CNY Accelerator - Advisory Board Members
Central New York—rich in intellectual capital, ripe for economic revitalization and proven ground for biotechnology ventures—Central New york is currently home to nearly 3,000 jobs in the biotechnology sector—is poised to expand its reach in this promising arena.James H. Watson, Jr., Executive Director, CNY Biotech Accelerator
Hank has a long history in the formation, leadership and management of venture capital backed entrepreneurial companies. Hank brings to the Accelerator clients expertise in: strategic and business plan development and execution; executive team formation and management; fund-raising, financing and financial management; operations; legal and corporate communications.
Hank’s experience was gained in the founding, leadership and development of Pathlight Technology, Inc, a pioneer in the development of Storage Area Networking. Pathlight was sold to ADIC for $265 million in publicly-traded stock. Since that successful exit, Hank has worked as a mentor and consultant to a number of entrepreneurial companies developing a variety of technologies to address targeted market segments.
Hank earned his BFA in Architecture and MBA with Concentrations in Finance and Professional Accounting from Cornell University.
Tony Eisenhut, Managing Director and Co-Founder, KensaGroup
Tony co-founded KensaGroup and has served as the Managing Director since inception. Tony is currently performing his required Entrepreneur Sabbatical Leave ('ESL'). This leave is a unique component of KensaGroup's guiding principles. The ESL requires each team member to take an active management role and assume operating responsibilities in a startup once every five years. As the KensaGroup partner currently on ESL, Tony is serving as President of Rheonix, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of microfluidic systems for the molecular diagnostics industry.
Tony has launched twelve university-based start-ups since KensaGroup's inception. Previously, he served as the CEO of a mid-market manufacturing company as well as Vice President of a multi-billion dollar international retailer. Tony sits on the boards of NovaSterilis, Inc., Prendismo, LLC, Novomer Inc., and Rheonix, Inc. Tony has served as an advisor to NextGen in conjunction with New York's Task Force on Economic Development and Emerging Industries, and a board member to the Center for Life Science Enterprise (New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research Center for Advanced Technology at Cornell) and serves on the Board of Directors of Cayuga Medical Center.
Tony earned his B.S. degree from Cornell University.
Richard Engel, Partner, Mackenzie Hughes, LLP
Rich joined Mackenzie Hughes in 2003 and is a member of the firm's Executive Committee and Business Department. He concentrates his practice in business, mergers & acquisitions, securities law, securities regulation and securities fraud, as well as banking and IDA financing, business, corporate and education law. Rich handles private offerings for start-up and established companies, along with federal and state regulatory compliance relating to securities and corporate governance. He assists the firm's immigration law practice group counseling individuals and corporate clients who utilize investor and multinational visa categories as part of their business planning strategies.
Rich’s clients include the most prominent businesses and investment firms in Central New York and several municipalities throughout New York. Rich periodically lectures on business and securities law topics at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986 from Boston College, Rich attended Syracuse University College of Law, where he graduated with a Juris Doctorate in 1989. He was admitted to the New York State Bar, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York in 1990 and the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012.
Heather Hage, Esq., Senior Director of Innovation and Partnerships, SUNY Research Foundation
Heather leads the expansion of innovation activity across SUNY’s 64 campuses by developing and managing programs and services that grow SUNY’s research base and expand its economic impact. Heather also serves as managing director of SUNY’s Technology Accelerator Fund, which invests across the SUNY enterprise in proof-of-concept projects with potential for high-impact commercialization.
Since her career with the RF began in 2004, Heather has promoted innovation, collaboration and economic growth by serving as the RF’s intellectual property manager, intellectual property counsel and director of the commercialization practice group. Heather’s professional experience prior to joining the RF includes media relations, telecommunications and corporate finance.
Heather earned a Bachelors degree from Hamilton College and a juris doctor from Albany Law School and is admitted to practice before the courts of New York State and the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. Amongst her many external activities, she also serves on the steering committee for the Tech Valley Chapter of the Licensing Executives Society.
Rami Y. Katz, Chief Operating Officer, Excell Partners
Rami manages Excell’s due-diligence and investment processes. Prior to joining Excell, Rami served as the Director of Technology Commercialization at High Tech Rochester where he worked closely with entrepreneurs, researchers and start-up firms to evaluate the commercial potential of new technologies. He managed the creation of over 50 business plans that led to raising over $40M in capital from venture capital and angel investors as well as government grants.
Rami is an attorney that led a litigation, banking and corporate law practice in Israel, managing a legal team that directed the restructure of over $14M in corporate and asset backed debt annually, while growing the group’s revenues by over 300%.
After launching his own legal and management consulting practice in Israel, Rami was one the founding members of a seed-stage investment group, investing in seed and pre-seed stage ventures and providing financial and business development management to the startups in the group’s portfolio. The team launched 12 high-tech startups that were focused on advanced materials, internet technologies, consumer electronics and medical devices.
Rami earned his MBA from the University of Rochester and his law degree from the Tel-Aviv University in Israel.
Gina Lee-Glauser, Vice President for Research, Syracuse University.
Gina is responsible for all of the central resources of Syracuse University that are directed to the support of research, and for the articulation and implementation of all University policies regarding scholarly inquiry, sponsored programs, intellectual property, and research integrity.
Gina is responsible for the development of research and research funding, for the administration of grants processing, for the negotiation of research contracts, and for the management of the intellectual property that may be created in the scholarly activity of members of the University community. She administers the University's policies on research misconduct, conflict of interest, and intellectual property. Gina is a key leader in the university-wide initiative for broadening STEM Pathway participation of underrepresented and disadvantaged students.
Gina received a B.S. in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, an M.S. in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from SUNY, Buffalo, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from Clarkson University.
Brian Meltzer, MD Executive Director, R&D Innovation, Purdue Pharma, L. P.
Brian recently joined Purdue Pharma , after seven years with Johnson & Johnson, most recently serving as Commercial Trial Leader, Janssen Healthcare Innovation. Prior to this role, he worked within Johnson & Johnson’s venture capital division and built RedScript Ventures, the first venture-backed business incubator for Johnson & Johnson. Over a five-year period, this team started nine innovative businesses. Prior to Johnson & Johnson, Brian spent two years as a healthcare analyst with Candlewood Capital Management in Princeton, NJ. He also spent five years at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where he created and successfully managed an emergency department dedicated to the treatment of oncology patients – the first of its kind in the United States.
Dr. Brian Meltzer is a cum laude graduate of Upstate Medical College in Syracuse, NY, where he obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree. He is Board certified in Internal Medicine, and completed his training and residency at The New York Hospital, followed by two years of subspecialty training in Gastroenterology at Cornell University Medical College.
Brian holds an MBA from Baruch College and a BS degree from City College of New York.
Robert Simpson, President, Centerstate Center for Economic Opportunity
Rob serves as president of CenterState CEO, a private, not-for-profit regional business leadership and economic development organization and also serves as president of Syracuse’s business incubator, The Tech Garden. Through broad partnerships, CenterState CEO and its affiliate organizations advance regional economic development through a focus on business expansion, retention and attraction; innovation and entrepreneurship; infrastructure and urban initiatives; talent and workforce initiatives; government relations and business advocacy; CenterState chamber services; and tourism and regional marketing.
Rob currently serves as co-chair of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council (CNY REDC), responsible for coordinating economic development for Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego counties.
Rob graduated from Colgate University and earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
Eric Smith, Assistant Vice President for Finance, SUNY Upstate Medical University
Eric oversees various State and Research Foundation finance functions, including accounting and budgeting, campus purchasing, accounts payable, contracts, payroll, property management, and post-award research accounting and support services, and has been involved with various leadership and strategic planning initiatives.
Eric is a Certified Public Accountant and prior to joining Upstate spent 12 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers. As a Senior Manager in the Assurance and Business Advisory Services Group, he was responsible providing audit and consulting services to clients primarily in the healthcare and not-for-profit industries.
Eric earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration at Syracuse University and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at SUNY Oswego. He serves on various boards and committees in the community, including the Upstate Properties Development, Inc. and is a recent graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse.
Arthur Stipanovic, Professor of Chemistry, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF)
Art is Past Chairman of the Chemistry Department at SUNY ESF and previously served as Interim Co-Director of CNY Biotech Accelerator. His research interests include biodegradable polymers from renewable resources, high-throughput analytical techniques for determining the composition of woody biomass and new pretreatment processes for the wood-based biorefinery.
Before joining SUNY-ESF in 1998, Art spent 18 years at the Texaco R&D labs in Beacon, NY, in new technology research and lubricants development, both as a scientific staff member and global coordinator of directed basic research programs in advanced lubricant technology. Art is a past Chairman and Executive Board member of the Syracuse section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and has served as Chairman of the ACS Division of Professional Relations. He has generated over $3.5 million in external research support as a Principle Investigator (or Co-PI) during his tenure at ESF. He has also been active in ESF’s “Green Entrepreneurship” program.
Art received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees at SUNY ESF.
Mary Ann Tyszko, Vice President for Strategic Business Development and Innovation, Syracuse University
Mary Ann heads the Office of Strategic Business Development and Innovation working with faculty members to bring results of their research to market as innovative products and services. She oversees technology transfer, corporate relations, and a technology incubator, Blue Highway. In her capacity, Mary Ann leads efforts to forge and cultivate public and private-sector partnerships that expand the range of avenues through which faculty scholarship can make a difference in the world directly and through the inclusion of students in the faculty’s entrepreneurial activities.
Mary Ann serves as chairperson of Blue Highway, Inc.’s board of directors. She also serves on the board of Excell Partners, Inc, a New-York State-supported seed fund. Before coming to SU in December 2010, Mary Ann was President and CEO of SRCTec, Inc., a subsidiary of SRC (formerly Syracuse Research Corp.).
Mary Ann received master’s degrees in business administration and computer science from SU.
Todd Zion, Founder and Former CEO of SmartCells, Inc.
Todd founded SmartCells, Inc. in 2003 to develop SmartInsulin™, the first glucose-regulated, injectable formulation for treating diabetes. As SmartCells’ President and CEO, Todd was instrumental in raising $10M in equity financing from individual investors and $10M in grants to support research and clinical development. In December 2010, Merck and Co. acquired SmartCells for over $500M in cash and clinical milestone payments.
Dr. Zion developed the SmartInsulin™ technology as part of his doctoral thesis work in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to enrolling at MIT, he worked as a polymer development engineer at Eastman Kodak. Todd graduated from Cornell University summa cum laude with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.
Dr. Zion now enjoys advising technology entrepreneurs through MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service. He also serves on a number of advisory boards including those of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Joslin Diabetes Center, and the Cornell Engineering College Council.
Cindy Dowd Greene, Associate Vice President for Industry Relations, SUNY Upstate Medical University
Cindy joined Upstate with the goal to expand industry-sponsored research and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation at Upstate and in biosciences across Central New York. Cindy is Chair of The CNY Biotech Accelerator Board of Advisors.
Prior to joining Upstate, Cindy consulted to the pharmaceutical industry providing extensive knowledge and experience in sourcing strategies, business development, and competitive intelligence for pharmaceutical research, biotechnology, generic, active pharmaceutical ingredient and intermediate companies. Cindy was founder and partner at Rondaxe Pharma, LLC, a pharmaceutical development consulting firm. Previously, Cindy led the Research and Data Teams at Newport Strategies, an API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) competitive intelligence firm that was acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2004 and spent 16 years at Bristol Myers Squibb where she was a member of the executive teams for both the US Oncology and Immunology Division and Technical Operations.
She earned her BS in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University and MBA from The University of Connecticut.