 Technology Leadership Award for contributions to the technology community, including introducing direct public investment in emerging technology companies in Connecticut. He is a recipient of the Connecticut Venture Group Leadership Award in recognition of his contributions to the Connecticut technology and venture communities and of the Seton Elm Award in recognition of efforts to strengthen ties between Yale University and the City of New Haven.

Victor received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and is a graduate of both Harvard Law School and the Yale School of Management.


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