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2021 Speakers

Welcome & Penn State's Student Startup Showcase

Dr. Eric J. Barron

President - Penn State University

Eric J. Barron began his tenure as the 18th president of The Pennsylvania State University on May 12, 2014. Previously, Barron served as president of Florida State. He has more than 35 years of leadership experience in academic administration, education, research and public service, as well as a track record as a talented manager of fiscal policy within large and complex institutions.

In 2017, Barron was named the chairman of the Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) for the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU). He also serves on the Board of Directors for APLU, Kish Bancorp, Inc., the Board of Trustees for University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), and Universities Research Association (URA). He is also a member of the Knight Commission and the College Football Playoff Board of Managers.

Barron spent the first 20 years of his career at Penn State, serving as dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences from 2002 to 2006, and as founding director of the Earth System Science Center, one of the first major initiatives focused on the total study of Earth as a system. In 1999, he was named Distinguished Professor of Geosciences at Penn State.

An accomplished scientist with a long background in atmospheric research, Barron was the director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Over the decades, Barron has lent his significant expertise in the areas of atmospheric science and the geosciences to many national committees and federal agencies, including nearly 20 years of service as the chair of multiple National Research Council committees and boards.

Barron earned a B.S. in geology at Florida State and his M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography at the University of Miami.

Dr. Lora Weiss

Sr. Vice President of Research - Penn State University

Lora G. Weiss, Ph.D., is the senior vice president for research at The Pennsylvania State University, where she oversees the entire Research Enterprise. Penn State consistently ranks among the nation's top 25 public research universities, with fiscal year 2020 annual research expenditures exceeding $1 billion.

Weiss is an accomplished scientist and educator with more than 30 years of experience in higher education. With a background in robotics and unmanned systems, Weiss has centered her research on advancing the capabilities of unmanned air, ground, sea surface, and undersea vehicles. Weiss served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), which is the world's largest unmanned systems organization. She was on the technical advisory board of the National Robotics Technology Consortium. She was an Executive Board Member for NDIA's Undersea Warfare Division; she supported several National Academies' studies; and she supported the Center for New American Security's Future Foundry Task Force. Weiss received her Ph.D. in acoustics from Penn State, her master's degree in mathematics from UCLA, and her bachelor's degree in mathematics from Boston University.

Session #1 - Investing in Rural & Heartland America

Matthew Weinbaum

Shareholder - Dentons Cohen & Grigsby

Matt is a lawyer with extensive experience advising investors, companies and executive teams across all stages of the corporate lifecycle, with a specialization in guiding clients through important early-stage transactions that provide foundational and growth capital to emerging companies.

His clients operate in and/or invest in a diverse array of industries, ranging from robotics to the agricultural sciences, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, autonomous vehicles, digital media and beyond.

Matt formerly served as assistant general counsel and senior investigator at the Mintz Group in New York, a corporate intelligence and investigations firm. Matt began his career in the project finance group at Chadbourne & Parke LLP in New York.

Falon Donohue

Partner - Narya

Falon Donohue is a Partner at Narya, an early-stage venture capital firm that invests nationally across a variety of sectors. She is an experienced operator and U.S.A.F. veteran with a diverse background in economic development, executive leadership, and sales and marketing. Falon is also the Founder of Sadie Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm, and Chairperson at InnovateOhio, a state-led initiative focused on the growth of Ohio's tech-based economy. Falon resides in Columbus, Ohio where she serves on several nonprofit boards and advisory groups focused on economic empowerment and entrepreneurship.

Abby Lyall

Vice President - Big Idea Ventures

Abby Lyall is a Vice President at Big Idea Ventures, a global venture fund solving the world's biggest problems by backing great entrepreneurs. She focuses on Series A+ investments in companies solving the issues of food waste, plastic pollution, water waste and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as commercializing university IP in the food and agriculture spaces. Prior to joining the BIV team, Abby was the second employee at Quake Capital Partners where she worked with over 70 early stage companies across industries. She holds a degree from New York University's Stern School of Business.

Lydia McClure

VP Scientific Partnerships - Research Bridge Partners

Lydia McClure works to create venture fundable opportunities from University research labs. She is currently the VP of Scientific Partnerships for Research Bridge Partners (RBP), which uses proprietary analytic tools to identify promising innovators at heartland universities and translate their innovations into the real economy. Prior to RBP, Lydia led the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) program focused on training technologists to identify market opportunities for technology-based innovations. She earned a B.A. with a concentration in Biochemistry from Carleton College and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Session #2 - The State of Venture and Growth Capital in the COVID-19 Era

Jonathan Moyer

Partner - Reed Smith LLP

Jonathan is a Partner in the Reed Smith's Global Corporate Group in Philadelphia, PA. Jonathan advises companies, funds and significant individuals regarding venture capital and growth equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity transactions, equity and debt offerings, corporate governance issues and general corporate law. In his practice, Jonathan regularly counsels clients focused in the healthcare, life sciences, financial services, energy and media and technology industries, among others. Jonathan is a 2002 graduate of the Penn State - University Park Smeal College of Business. He received his Juris Doctorate, with honors, from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Law. He also holds his Masters of Business Administration from Temple University and Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.

Steve Carpenter

Senior Vice President - Life Science Greenhouse of Central PA/PSU Garber Fund

Steve Carpenter, BSME/MBA, is a Senior Vice President at the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central PA. The LSGPA is a seed-stage investment organization that invests up to $2 million in promising life science companies in central Pennsylvania. Steve's principal responsibilities include serving as director or board observer for portfolio companies, evaluating prospective companies and performing due diligence for investment. Steve also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at the Smeal College of Business Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship teaching Entrepreneurial Finance to 2nd year MBA students and serves as the Program Administrator for the Garber Fund providing venture investment experiences for MBA students.

Catherine Mott

President & CEO - BlueTree Allied Angels

Catherine Mott is the founder of BlueTree Capital Group, BlueTree Allied Angels, and the BlueTree Venture Fund located in Pittsburgh, PA. As of December 2020, the BT entities have invested $57+ million in several startup companies. Ms. Mott is the past Chairman of the Angel Capital Association (ACA) and the Angel Resource Institute. Ms. Mott is a member of the ACA Public Policy Committee; she also is serving her fourth term as one of 21 individuals selected for the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies.

• Current Portfolio Board Seats: C360 Technologies, Anglr, Peptilogics, Imprint, Cytoagents
• Previous Portfolio Board Seats: RedPath Integrated Pathology, ShoeFitr, ApartmentJet, Safest Seats and Figure 8
• Non-profit Boards: Innovation Works (BFTP), Thiel College, NextAct Fund, Pittsburgh Tech Council

Catherine has been a contributor to the Smart Business Magazine (Pittsburgh edition), plus she has been quoted or featured in many professional industry publications as one of the few women who represent the industry of venture capital - The New York Times, Wall St Journal, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Tribune Review, the Erie Times, PA KeyNotes, The Angel Journal, TEQ, Pop City, The Scientist.

Professional and Business Awards/Recognition:

2018 Thiel College, Haller Institute, Entrepreneur of the Year
2017 Hans Severeins Angel of the Year (Nat'l Award, nominated by top peers in the USA)
2017 Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association "Impact Award"
2017 Pittsburgh Business Times Womens' First Award
2015 Smart 50, Smart Business Magazine
2014 CB Insights, Top 20 US Angel Groups
2011 Inc Magazine, Top 50 US Angel Groups
2009 Corporate Ambassador for the US Dept of State representing Women in Venture Capital
2002 Pennsylvania's 50 Best Women in Business

Prior to forming her own business, Catherine worked 17 years in corporate banking management where she served in senior management roles for investment sales/wealth management, commercial lending, business development, and retail expansion. Today, Ms. Mott uses these experiences and her education to bring together capital and prime investment opportunities.

Catherine holds an MBA in Finance, a BS in Education and a Masters' Degree in Education.

Ms. Mott has been a speaker/panelist at national and regional conferences for: The Angel Capital Association, National Association of Seed and Venture Funds (NASVF), the State Science and Technology Initiative (SSTI), New Zealand Angel Summit, NACO annual summit, Michigan Growth Capital Conference, North Carolina's Angel Investor Summit, Ohio Venture Association, the National Governors' Association, and EBAN (European Business Angel Network).

Personally, she is a proud supporter of two major non-profits: The RAND Corporation, a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision-making through high quality research and analysis, and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan non-profit organization committed to educating the public on issues with significant fiscal policy impact.

Shaunak Parikh

Partner - EW Healthcare Partners

Shaunak Parikh is a Partner in the New York office of EW Healthcare, a private equity firm specializing in growth stage investments in healthcare.

At EW, he is responsible for identifying and evaluating new investments across the healthcare sector including pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic and technology-enabled service opportunities. Shaunak also plays an active role in the management and value creation process of existing portfolio companies. During his time at EW, Shaunak has been a key member in a number of the firm's investments, including MiMedx Group, Cardiva Medical, Prolacta Bioscience, TissueTech, TELA Bio, Bioventus and Encore Dermatology.

Shaunak began his career in the investment banking group at Citigroup, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions primarily in the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors. He earned his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with Honors from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.

Hunter Swisher

CEO - Phospholutions, Inc.

Hunter currently serves as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Phospholutions, Inc., which he founded prior to graduating with an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University. Phospholutions develops solutions for managing global phosphorus use. RhizoSorb technology is a soil amendment and fertilizer additive increasing nutrient and water use efficiency, cutting fertilizer costs, and reducing the environmental impact of phosphorus fertilizers. Phospholutions has raised over $12M in non-dilutive, convertible, and equity financing.

He received his B.S. in Plant Sciences with minors in Mycology and Plant Pathology from the College of Agricultural Sciences. During his undergraduate career, Hunter was recognized by the Vice President of Research as Top Entrepreneur within the university for his work in commercializing two patents from the university. Under his leadership, Phospholutions was awarded the top prize in the Penn State Venture and IP Technology Showcase, Big IDEA Contest by Ben Franklin Technology Partners, and featured on the WPSU television series The Investment. Hunter has been recognized three consecutive years as Foremost under 40 by Pennsylvania Business Central, Top 100 People of Pennsylvania, and recognized for his contribution to the environment by Governor Tom Wolf.

He currently serves on the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisory Board within the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State. He is an active member and an Ambassador for the International Fertilizer Association and serves on the Public Affairs & Communications and Agricultural Strategic Advisory Teams, as well as the Metrics and Applications Sustainability Committees. He also serves on the Sustainability Committee for The Fertilizer Institute.

Hunter's passions include sustainable agriculture, circular economies, entrepreneurship & innovation, and venture capital.

Penn State Tech Tournament

Alice Cheng

Associate - Upfront Ventures

Alice joined Upfront in 2018, with a focus on biology and deep tech. Prior to joining Upfront, Alice spent two years at the Boston Consulting Group in San Francisco, where she advised enterprise technology and biopharma clients. Alice also supported business development and operations at the Rare Genomics Institute, a nonprofit connecting families in the rare disease space. Alice received her PhD in biomedical engineering from a joint program between the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, and Peking University.

Dr. James Delattre

Associate Vice President - Office for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization - Penn State

James Delattre serves as Associate Vice President for Research and Director of the Office for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization where he leads entrepreneurship program development for the Invent Penn State initiative and leads commercialization strategy, resources and support for Penn State's startup pipeline and innovation hub program. He is an alumnus of the Professional Fellows Program of the American Councils for International Education and serves on the board of directors for the New Leaf Initiative. James is principal investigator for Penn State's National Science Foundation I-Corps Site, a member of the advisory board of the Center for Medical Innovation at the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine and serves as secretary of the Penn State Research Foundation.

Prior to joining Penn State, Dr. Delattre worked in nanomaterials and semiconductor startups in central Pennsylvania and Silicon Valley. Dr. Delattre earned his PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed postdoctoral work at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche at the University of Bari, Italy. Dr. Delattre received his BS with honors in Chemistry from Penn State, where he studied inorganic chemistry and Russian language.

Ilana Diamond

Managing Partner - 412 Venture Fund

As Managing Partner of 412 Venture Fund, Ilana leads fund activities, including sourcing, evaluating and investing in the Pittsburgh region's most promising startups.

Previously, Ilana was a Managing Director of Riverfront Ventures, Innovation Works' Venture Fund for early stage companies. She also served at Innovation Works as Managing Director of Hardware and AlphaLab Gear where she led a team that helped startups make rapid progress through the early stages of product and customer development.

Earlier in her career, Ilana led and grew tech companies from startup to exit — building management teams, raising venture capital, and managing mergers and acquisitions from both ideas of the table (buyer and seller).

Ilana frequently serves in leadership roles on boards of private companies and not-for-profit organizations. Her academic background includes a B.A. in Biological Sciences and Economics from Northwestern University, and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Jim Pietropaolo

- Penn State

Jim is the Associate Director of the Penn State Office of Entrepreneurship and Commercialization and an active member of the Invent Penn State team. Jim's efforts are focused on supporting Penn State startup companies including the development and management of the Penn State Startup Leadership Network (SLN). The SLN is a network of experienced industry leaders that provide business support to the growing number of Penn State startups.

Prior to working at Penn State, Jim was a medical imaging industry veteran with a combination of large company (J&J, GE-Lunar, Hitachi) and entrepreneurial experience working with tech-based startup companies. Jim's successful track record includes his role as VP of U.S. Sales for Lunar Corporation. During his five-year tenure with Lunar, annual sales grew from $12 million to $100 million leading to a successful acquisition by GE Medical Systems.

Bruce Shook

President & CEO - Vesper Medical, Inc.

Mr. Bruce Shook is a highly-experienced, medical device executive with more than 30 years of industry experience, including multiple early stage ventures focused on opportunities in cardiac surgery, cardiology, neurosurgery, psychiatry and vascular disease. Mr. Shook formed Vesper Medical in 2016 as a spinout of Intact Vascular. Mr. Shook served as President & CEO of both Intact Vascular and Vesper Medical until Intact Vascular was purchased by Royal Philips in 2020. Prior to Vesper Medical and Intact Vascular, Mr. Shook was co-founder, Director, President and CEO of Neuronetics [NASDAQ: STIM], which markets a non-invasive brain stimulation technology for the treatment of depression.

Previously, Mr. Shook was co-founder, Director, President and CEO at Neuron Therapeutics, a venture-backed company developing a drug/device product for the treatment of CNS disorders and President of Abiomed [NASDAQ: ABMD] where he successfully obtained PMA approval for the first, FDA-approved ventricular assist device. Mr. Shook also developed cardiac pacing and anti-arrhythmia products at Cordis Corporation.

Mr. Shook holds advanced degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Business Administration from Columbia University and the MIT Sloan School of Management, respectively. He earned a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Penn State University. Mr. Shook currently serves on the Board of Directors at Devoro Medical, the Penn State Research Foundation and Life Sciences PA. He previously served as a Director at Surgiquest, Respicardia and CoTherix.

Harl Tolbert

Assistant VP of Research - Penn State Research Foundation

Harl Tolbert is the Assistant Vice President for Research and Director, Office of Technology Management at Penn State University. Previously, he served as the Director of the Office of Technology Transfer and Commercial Development at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York. At Roswell Park, he managed a commercialization fund that helped establish start-up companies in areas such as cancer immuno-therapy and precision diagnostics.

Prior to leading Roswell Park's technology transfer efforts, he spent seven years as the Associate Director of the Office of Technology Transfer at the University of Rochester; during his time there, the office was ranked in the top ten in licensing revenues among U.S. universities. Before entering academic technology transfer, he spent several years in the commercial sector, having worked in the Chemical and Agricultural Products Division of Abbott Laboratories in North Chicago, Illinois and in the Business Development Group of Pierce Chemical in Rockford, Illinois.

Erika Swift

Associate Director - Penn State College of Medicine

Erika Swift serves as the Associate Director for Penn State College of Medicine's Center for Medical Innovation, which helps accelerate technology development through education, discovery, proof of concept programs, funding initiatives and startup support. The Center also facilitates collaborations with fellow institutions, industry partners and economic development organizations. Understanding the importance of technology transfer to regional economic growth, Ms. Swift also serve as the President of BioStrategy Partners, Inc. a 501c3 nonprofit consortium of seven academic medical centers and research institutes committed to the development and transfer of academic research into the marketplace.

Prior to joining Penn State College of Medicine in 2015, Ms. Swift worked in various industry sectors including medical devices, dental equipment and consumer goods having more than 20 years of experience in regional economic development, technology commercialization, new business development, operations, and startups. Ms. Swift received her Bachelor's Degree in Marketing with a concentration in International Business from Bloomsburg University, an MBA from York College of Pennsylvania, and currently enrolled in MHA program at Penn State University.

Session #3 - Life Science Ventures Addressing COVID-19

Larry Miller

Managing Director of Life Sciences - Innovation Works

As the Managing Director of Life Sciences, Larry Miller works with the management teams of early-stage life sciences and medical device companies and other start-ups. Larry helps entrepreneurs address their critical business issues including product and business development, fundraising, sales and marketing, and strategic planning. Some of these high potential enterprises receive grant or investment funds and become members of the Innovation Works investment portfolio. For portfolio companies, Larry provides mentoring and network access, and may serve as an observer on the board of directors.

Larry has more than 20 years experience in leading and managing medical device companies to identify commercializeable IP and accelerate product development, raise venture capital, manage cash flow, identify market opportunities and generate sales, sustain profits, and implement productivity and quality improvement practices. His background includes 16 years of P&L and balance sheet management of divisions as large as $600M in sales to as small as a skunk works product development team designing novel permanent magnet based MRI systems.

Prior to joining Innovation Works, Larry was President and CEO of Biomec, a privately held technology accelerator and investment company which raised over $20M in SBIR grants and provided contract engineering and manufacturing as well as business development consulting for radiology product manufacturers and distributors. Previously, Larry was President of the Healthcare Products group at Picker International and Philips Medical systems, a $600M distributor of radiology supplies. He also managed the Asia/ Pacific region for sales and service of the diagnostic imaging product portfolio, and was president of the Picker Financial Group, a JV, captive leasing company. Other experience included leading the marketing and sales of CT and MRI products for Picker and General Electric Medical systems. Larry is a member of the Coulter Oversight Committee. He is an active volunteer in the Reading is fundamentals program and in Entrepreneuring Youth. Larry serves a s a judge for the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science and for the Pennsylvania Regional Engineering and Science Fair, both organizations support STEM programs.

Larry has earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School.

Pete DeComo

Chairman & CEO - ALung Technologies, Inc.

Pete DeComo, a Pittsburgh region native, has served as Chairman and CEO of ALung Technologies, Inc. since 2010. ALung is the developer of a revolutionary artificial lung for patients suffering from Acute Respiratory Failure. He has raised in excess of $100M in order to complete the development of ALung's technology, which is now approved in 35 countries outside the U.S., where it has saved countless lives (https://youtu.be/KV_-V_X0Jzs). Prior to ALung he was founder, Chairman and CEO Renal Solutions, Inc. (RSI). RSI developed a revolutionary dialysis technology system for patients suffering from kidney failure. Mr. DeComo was the key driver in raising $40M of equity financing, completing the development process of the Company's main product, obtaining regulatory approvals and initiating commercialization in domestic and international markets. On November 26, 2007 RSI was acquired by Fresenius Medical Care Holdings. Total consideration paid was $200 MM, which was significant considering that RSI was pre-revenue. Before founding RSI, he was the Chief Operating Officer of HemoTherapies Inc., a start-up company in San Diego, commercializing the only FDA-cleared Liver Dialysis System. He was previously Senior Vice President of the Specialty Pharmacy Division for Olsten Health Services, now Accredo, a $600 million specialty pharmacy provider. Prior to joining Olsten, Mr. DeComo held numerous senior level positions in the health care industry, launching and commercializing specialized products and services to patients in the home setting After serving in the military, including a tour in Vietnam, Mr. DeComo began his professional career a Registered Respiratory Therapist serving as the Clinical Instructor at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Presby, and for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Critical Care Medicine Division. Following his experience at UPMC Presby, Mr. DeComo served as the Director of Cardio-Respiratory Services at UPMC Shadyside Hospital. Spanning his career as an entrepreneur, Mr. DeComo has directly raised, or assisted in raising over $200 million in equity capital.

Mr. DeComo has a passion for advancing the development of Life Science companies in the Pittsburgh region and devotes a majority of his time and effort to numerous entrepreneurial and community-based activities;

• Chairman and CEO, Alung Technologies, Inc.
• Past Chairman, Current Director, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG)
• Past Director, Executive Committee Member, Pittsburgh Technology Council
• Past Chairman, Community College of Allegheny County Educational Foundation
• Past Chairman and Director, ClearCount Medical Solutions, Inc.

Mr. DeComo is recognized for his contributions to the Life Sciences community and has been the recipient of the following awards;

• Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year Award" in Healthcare for 2008
• Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association "Entrepreneur of the Year" for 2008
• CCAC "Hall of Fame Lifetime Legends Award for Leadership" in 2008
• Carnegie Science Center "Entrepreneur of the Year" in 2005
• Finalist for the Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year Award" in 2004 and 2006
• University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitative Sciences, "Deans Choice Award" in 2005
• University of Pittsburgh "Legacy Laureate" Award in 2005

Tim Pelura

CEO - Respana Therapeutics

Dr. Pelura is a serial life science entrepreneur with over 40 years of experience in the life science industry and has been pivotal in the development of several new therapies spanning numerous therapeutic areas.

Dr. Pelura has enjoyed a long history of growing early/idea stage life science companies through various financing strategies to well-capitalized, successful companies. He is currently the CEO of OptiKira, pursuing therapeutics targeting ER stress and the UPR (unfolded protein response) in several diseases. Additionally, he is CEO of Respana Therapeutics, a startup developing therapeutics to increase influenza survival, and Executive Chair of Haima Therapeutics, developing therapies for bleeding disorders and hematologic diseases. His previous positions include CEO of Surpass, Inc., a preclinical CRO, Chairman, President & CEO of Immunome, an antibody platform company; founding CEO of Promedior, a product-focused biotech company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of fibrotic disorders and diseases; Chief Scientific Officer for Kereos, a biopharma company focusing on oncology, cardiology, and molecular imaging; President and COO of Provasis Therapeutics, a developer of interventional neurosurgical devices; executive R&D positions at Neuron Therapeutics and Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp; and various positions at Pharmacia, a multinational pharmaceutical company.

Dr. Pelura is also pivotally involved in several non-profit, regional and national life science initiatives, sits on the boards of several biotech organizations, and holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Rutgers University.

Teresa Whalen

CEO - CytoAgents, Inc.

Teresa Whalen has had a 20+ year career in Life Sciences. As a biotech innovator, healthcare technology leader, life sciences investor, and clinical pharmacist; she has a successful track record of bringing life-changing healthcare products to market. As the CEO of CytoAgents, she leads a team of world-renowned clinical drug development experts and scientific advisory board members who are at the forefront of groundbreaking solutions to combat persistent and potentially deadly strains of Influenza, COVID19, and other viruses. CytoAgents is building a platform to revolutionize treatment for respiratory illnesses and viral epidemics.

In addition, Teresa serves as a Board Member at St. Clair Hospital, a highly regarded healthcare institution with leading quality metrics in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. As a member of the Quality and Safety Committee, I collaborate with the Executive Management other healthcare leaders to optimize care delivery, quality, and patient safety. I also serve as a member of the Community Outreach Committee and Medical Staff Development, focusing on the needs of the community and medical staff.

As an investor, Teresa is a Co-Chair of the investment committee of the Next Act Fund, focused on women led companies, and plays a leading role in sourcing, funding, and guiding firms from startup to exit.

Teresa's background also includes several years of experience as a Senior Executive and Clinical Pharmacist with leading organizations including Siemens Medical, McKesson and UPMC.

Virtual Entertainment & Happy Hour

Zach King

- American Internet Personality, Filmmaker, & Illusionist

Zach King is an American internet personality, filmmaker, and illusionist based in Los Angeles. He is most known for his "magic vines", which are six-second videos digitally edited to look as if he is doing magic. He calls his videos "digital sleight of hand". He began posting videos on YouTube in 2008 and in 2013 he started posting videos to Vine. King posted his first video to TikTok in 2016 and has since accumulated over 45 million followers, making him the third most-followed individual on the platform.

King won the Hewlett-Packard commercial contest in 2010 and got a trip to the red carpet at the London Film Festival. In 2013, he won YouTube's NextUp Creators Contest. In 2015, King and his wife Rachel Holm competed in the 28th season of the American reality game show The Amazing Race. They were eliminated during the ninth leg of the race is placed sixth in the overall standings.

Morning Announcements & Session #4 - Deconstruct Status Quo Thinking to Drive Innovation in Your Company

Nena Ellis

Director - Marketing/Communications - Invent Penn State

Nena Ellis leads marketing and communication efforts for Invent Penn State, the university's strategic initiative to drive innovation, economic development, and student career success in Pennsylvania and beyond. Throughout her 30-year marketing and publishing career Ms. Ellis has assisted companies and nonprofit organizations locally, nationally, and internationally in achieving their revenue goals, while fulfilling their missions responsibly.

Her work has been integral to the successful development of numerous brands, from tech startups to consumer brands, including the snowboard and action sports brand AIRWALK, where she led international marketing, and Sheetz, where she was head of public relations and a member of the brand team that rebranded Sheetz as a "convenience restaurant". Ellis owned a marketing consultancy, GO! Marketing & PR, for more than a decade, providing branding and communications strategy for dozens of regional brands, including two of Penn State's successful biotech startups, Salimetrics and Indigo BioSciences.

Ms. Ellis's strategic approach is characterized by thoughtful brand marketing strategies, creative storytelling, and use of specialized vendor networks to deliver engaging communications, customer-centered tools and training, and public relations events and campaigns that break through media clutter.

Brian Slawin

Director and Portfolio Manager - Ben Franklin Technology Partners

Find, Mentor and Invest in tech startups & advanced manufacturers. We Invest in Innovation.

3 Decades of Strategic Leadership, Product & Technology Innovation and Sales Success.

An accomplished operations executive with a comprehensive technology, marketing and sales background.

A proven track-record for building and leading world-class, cross-functional teams in large company and startup settings; both onsite and virtually.

Entrepreneurial and insightful with a clear communications style, skilled at partnering with senior leaders to capitalize on opportunities, manage product development and introduction while guiding sales in a fast-paced environment.

Highly networked with the ability to create business partnerships that maximize profitability.

Proven capacity for managing P&L, driving consistent revenue growth, enhancing customer retention, energizing operational efficiencies and evolving companies from low-margin services to high margin/high quality product offerings.

• Innovative, Entrepreneurial, Pragmatic & Inclusive
• Plan & Implement Process Controls & Standardization
• Process Reengineering, Strategic Planning & Alignment
• Product Development, Management & Evolution
• Develop, Retain & Grow Fortune 1,000 Clients
• Plan, Evaluate & Execute Marketing/Sales Campaigns
• Develop, Nurture and Grow C-Level Sales Teams
• Secure Angel/Venture Funding, Manage Investor Relations

Professional Speaker on Startup and Entrepreneurial Topics at "Slawin Says".

Please connect or email me through LinkedIn.

Sultan Meghji

Chief Innovation Officer - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

Sultan Meghji is the inaugural Chief Innovation Officer at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and is charged with leading the efforts to promote the adoption of innovative technologies across the financial services sector. A St. Louis entrepreneur and recognized expert in financial technology, Sultan brings years of technical knowledge and an entrepreneurs spirit to the FDiTech team. A professor at Washington University in St. Louis, a scholar for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a scholar at Bretton Woods Committee, Sultan co-founded Neocova, a fintech firm providing secure, cloud-native, AI-based software for community banks and credit unions. In addition, he has worked on missions to help implement digital banking in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, and worked with fintechs and central banks to create peer-to-peer banking solutions for hundreds of thousands of people in underserved areas of Africa and Central Asia. His published works cover topics including artificial intelligence, biotech, big data, analytics, and startups and Sultan's work at the FDIC will be to " . . . engage both public and private sector partners and to help the FDIC to lead at this transformative moment in our nation's banking history to ensure the financial system of the future is innovative, resilient, accessible and equitable

Tina Q. Richardson

Chancellor - PENN STATE LEHIGH VALLEY

Tina Q. Richardson joined the Penn State family in July 2015, as chancellor of the Lehigh Valley campus and has since focused her efforts on three key campus priorities: Academic Excellence, Campus Visibility and Enrollment. To date, her most notable achievements in this role include strong enrollment growth, the initiation and impending completion of a $16 million campus expansion and serving as a driving force behind innovative Collective Impact partnerships with a local community college and the United Way, as well as the Collective Impact Scholarship Fund.

Richardson came to Penn State Lehigh Valley from Drexel University, where she served as associate dean of academic affairs at Drexel University's School of Education, leading academic program development and evaluation, faculty professional developmentand the promotion and tenure process. She also served as director of the University's Assisted School efforts to improve K-12 public education in West Philadelphia's Promise Zone, working to secure millions of dollars in funding for in- and -out-of-school time programming. She was also the founder of Drexel's Critical Conversations in Urban Education lecture series.

Richardson is a long-term resident of the Lehigh Valley and served as a faculty member in Lehigh University's College of Education for 20 years. She was also director of Lehigh's counseling psychology program and a special assistant to the provost for a National Science Foundation-funded leadership initiative for women in science, technology, engineeringand mathematics.

In December of 2020, she graduated from the Pennsylvania Education Policy Fellowship Program and was a member of the 2015-2016 class of American Council on Education Institute for New Presidents. Her extensive leadership experience in education includes a fellowship with the American Council on Education; directing the Higher Education Resource Services Summer Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College; leading various study abroad and global citizenship programs; serving as fellow of the State University of New York Global Center for Collaborative Online International Learning initiative; serving as a Fulbright Hayes Scholar in Ghana, West Africa; and leading short programs abroad for K-16 educators.

Richardson earned her bachelor's in psychology, and master's and doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Maryland.

She also serves on the following boards: Building 21 Allentown Advisory Council; ESSA Bank & Trust - Board of Directors; Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network - Board of Trustees; Good Shepherd Penn Partners - Board of Directors; Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce - Executive Committee, Board of Governors, as well as African American Business Leadership Council; Lehigh Valley Community Foundation; Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation - Board of Directors; and the Lehigh Valley Partnership - Executive Committee.

She has been awarded the 2017 Take the Lead award from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, and the 2016 Education Excellence Award for her lifetime commitment to educational leadership by Lehigh County and Lehigh Valley My Brother's Keeper. In addition, she received the 2020 Circle of Excellence award from Lehigh Valley Business.

Richardson's personal interests include basketball, golf, matting and framing art, racquetball, and Tai chi.

Kara Wasser

Founder & CEO - OhanaLink Technologies

Kara's professional portfolio expands over more than a decade in the financial industry as a leader and producer, nearly ten years in real estate lending as a mortgage loan officer, and six years in financial services management with a regional bank. After her own personal experiences with the challenges and frustrations with the lack of clear communication in a healthcare setting where she missed the birth of her niece, she set out on a 4-year journey to create a solution. In 2017 she founded Dub Diversified, LLC, where she created the concept and design for the company's premier mobile app - OhanaLink Baby - an app to help expectant mothers and their support person to bridge communication gaps between patients, their families and healthcare providers. Over the next 3 years, she solely built her business from idea, to prototype, to a native mobile app, left her full-time corporate role in 2019, and in June of 2020, launched her new company under a new brand, OhanaLink Technologies and introduced a new suite of technology solutions to the market - OhanLink Health and OhanaLink Health Kids. Ohana means family and the mobile technology provides the private communication platform that keeps families connected - it's the mission of the company. Kara, together with her team, has now moved past start up to the revenue generation phase, positioning OhanaLink Technologies as the first in the market consumer and provider-centric mobile app in the healthcare industry. Kara completed a master's degree in Leadership and Professional Development from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and bachelor's degree in Communication Studies. Kara resides in Hermitage, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children

Session #5 - IP 101 - What Every Startup Needs to Know about IP Protection

Matthew Frederick

Partner, Philadelphia - Reed Smith LLP

Matt is a Partner counseling clients in the fields of patent, trademark and trade secret law, in addition to representing clients in IP transactions, disputes and litigation. Matt has over a decade of experience in working with clients to obtain patents, develop patent and trade secret strategies, and litigate patent and trade secret disputes in federal court. Matt's background as a Chemical Engineer allows Matt to work across many different industries, including the chemical, polymer, pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer products industries. Matt also counsels clients in trademark clearance and prosecution, enforcement, and litigation. Matt works closely with clients in industries including higher education, food, pharmaceuticals, entertainment and consumer products to develop and protect key brands. In addition, Matt represents clients in negotiating all manner of IP agreements including licenses, sales, joint ventures and coexistence agreements. Matt has also experienced the client side of IP counseling, having been awarded three patents from the USPTO as a product development engineer for Federal Mogul before attending law school. Matt is a proud graduate of Penn State and is active with the University. In particular, he has participated in Penn State's educational seminars and programs, including sponsoring and attending the Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference since its inception.

Karen Keller

Co-Founder & Partner - Shaw Keller

Karen has led teams in patent infringement lawsuits involving agricultural chemicals, human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, biotechnology products, and networking technologies. In late 2012, Chambers USA Women in Law recognized Karen's work by nominating her for its 2013 Up and Coming Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year Award and in 2018, BTI Consulting named Karen as one of 326 outside lawyers, and the only Delaware lawyer, as "absolutely best at client service."

Karen also serves as a member of the Sedona Conference's Patent Litigation Working Group 10 on Patent Litigation Best Practices and has been a faculty member for various corresponding Working Group Meetings. Karen served as the President of the Delaware Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, the primary liaison between the district court bench and the Delaware federal bar. In 2013, Karen was recognized for her service to the District of Delaware with the Judge Caleb R. Layton, III Service Award.

Taking on pro bono representations is also a regular part of Karen's practice, including a civil rights action for discriminatory arrest in which the jury awarded compensatory and punitive damages. After the district court judge overturned the verdict on post-trial motions, Karen successfully argued the appeal to reinstate the jury's original verdict. She has also successfully represented pro bono clients in immigration, family law matters and before the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals.

Karen has a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from The Pennsylvania State University and worked at GlaxoSmithKline conducting drug discovery research. Karen prosecuted patent and trademark applications during law school and worked on other intellectual property litigation matters at an intellectual property boutique firm in Philadelphia and at one of Delaware's largest law firms before founding Shaw Keller LLP in 2011.

Karen serves on the Alumni Council of the Penn State Alumni Association and as an appointed member of the Executive Board. She is co-chair of the Penn State Eberly College of Science Millennium Society and is also active in LionLink Career Mentoring and the Lions Roar Alumni Admissions Committee. She is a proud mother of two teenage boys and enjoys spending time with her family at the beach and traveling the globe.

Gary Keller

CEO - Xomix Ltd

Gary Keller is CEO of Xomix, a Chicago-based accelerator and consultancy in medical, life science, biotechnology, energy and environmental technologies for companies and research organizations. Xomix provides intellectual asset management, commercialization, and global businesses development services. Since 1998 the company has worked for industry, federal laboratories, universities, and quasi-government organizations.

Keller is Vice President, Managing Director of the Midwest University Research Network (MRUN), a not for profit consortium of commercialization stakeholders of academic research institutions and Federal laboratories, angel and venture capitalists, and technology accelerators across 14 Midwest States and 2 provinces of Canada. As founding Executive Director of The Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research, he established a statewide, quasi-government, not-for-profit corporation for the State of Florida focused on economic development through the commercialization of new discoveries generated from publicly-funded research.

He is Director of Corporate Development and Licensing for Conkwest, Inc., a San Diego based biopharmaceutical company he founded in 2002 that is developing cancer treatment products based its proprietary natural killer (NK) cell line, NK-92. Keller has more than 25 years of experience in business development for leading biotechnology companies including launching products into the United States market for Fison's and Sanyo Scientific through national sales forces and direct sales for biologics and genomics for the Midwest and as National Manager of Cell Therapy for Lonza Walkersville.

Keller is an international delegate for LES and VP of Knowledge Management for LESI and Co-Chair of the LESI GTIF/ Invent for Humanity. He has served as co-chair of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Technology Transfer Committee. He serves on multiple organizations and is a board director for Sinai Health System - Chicago. He has Masters of Biotechnology-Cell Biology & Bioinformatics from Northwestern University's Center for Biotechnology and a Bachelors of Science-Biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University.

David Perry

Partner/Co-Chair of IP & Technology - Blank Rome LLP

David Perry concentrates his practice on the creation, protection, defense, and licensing of intellectual property. He represents multinational companies with large, complex IP portfolios and needs, as well as successful mid-market companies, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in a variety of industries, such as: life sciences; energy; beer, wine, and spirits; software; gaming and sports; music and entertainment; graphic design and advertising; insurance; and retail. David advises and assists clients with:

• Comprehensive U.S. and international brand creation, clearance, enforcement, and counseling
• Prosecution and maintenance of trademark filings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and coordination abroad
• Intellectual property litigation in state and federal jurisdictions and before then Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
• Copyright counseling and filing before U.S. Copyright Office
• Litigation and strategic advice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") and related anti-circumvention and infringement provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act
• Counseling and practice in Internet law, domain name disputes ("UDRP"), and related litigation
• Preparation and negotiation of publishing, music, media, and entertainment
agreements
• Preparation of domestic and international license agreements of trademarks, copyrights, software, and know-how
• Preparation and negotiation of technology transfer, acquisition, assignment, and confidentiality agreements
• Corporate and financial services diligence and intellectual property structuring

In addition to his family life as a husband and a father of two daughters, David's lifelong passion for music bridges his copyright/IP practice with his band, Athensville, for which he writes and records music on lead guitar. He also combines his penchant for craft beer and branding with his various brewery representations.

Keynote Speaker, Awards Announcements & Closing Remarks

Kenneth Frazier

Chairman of the Board and CEO - Merck & Co., Inc.

Kenneth C. Frazier has served as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Merck & Co., Inc. since 2011.

Under Ken's leadership, Merck is delivering innovative lifesaving medicines and vaccines as well as long-term and sustainable value to its multiple stakeholders. Ken has substantially increased Merck's investment in research, including early research, while refocusing the organization on the launch and growth of key products that provide benefit to society. He has also led the formation of philanthropic and other initiatives that build on Merck's 125-year plus legacy.

Ken joined the company in 1992 and has held positions of increasing responsibility including General Counsel and President. Prior to joining Merck, Ken was a partner with the Philadelphia law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath. Ken's contributions, especially in the legal, business and humanitarian fields, have been widely recognized. He sits on the boards of PhRMA, Weill Cornell Medicine, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Catalyst and Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia, PA. He also is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, The Business Council, the Council of the American Law Institute, and the American Bar Association. Additionally, Ken is co-chair of the Legal Services Corporation's Leaders Council.

As a strong advocate for social justice and economic inclusion, Mr. Frazier is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Anti-Defamation League Courage Against Hate Award, the Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics from Columbia Business School, the Legend in Leadership Award from the Yale School of Management, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund National Equal Justice Award, and the National Minority Quality Forum's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018, Mr. Frazier was named one the World's Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine. In 2019, he became the first recipient of the Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award for Healthcare.

Ken received his bachelor's degree from The Pennsylvania State University and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Dr. Eric J. Barron

President - Penn State University

Eric J. Barron began his tenure as the 18th president of The Pennsylvania State University on May 12, 2014. Previously, Barron served as president of Florida State. He has more than 35 years of leadership experience in academic administration, education, research and public service, as well as a track record as a talented manager of fiscal policy within large and complex institutions.

In 2017, Barron was named the chairman of the Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) for the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU). He also serves on the Board of Directors for APLU, Kish Bancorp, Inc., the Board of Trustees for University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), and Universities Research Association (URA). He is also a member of the Knight Commission and the College Football Playoff Board of Managers.

Barron spent the first 20 years of his career at Penn State, serving as dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences from 2002 to 2006, and as founding director of the Earth System Science Center, one of the first major initiatives focused on the total study of Earth as a system. In 1999, he was named Distinguished Professor of Geosciences at Penn State.

An accomplished scientist with a long background in atmospheric research, Barron was the director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Over the decades, Barron has lent his significant expertise in the areas of atmospheric science and the geosciences to many national committees and federal agencies, including nearly 20 years of service as the chair of multiple National Research Council committees and boards.

Barron earned a B.S. in geology at Florida State and his M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography at the University of Miami.

Dr. Lora Weiss

Sr. Vice President of Research - Penn State University

Lora G. Weiss, Ph.D., is the senior vice president for research at The Pennsylvania State University, where she oversees the entire Research Enterprise. Penn State consistently ranks among the nation's top 25 public research universities, with fiscal year 2020 annual research expenditures exceeding $1 billion.

Weiss is an accomplished scientist and educator with more than 30 years of experience in higher education. With a background in robotics and unmanned systems, Weiss has centered her research on advancing the capabilities of unmanned air, ground, sea surface, and undersea vehicles. Weiss served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), which is the world's largest unmanned systems organization. She was on the technical advisory board of the National Robotics Technology Consortium. She was an Executive Board Member for NDIA's Undersea Warfare Division; she supported several National Academies' studies; and she supported the Center for New American Security's Future Foundry Task Force. Weiss received her Ph.D. in acoustics from Penn State, her master's degree in mathematics from UCLA, and her bachelor's degree in mathematics from Boston University.

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