Our expert network spans industry and specialty. From design to accounting, software to hardware and agriculture to crypto, we have a specialist who can guide you on your journey.
Kathleen Kuznicki is a Patent Attorney registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She works with both individuals and businesses, including start-up companies, to protect some of their most valuable assets, their intellectual
property. Kathleen earned her JD from the Duquesne University School of Law. She has a B.S. in Biology from the Pennsylvania State University, a PhD in Microbiology-Medicine from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and 5 years post-doctoral research experience in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh.
Brian has more than 20 years of experience in public accounting, managing and supervising tax assignments for retail, manufacturing, professional services, healthcare,
distribution and not-for-profit clients. He specializes in federal and state tax services for private clients. Brian’s tax experience has been sought by a number of media outlets, including Main Street Tax Solutions and the Pittsburgh Business Times. Prior to joining Baker Tilly, Brian spent 10 years with an international accounting firm.
Dr. Michel Bézy is a retired Distinguished Service Professor from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
He is the co-founder of the kLab Innovation Center in Kigali and the Industry Innovation Lab at CMU Africa. While in Africa, he launched several startup projects with CMU graduates. Currently Dr. Bezy is mentoring startups in Africa and in North Carolina, USA where he resides, and teaches as adjunct professor at CMU Africa. He is frequently invited as an innovation evaluation judge in Africa and the US.
Josh is Director of Innovation at Duquesne Light Company, where he leads the Company’s Innovation Center, identifies and maintains a portfolio of innovation opportunities, and serves as the principal liaison with external parties focused on innovation. He has also had multiple stints in the startup world, first as founder and CEO and later as part of an expansion stage startup in a variety of roles.
Josh has a Certificate in Electrical Engineering from Siemens Power Academy, a Master’s of Business Administration from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and a bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College.
Megan Shaw is an entrepreneurial leader with a passion for shaping early-stage chaos into sustainable growth. Megan has worked with several early-stage companies where she held a variety of operational, marketing and business development roles in a leadership capacity. She was the first employee at HemoSonics, a point-of-care diagnostics company that developed a novel coagulation analyzer. Over eight years she helped lead it through multiple fundraises, product development, product launch, commercialization and acquisition by a multinational. She currently consults for start-ups in the healthcare space and assists with the NIH's RADx program to rapidly expand covid testing.
Elora Gupta is a Global Regulatory Strategist for drug, device and combination product marketing authorization with collaborative health authority engagement, streamlined product development and competitive labeling. Prior experience in pharmaceutical and device industries includes approval of products approaching 10B in current sales. Currently advisor to medical product startups associated with Carnegie Mellon University.
David Oberdick's business litigation experience includes cases involving issues of intellectual property, such as infringement and misappropriation litigation, restrictive covenants, licensing disputes, injunction
proceedings, and related breach of contract issues. Over the last 25 plus years, Oberdick has also counseled and litigated significant claims for clients in other complex commercial matters, such as disputes relating to insurance coverage, oil and gas title and leasing, shareholder conflicts, accountant malpractice, defamation, rights
of publicity/privacy and antitrust.
Jessica Slean of KPMG LLP provides general tax consulting services for start-ups. Specifically, Jessica provides support related to Federal, state and international R&D credits and other incentives, such as a special deduction for income derived from foreign sources. Jessica can assist with establishing appropriate methods on your initial income tax filings and with other general tax questions, including questions around accounting for income taxes.
Lexie Ma is an integrated marketing and communication professional. Lexie is experienced in cross-cultural marketing strategies, product marketing campaign development, and program management. She is experienced in the Chinese technology landscape. Currently leads the consumer marketing at DJI North America, the global market leader in aerial imaging systems.
Athena award-winning CEO of Summa and long-time corporate sales leader, Audrey is passionate about building teams aligned around compelling culture. She specializes in working with technology companies in the areas of strategy development, revenue and profit growth, and coaching leaders to achieve their fullest potential. She is an advisor to businesses in their technology operations and digital transformation journeys.
Kim Ford, LEED AP is the Founder and Broker of Record of Found Advisors a commercial real estate company that exclusively represents the tenant/business looking for space. Kim has 22 years of experience in Pittsburgh and helping companies grow in over 120 U.S. markets. Kim is also Founder of Coeo, a platform software company that allows people to connect with move-in ready flexible workspace. She serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Exis, a global tenant representation organization. Kim has worked with many startups who are looking for office, industrial or manufacturing space.
Tim Fletcher helps companies develop new initiatives through the
use of Design Thinking methods. These methods include idea
generation, visualization, user research and prototyping. He brings
a user-centric viewpoint to discover unarticulated needs and
wants. He has worked with startups to Fortune 500 companies. He
also works as an expert witness in Design Patent, Trade Dress and
Utility Patent cases and has a keen understanding of intellectual
property protection. He also has a deep understanding of new product development, from
initial design to contract manufacturing worldwide.
Gina has spent three decades helping companies open new markets and build a powerful customer base. As the Sales and Marketing Consultant for Angel Bridge Partners, Gina has helped companies build customer bases for industries ranging from commercial construction to higher education to cannabis, in practices including SaaS, artificial intelligence, and robotics.
Jeff Brown is a proven consumer marketer in the consumer healthcare industry (18 years with GSK Consumer Healthcare) and in the B to B to C space with Polyconcept. He has developed successful consumer growth strategies for a range of consumer brands and businesses. He has also built and managed salesforces and customer service groups. He is currently a Board Director for a number of consumer oriented businesses/brands. He has a BA in Economics/Math from Colby College and an MBA from Harvard University.
Bruce Smith has more than 50 years of domestic and international sales and sales management experience in the IT environment. Bruce Smith was previously the Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for Paradigm Solutions, a $65 million software and IT solutions company, leading sales strategy, the building of an effective sales force and closing new business. He has held executive positions with PSI Net, iGate Corporation, Westinghouse Communications and BT North America.
Lynne is an entrepreneurial, results-driven physician executive passionate about biomedical product development and its use in improving the quality and delivery of healthcare. She has served as an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, Director of Gastroenterology Outpatient Department, and Executive in Residence at Carnegie Mellon's Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship.
Randy has over 35 years of successful start-up, product commercialization, sales, and management
experience in a wide range of companies and industries. He is the Managing Director of the Founder
Institute Pittsburgh, a Polo Alto based idea accelerator that coaches new entrepreneurs on the
proper way to build and launch a startup through a 14 week program. As CEO, he has raised $10M, built motivated teams,
introduced award-winning products, and generated millions in revenue. He also spent time on the
investor side, at Innovation Works, where he led 15 investments in seed stage companies as an EIR.
Brian Finneran is the Owner of Finneran & Associates, LLC a Pittsburgh-based accounting and financial consulting firm. Brian is a Certified Public Accountant. He earned a BS in Accounting from The Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. Brian began his career with Deloitte working as a member of the audit staff. He then spent 18 years in senior financial management positions for Pittsburgh based corporations. In 2004 Brian founded Finneran & Associates which provides provided accounting and financial consulting to startups and small privately held businesses.
Jeannine is a versatile business and technology strategist with a knack for recognizing undiscovered possibilities and finding the path through complexity and ambiguity.
She has delivered business and technical innovations, across a broad range of domains and disciplines: healthcare, data & analytics, manufacturing, government; systems and software engineering, control systems, process engineering and automation and tech transition. She holds engineering degrees from Purdue and RIT, and CalTech’s certificate in Technology & Innovation Management.
Sreekar is a legal expert who works with startups and early-stage companies to develop patent portfolio strategies. He also serves as the Executive Director for BlueTree Capital Group, where he evaluates, advises/mentors, and invests in companies to help them achieve a profitable exit.
He obtained his BS in Cognitive Scient and Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon, his JD from George Washington University, and his JD from the Tepper School of Business.
Rocco is a strategic business attorney and advisor to entrepreneurs, business owners and visionaries. He has a practical approach while providing expertise in utilizing multiple avenues to increase revenue, encourage high performance, and leverage the power of an individual and company brand's story to drive growth.
He holds a BA in Psychology from Washington and Jefferson College, an MBA from Waynesburg University and a JD from Duquesne University.
Jeff has achieved major marketing & sales success working with brands like Huggies, Kleenex and Bagel Bites along with Small Businesses. He has a unique view of and appreciation for ensuring every aspect of a digital marketing plan is seamless and strategic no matter what size the business is or how many employees are involved.
At his company, RedShift, he helps Marketing Executives (CMOs, VPs, Directors, etc.) and Small Business Owners attract clients, increase revenue and stand out from the crowd online by creating & implementing customized digital marketing plans.
Janine is an experienced professional with past roles within Fortune 500 firms, local and federal government, and non-profit organizations serving communities, freedom of speech, and social justice. She has a long track-record of supporting entrepreneurs, new artists, and developing new concepts.
Janine has a Master's Degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College.
Dave is the Program Lead, E-Teams for VentureWell, a company on a mission to support entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators solve the world's biggest challenges. He is also a strategic advisor to the World Wildlife Fund. He has previously worked as a founder of social ventures.
He received his BA in Criminal Justice and International Affairs from Champlain College.
Ryan is a Senior Account Executive at Henderson Brothers, Inc. Insurance is a priority for any startup organization. Gaining an understanding of what may be needed from day one is extremely important. Ryan specializes in helping startups understand property, liability, workers compensation as well as employee benefits.
Kartik is a serial entrepreneur. He is currently the founder and CEO of Springworks, an HR tech startup using blockchain and AI. Springworks is backed by notable investors such as - Science, Bloomberg Beta.
He graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a Masters from the Language Technologies Institute, School of Computer Science focusing on Big Data, Machine Learning, NLP and Bio-technology. He was part of the IBM Watson project and worked on genome analysis with machine learning.
Monica is a business and legal strategist with extensive expertise providing commercial and legal guidance to the leadership of a Pittsburgh-based international global energy corporation, as well as a mid-sized manufacturing company in the energy sector and venture-capital-backed software companies.
She received her JD from the University of Pittsburgh.
Kevin is an experienced operator and investor with a demonstrated history of success as a product and strategy leader within high-growth startups and the energy industry.
Areas of specialties include product management, new product development, operational finance, business development, strategic planning, and sales.