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Team Biographies


Marnie LaVigne, PhD, President & CEO


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, New York 14203



Dr. Marnie LaVigne has spent more than 25 years in both the private and public sectors creating new products and start-up businesses, driving innovation and economic growth in high-tech industries, such as life sciences, informatics, and advanced manufacturing. Her passion for working with start-ups took root from her experience launching health informatics businesses with colleagues in the 1990’s as she finished her doctoral work at the University of Rochester, which resulted in growing two different firms with more than 100 employees and two initial public offerings (IPOs).


In July, 2014, she became the President and CEO of Launch NY, a 27-county venture development organization that she co-founded with other Buffalo boosters and whose mission is to identify, support and invest in high-growth, high-impact companies and catalyze the entrepreneurial culture of Upstate New York. Previously, she led economic development efforts involving work with hundreds of firms at UB as Associate Vice President for Economic Development from 2012 to 2014 and Director of Business Development from 2005 until 2012 at the NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences and the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology. In addition to her for profit start-up experience prior to UB, Marnie also served in lead product development positions in larger corporations in managed care (e.g., Aetna), pharmaceuticals (Bristol-Myers Squibb), medical devices (Welch Allyn), and medical informatics (Medscape/MedicaLogic, now GE and WebMD).


Marnie has a bachelor's degree in neuroscience and a doctorate in clinical psychology, both from the University of Rochester. She is an editorial board member for Disease Management, and a member of the Board of Directors for Buffalo Angels, Insyte Consulting, New York State Economic Development Council, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, and Western New York Venture Association.



Lindsay Karas Stencel , Chief Operating Officer and Fund Manager


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



Ms. Stencel, as the Chief Operating Office and Fund Manager for Launch NY. Since joining Launch NY in August 2016, Lindsay has led the growth of the Launch NY Seed Fund, to become the most active seed fund in Upstate NY with a close rate of one investment per month and plays a leading role for co- and follow-on investments in client companies with LNYSF.


Lindsay earned her JD and MBA from The Ohio State University, then served as partner and chief legal counsel for an early stage venture fund in Ohio, since 2008, where she focused on deal structuring, compliance and portfolio management for two funds totaling over $50M. In addition, through her own law firm, she has provided legal counsel for small businesses focusing on start-up stage to $20M/year revenue companies in Ohio and Michigan.


In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys exercising at her CrossFit gyms (CrossFit Westerville and Rust Belt CrossFit) and spending time with her husband, Chris, and dogs, Ogie, Pearl, and Matilda.



Danielle Blount,  Project Manager and Program Coordinator, ECO Incubator


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



Danielle is a Project Manager with Launch NY. She began with Launch NY during her MBA studies as an intern in the summer of 2015 through 2016, and joined full time after graduation. Danielle attended University at Buffalo for both her graduate and undergraduate studies, receiving her BA in Political Science and International Studies, in 2013, and her MBA in June 2016. Prior to returning to University at Buffalo for her graduate studies, Danielle worked at BlueCross BlueShield of WNY as a Network Development Associate focused on data and incentive reporting for a 500 physician network. During this time she received her Master’s Certificate in Project Management from Villanova University in August 2014. Danielle currently serves as a member of the Mount St. Mary Academy Alumni Board, in Kenmore, NY, where she also served as head and assistant coach of both the Varsity and JV Lacrosse Program from 2010-2016.



Celine Keefe,  Marketing Director


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



Celine is the Marketing Director with Launch NY, joining the staff in 2019. Celine graduated from Niagara University receiving a dual degree in Theatre Performance and Political Science in 2013, and is a recent graduate of the University at Buffalo MBA Program.  Prior to joining Launch NY, Celine Keefe worked at M&T Bank in the Enterprise Transformation Office focusing on change management, visual branding, and project development. She has worked with numerous startups during and after her graduate degree where she was selected as a Western New York Prosperity Fellow. Celine currently serves on the Friends of Niagara University Theatre Board and UB’s Young Alumni Leadership Council. She is extremely dedicated to the WNY Region and helping shape the entrepreneurial culture in Upstate New York



Brian Bauer, Southern Tier Startup Alliance, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


668 Ringwood Road • Ithaca, NY 14850



Brian Bauer is the Program Director for clean energy programs with Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement.  Brian runs 76West, NYSERDA’s clean energy business competition, and he is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Southern Tier Startup Alliance, a member organization of incubators across the Southern Tier which is a collaboration between Cornell, Binghamton University, and Corning Enterprises.


Brian is a seasoned international energy industry executive with extensive experience in Oil, Natural Gas, Chemicals, and renewables in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Brian ran several international businesses during a 30-year career in the energy industry and has expertise in operations, strategy, business development, mergers and acquisitions, major project management, corporate governance and organizational change.


Brian has a B.S. In Chemical Engineering from Cornell and an MBA in Operations and Finance from the University of Chicago. In addition to his entrepreneurial work, Brian teaches at Cornell and serves on the Board of the Paleontological Research Institute, which includes the Museum of the Earth and the Cayuga Nature Center, both near Ithaca.



Ed Bizari, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


143 Nunda Boulevard • Rochester, NY 14610



Ed is Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the Upstate NY venture development organization Launch NY. Previously, Ed was an accomplished Sales, Marketing and Business executive with nearly 30 years of global experience working with emerging technologies. Over the course of his career, Ed has held positions with Fortune 500 as well as start-up companies in the areas of software, telecommunications, and health services. He has held executive level positions in the area of sales, marketing, and product management and has a comprehensive understanding of scalable growth and bringing new products and technologies to market. He's worked in the private as well as government/military sectors, with a significant percentage business conducted in Europe and Asia.


Ed serves as a mentor/advisor in regional Pre-Seed Workshops, Startup Weekends, and HTR LaunchPad, a Rochester, NY-based lean start-up incubator program facilitated by High Tech Rochester. Ed holds an MBA and a BSEE from the Rochester Institute of Technology.



Mike Bovalino,  Entrepreneur-in-Residence


8438 Woodbox Road  • Manlius, NY 13104



Mike is an experienced and successful senior executive with diversified experience. Mike has been the President and CEO of six different companies including both publicly traded and privately owned businesses.  Mike's industry experience includes telecommunications/utilities, medical devices, real estate, and consumer goods.  Mike has a unique blend of corporate and field experience with an outstanding P & L track record.  He has an extensive background in creating new markets and companies, gaining market share in highly competitive environments, building effective customer and employee relationships, mergers and acquisitions, and implementing processes for change and growth. Most recently Mike was the President of the medical device manufacturer BioSpherix. Other significant positions include being the President and CEO of the Pyramid Management Group, the largest privately held commercial real estate company in the US. Mike was the founder and CEO of Energetix, a diversified energy company that grew into a billion dollar business.  Mike has also been an executive officer of both Niagara Mohawk and Rochester Gas and Electric.


Mike has a Bachelor's degree from SUNY Fredonia in accounting/finance and an MBA from Pace University.  Mike also has a Master's degree in Information Technology from New York University and he has attended Columbia University's Advanced Management Program.



Kate Brodock, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



Kate Brodock is CEO of Women 2.0, a media and tech company focused on gender equality, diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. Serving over 300,000 around the world, Women 2.0 provides content, products and services around parity, and has catalyzed over $90M in funding for female founded companies.


Under Kate's leadership, Women 2.0 has engaged with companies, such as Medium, Adobe, and Airbnb, to educate internal teams about diversity and inclusion. Kate also led the team in several recent product launches, including its Lane recruitment platform and a "Men as Allies" committee, which aims to engage men in diversity and inclusion conversations.


Outside of Women 2.0, Kate has played an active leadership role in the tech ecosystem for more than a decade. She led a global non-profit focused on women in technology and entrepreneurship as its President. Most recently, she was CMO of untapt, an AI-driven tech talent marketplace based in NYC. She held the role of Adjunct Professor in PR and Marketing at at Syracuse University.


Kate is a regular speaker, appearing on stages around the world at SXSW, 15 Seconds Festival, Collision Conference, Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored, and TechStars. She has been featured in the Washington Post, TechCrunch, Al Jazeera, MSNBC, and she's a contributor for She has a BA from the University of Rochester, an MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University and an MA in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.


When she’s not doing all *that*, she’s a very non-professional (but adventurous!) athlete, an equally as non-professional musician, can be found outdoors in any weather — skiing, biking, hiking, sailing — and lives on a hops farm run by her husband in Upstate NY. She can be found on Twitter at @just_kate



Paul Buckley, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



Paul Buckley is an experienced small business professional and was most recently President of Applied Sciences Group, Inc. from 1997 until early 2018, serving in engineering, administration, operations management and strategic development areas. Prior to his employment at ASG, Mr. Buckley worked in the electronic warfare, aerospace and telecommunications industries in various engineering and management capacities. He has a bachelor's degree in Bio-medical Engineering and a master’s degree in Systems Engineering from RPI along with post-graduate courses in management, biotech, signal processing and other non-matriculated coursework.


Since ending his tenure at ASG Paul is using his expertise in business development to help support the startup, early stage and small business community with tactical and strategic management and engineering expertise, particular in the high-tech industries.


Outside of his business-related activities Paul is an active cyclist, golfer, photographer and astronomer and participates in several church and volunteer activities.



Frank Codella, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



Mr. Frank Codella, is a founding member of Medical Acoustics.  He serves as Chief Executive Officer, in addition to his duties as a Director of the Company.  Previously, Mr. Codella served as Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Synacor, Inc. (“Synacor”) from November 2001 to April 2010.  As a member of Synacor’s founding executive team, Mr. Codella played a key role growing the business from start-up phase to a mature enterprise with annual sales exceeding $100 million (IPO, SYNC).  Mr. Codella is also a Co-Founder of MedRecovery Management LLC (“MRM”) Frank developed the company from a concept to a thriving enterprise.  MRM was acquired by HMS, a public company (HMSY).  He has over 20 years of experience in the information technology and telecommunications industries having held numerous sales, marketing and senior management positions.  From September 2000 to November 2001, Mr. Codella served as Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Global Crossing Ltd.  From July 1998 to August 2000, Mr. Codella served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Integrated Personnel & Systems Solutions, Inc.  From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Codella served as a Sales Director at Lucent Technologies Inc.  From 1980 to 1996, Mr. Codella held various positions in sales, marketing, product development and general management in the Global Enterprise Division at AT&T.  Mr. Codella holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Political Science from the State University of New York, College at Brockport and a MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Mr. Codella also earned an advanced certificate from The Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the State University of New York at Buffalo.



Al Culliton, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


33 Gatesborough Court • Getzville, NY 14068



Al has a 40+-year business career in leadership and management roles in both the private and public sectors providing financial services and economic development assistance to companies of all sizes and industry types.  In response to the specific needs of the Upstate entrepreneurial community, and in addition to his overall management of Erie County Industrial Development Agency’s economic development operations and programs, he co-founded Launch NY and conceived and ran the ECIDA’s Niagara Region Ventures Fund which has invested to date over $9 Million in 34 start-up and early-stage companies and experienced a cash-on-cash return in excess of $13 Million. In recognition of his leadership in economic development, he was named 2011 Economic Developer of the Year by the New York State Economic Development Council. Al worked as a senior loan officer/manager for M&T Bank and Chase Lincoln First Bank (now part of JP Morgan Chase) managing lending teams and providing financial, mentoring and other business services to a broad range of commercial accounts in and beyond Western New York. He was COO/CFO of a wholesale flexographic printing supply company and of a tire distribution company responsible for accounting, banking and finance, HR and insurance, operations, and branch management and customer service. Al holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in mathematics from Fordham University and an MBA from Canisius College. His board service has included director and Chair of Junior Achievement of WNY, director and Vice Chair of NYS Economic Development Council, Treasurer of Western Region Corporation and director of Empire State Certified Development Corporation and the Workforce Development Corporation.



Don De Laria , Entrepreneur-in-Residence


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



Don is a native Minnesotan and "empty nester" who recently settled in Buffalo, NY with his wife, Missy, to be closer to family and enjoy life on Grand Island with their golden retriever and springer spaniel.  Don and Missy have three children in college, two at Georgia Tech and one at Trinity College.


Don's career has spanned a number of industries with a variety of companies both big and small.  After investment banking, syndicate and institutional equity sales, Don founded Deephaven Financial Group, where he led investor relations efforts for numerous companies.  He later moved into the movie business with Regal Entertainment Group, to a stock loyalty start-up, Loyal 3 and to Zep, Inc., a specialty chemical company.    More recently, Don has led business development efforts for a specialty chemical distributor and two companies engaged in the field of artificial intelligence.


Don enjoys giving back by mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs through local incubators & accelerators.  He mentored at the ATDC in Atlanta (the oldest incubator in the U.S.) and recenly began mentoring for LaunchNY in Buffalo.  He's also a member of the Western New York Venture Association and Buffalo Angels.  He's especially skilled at the LEAN start-up method and facilitating & implementing LEAN processes to drive enhanced efficiency.  Don’s experience encompasses everything from founding start-up’s to business development and enterprise sales for early stage companies to participating on the senior management team (with emphasis on investor relations and communications) for $1B+ public companies.


In his spare time, Don enjoys skiing, golf, water-skiing, trap shooting, mountain biking, fishing & photography.  He can also throw a mean Frisbee.


Fun Fact: Don recently ran and sold one of the oldest KFC franchises in existence.  Don's father and grandfather were the first KFC franchisees in Minnesota (and the upper Midwest) - spanning 58 years.



Rich Delmerico, MS, Entrepreneur-in- Residence


11 Portofino Circle, Henrietta, NY 14467



Rich has over 30 years of experience as a top performing technology and business professional, with extensive and successful leadership expertise from Start-up to Fortune 100 companies in global product and systems development, commercialization, operations and manufacturing across consumer, commercial, medical, printing, energy storage and materials products. Recognized success in building a high-performance culture and leading organizations, with a track record of innovation and subsequent delivery of value adding differentiated products and services to the market. Proven results in fundraising, driving efficiency, revenue growth and shareholder value in highly competitive markets.


Rich most recently led an early stage high technology Cornell based materials startup (NOHMs Technologies Inc.) from seed to VC monies while robustly developing and maturing the technology. He also is an Adjunct at the Rochester Institute of Technology’ s Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Rochester’s Simon School startup coach and currently on-boarding as a NYSERDA Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Prior to NOHMs, Rich was a corporate executive at Kodak, including the R&D Director for the $1B revenue Traditional Consumer Businesses, driving innovation to market his entire career.  Rich has a MS degree from Clarkson University in Manufacturing Systems, and BS degrees from SUNY Buffalo in both Electrical and Industrial Engineering.


Professionally he has a passion for mentoring diverse and inclusive teams, coaching start-ups, improving operational efficiency and delivering products and services to the customer and market. Personally, he enjoys volunteering, mentoring and supporting individuals and families with special needs. Recreationally Rich enjoys cycling, running, strength training, photography, traveling and hiking.



David J. Eilers, Entrepreneur-in- Residence


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, New York 14203



Dave Eilers is an enterprise leader focused on the convergence of technology development, innovation process and user engagement. Over the course of his career Dave has pioneered new products, opened new international markets and developed new business models in the healthcare industry through his work with the Marmon Group of companies and InterV Medical Group/ Roundtable Healthcare Partners, resulting in a $785 Million acquisition. In 2008, Dave applied his interest in Open Innovation to the co-founding of Blue Highway, LLC; a technology accelerator focused on creating early diagnosis of adverse health conditions. In 2013, Dave helped launch the Life Reimagined Institute for AARP, focused on improving the social determinants of health for people 50+ through millions of digital interactions and thousands of live in-person seminars. Most recently, Dave was asked by leaders at the American Hospital Association (AHA) to co-develop and teach a practical innovation curriculum for AHA’s member hospitals which can prototype novel concepts in a ninety-day period.


Outside of the office, Dave is Adjunct Faculty in Syracuse University’s Online MBA program, serves on the Board of Directors for Lexington Wellness Holdings; and is a volunteer Board Member for the Lwala Community Alliance which creates health and wellness programs in rural Kenya. Dave often speaks to innovation communities and universities interested in the design thinking process and commercialization of emerging technologies.



Tony Frontera, Southern Tier Startup Alliance, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


P.O. Box 6000 • Binghamton, NY 13902



Tony is a goal oriented individual with 25 years of sales and management experience in specialty retailing and manufacturing. His work includes leadership roles at McIntosh Laboratory, which is recognized worldwide as the premier manufacturer of luxury consumer electronics products. Also, he was President and owner of the largest retail photo specialty store in the Binghamton area, responsible for financing, sales, marketing, and strategic planning for nearly 20 years. He holds an MBA and BA from Binghamton University and is a faculty member in the Binghamton University School of Management.



Brad Gouldthorpe, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


184 West Church Street • Fairport, NY 14450



Brad is an innovative and involved business professional with corporate and early stage company experience built from a solid engineering and business education.


Brad gained early career experience managing projects that developed and launched disruptive technology at Kodak and Xerox. From this work, he has experience in product management, worldwide marketing, finance, engineering, and business development while commercializing groundbreaking digital photography and then launching new business equipment into new markets while at Xerox.


Brad  then became President of NetTogether and was charged with developing and launching an online meeting site. After successfully getting the service to market, he become a key consulting resource for technology start-up companies in identifying and pursuing high-value market opportunities and filled ongoing roles as Chief Operations Officer, Director of Business Development, leadership roles in Marketing, and as interim CEO at early stage technology companies. During this time, he also founded ADispell, a medical technology development company where he was the Chief Operating Officer for a therapeutic development company focusing on high need areas.  He has directed the launch and sales growth of more than thirty different products, including entirely new technologies in areas such as imaging, nanotechnology, and medical technology. Brad has an MBA from the Ross School of Business  and a BS in Chemical Engineering from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.



Holly Hillberg, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


499 Grandview Lane, Penn Yan, NY 14527



With more than 35 years of experience, Holly Hillberg has extensive experience in global business leadership at companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Carestream Health and Eastman Kodak.   Over the years, Holly has held a broad range of leadership positions which have included technology development, manufacturing, marketing, business management, operations, global strategy, chief technology officer and chief marketing officer. Her career has been centered around successfully delivering new innovative products to market across the medical devices, commercial and consumer business spaces. Of special note is Holly’s experience in leading not one, but two successful multi-billion dollar divestitures, then building the infrastructure to support growth and success for the new stand-alone companies.


Holly is currently the president of Hillberg Consulting. She has successfully advised diverse, innovative businesses, large and small.  With expertise in creating game changing business plans, product strategies and pipelines, Holly focuses on using contagious leadership techniques to create high performing and motivated teams that can execute against complex projects and business challenges.


Holly holds a Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University as well as a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology. Additionally, she is a graduate of the Northwestern University’s Executive Development Program and from University of Michigan Management and Manufacturing Executive Program. Holly and her husband Willy live in a vineyard overlooking Keuka Lake with their yellow labs, Sadie and Brooke.   She enjoys wine and running marathons, although not usually in that order.



Alex Killian. Investment Associate

77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



Alex Killian is an Investment Associate with Launch NY. Alex works on investments through the Launch NY Seed Fund along with identifying additional opportunities for financial vehicles to further expand the reach of Launch NY. Alex earned his MBA from the University at Buffalo, then worked as an investment analyst for a private equity firm in Toronto, Ontario. In addition, he works with a family investment office based out of the Greater Toronto Area identifying and investing in operating businesses and real estate.


In his spare time, Alex enjoys the many opportunities for fun that the great City of Buffalo has to offer and he is an avid golfer and Buffalo sports fan.



Joe Kunkemoeller,  Entrepreneur-in-Residence


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



Joe Kunkemoeller is the Managing Member of Aurora Capital Partners, LLC. He is an accomplished senior professional with a record of domestic and international achievement as a consultant, entrepreneur and investment banker.


He brings industry expertise in Energy, Advanced Materials, Financial Services, Consumer Services and Retail. He has led capital raising, capital structuring and exit transactions for start-up, small cap and growth capital clients. In addition, he has 25+ years experience in management evaluation, management coaching and mentoring (as a principal team member and advisor)  He is currently providing commercialization, strategic and capital raising advice to companies in Upstate New York including companies emerging from local incubators.


Prior to his return to Western New York and the formation of Aurora Capital, he was a Managing Director at Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles. He initiated and developed transactions for early stage, small and mid-cap clients in consumer market segments. He was a member of the Los Angeles Venture Association and a moderator and contributor to industry panels in the Southern California market.  Prior to locating in Los Angeles he had his own New York based principal investment and consulting practice providing financial advice to public/private ventures, property development firms and non-profit organizations.


He began his career in finance in the investment banking business in New York. He spent 17 years in the corporate finance group at JPMorgan/Chase, primarily in the Mergers and Acquisitions department and has worked extensively in the US, Europe and Latin America.  He received an MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and an MS at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture. He received a BA (Summa Cum Laude) from Fordham University. He currently resides in Western New York and is former Member of the City of Buffalo Historic  Preservation Board.



Stephen Leous , Entrepreneur-in-Residence


180 Summer Street, Buffalo, NY 14222



Stephen F. Leous – Corporate and Business Development

Steve Leous has over 25 years’ experience in a variety of industries and functional expertise in strategic marketing, finance and corporate development. Currently a strategic growth consultant, Steve previously worked at e-commerce pioneer VerticalNet, the world’s largest operator of online industry marketplaces. He launched and managed seven of them and also worked in corporate development.


Steve was a Senior Marketing Manager with Rich Products, a $2.5 billion dollar frozen food manufacturer, where he ran a $150M product group - the largest in the company. He also has extensive experience in international initiatives and with new product, market, concept, franchise and business development work. Steve is very seasoned working with cross-functional teams and on a project- basis across a variety of disciplines, including market research, creative and brand development, digital strategy, strategic marketing plans, business and corporate development planning and organizational structure. He has worked with start-ups to multi-billion dollar, public companies and everything in between, and has a BA from Williams College and an MBA from Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg School of Management.



Mike McCourt, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



Mike McCourt brings over 20 years of sales & business development experience along with 15 plus years of engineering work. In his latest role as President of McCourt Associates, LLC he works with NYSERDA and LaunchNY as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and has been a member of the teaching team for NEXUS-NY for the past five years.  He advises many clean energy startup companies in NY State.  Additionally, he provides go-to-market consulting to high tech firms nationwide.


Prior to forming McCourt Associates, he led Nokia’s solutions sales and partner development efforts in North America. In this role he worked closely with third party software developers and consumer electronics companies to create and introduce new location-based products to the market. Prior to joining Nokia, Mike served as VP Wireless Business Development at InfoSpace, Inc.  Mr. McCourt generated over $10M in annual revenue by generating new business with many of the mobile operators in the emerging wireless data market.


Previously, he successfully brought Microlytics Inc. through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization through sale of assets to Metro One Telecommunications and a reverse merger of Microlytics’ public shell with a private company providing a positive workout to both shareholders & creditors. He sought and received $2M in funding to establish and lead Metro One Telecommunication’s Database Division. Before Metro One Mr. McCourt held management and engineering roles in several technology startups. Mike holds an MBA from the Simon Graduate School of Business and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Washington University.



Elisa Miller-Out, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, New York 14203


Elisa Miller-Out is an experienced tech entrepreneur, investor, board director and community builder. She’s currently managing partner of Chloe Capital, a seed stage venture capital investment fund focused on women-led tech companies. She’s also co-founder of PollQ, a chatbot polling tool for higher ed and serves on the board of Women 2.0, the leading media brand for women in tech. Elisa recently had a successful acquisition deal with a division of Singlebrook, a custom software services firm that she co-founded and led as CEO for over 10 years. She is now chair of the board and CFO at Singlebrook. Singlebrook has Fortune 500, higher education and nonprofit clients from all over the world including: Cornell, Yale, Henry Schein, Hitachi, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund and more. Elisa has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Forbes and other publications, and she speaks about technology and entrepreneurship at events across the country. Prior to founding Singlebrook, Elisa founded two other companies and worked in a variety of industries in New York City. She has also founded several networking groups and regularly serves as a mentor and judge for startup accelerators and competitions. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Barnard College of Columbia University. When she’s not working, Elisa enjoys local foods, Crossfit, swimming in waterfalls, reading and spending time with her husband and two daughters and her big extended family. Learn more at



Steve Nicosia, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


12 Seton Court • Penfield, NY 14526



Steve Nicosia is a senior executive with over 27 years of experience in sales management, marketing, strategy, strategic alliances, acquisitions, launching new products/markets and P&L responsibility.   He currently advises/consults with start-up software companies and small businesses on starting, growing and exiting their businesses.  Steve spent 16 years in various senior executive roles at Emphasys software, a division of Constellation Software Inc., Canada's largest software company.   While at Emphasys, Steve entered new markets, participated in two acquisitions, increased EBITA, managed remote development teams across several states and countries, signed several channel partnerships, launched new software products and created client retention programs that reduced client attrition by over 50%.


Prior to joining Emphasys, Steve planned and executed an exit strategy for a privately held software company in which he was part owner.  His work included obtaining a valuation, marketing the company to potential acquirers, evaluating and structuring the terms of the sale, tax planning and conducting due diligence.  Steve is a graduate of St. John Fisher College and he received his CPA from the state of Delaware.



Deb O'Shea, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



A seasoned business attorney and trial lawyer as well as an experienced serial entrepreneur, Ms. O’Shea provides legal and business development counsel, including to start-up and early-stage companies – particularly in the healthcare, health IT and energy sectors.  She co-founded a transatlantic initiative that connected business, investment and technology opportunities between the NAFTA and European Union economic markets, particularly focused upon New York State and Ireland. Prior to her focus on entrepreneurial activities, she was a trial lawyer for 13+ years handling complex litigation matters.  She resides in Buffalo, NY with her husband and enjoys get-away weekends at their cottage in Ontario, Canada.  She is an alumnus of the University of Buffalo and also studied at McGill University, Montreal.   She has had numerous leadership positions and board positions primarily with non-profit organizations focused on business or economic development and is pleased to have been recently appointed to the Board of directors of EkoGreenPower Ltd, a U.K. energy company that produces energy from recovered resources and Secretary of The Explorers Museum which celebrates the human spirit and drive towards exploratory accomplishment.



Manoj Pooleery, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



Manoj is a Director at Venture For All, Graduate School of Business at Columbia University. He teaches the Launching New Ventures course on campus as well as various parts of the world. He also leads the initiatives towards increasing the outreach of entrepreneurship education globally.


A strong believer in practicing what gets preached, he is perfecting the art of practice as the Founder and CEO of M-Phi Innovators, a specialized technology services company that provides full range of innovation services to businesses. He provides end-to-end technology and business strategy definition and implementation to both startups and established businesses. He has helped many companies get started, out of the Columbia Business School as well as outside.


At a prior tenure, Manoj was the Director of Technology, Business Development and Entrepreneurship at Center for Computational Learning Systems at Columbia University. In addition to leading the implementation of over $20m worth of industry/federally-funded projects, he successfully commercialized cutting edge Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools.


He specializes in Entrepreneurship, multi-year Strategy development, Budgeting, Technology direction and Project Proposals. His current areas of specialization are Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics, Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) projects. He is also well versed in Enterprise Application and Information Integration, SaaS implementation and Product development.


Manoj’s unique blend of deep technology skills and management capabilities positions him well to make his clients successful. In addition to guest lecturing at Columbia,

Manoj speaks frequently at both management as well as technology courses, both within and outside U.S. He has a Masters in Technology Management from Columbia

University, Masters in Computer Applications and a Bachelors in Physics from Calicut University, India.



Venus Quates-Majors,



77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 Buffalo, NY 14203


Venus Quates-Majors is an Air Force Veteran, International Speaker, proud Nerd, and the President and CEO of LAUNCHTech, whose mission is to Solve the Present and Grow the Future. As an accomplished professional with over 20 years of domestic and international experience, she has acquired a wealth of technical and business development knowledge across a wide range of demanding roles and sectors. Venus has led several engineering and technology initiatives with major Fortune 100 and 500 companies, global banking giants, and leaders in the Intelligence and Defense industries.


In 2012, Venus walked away from everything with only a 38-liter backpack in tow and embarked on an 18-month journey across 12 countries to redefine happiness, educate the masses on the benefits of technology in business, and increase community and economic development abroad. This pilgrimage helped to redefine her personal mission and redirect the trajectory of her life.


As a longtime Catalyst-for-Change for diversity and inclusion in the tech space, Venus knows firsthand that innovation is necessary beyond coding and the keyboard and that she is destined to lead this charge. Armed with unyielding determination and a passion for helping the disadvantaged and underserved reach their full potential, she currently serves on several boards and committees for organizations whose focus is to empower women in leadership and promote STEM education and awareness for girls and minorities. Venus is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the Venture Development Organization (VDO), LaunchNY, and a mentor at the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court.


LAUNCHTech is a service-disabled veteran, minority, and woman owned technology firm that provides technology, business, and workforce solutions to government and commercial customers.



Ken Rother, Southern Tier Startup Alliance, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


954 Coddington Road • Ithaca, NY 14850



In addition to his current role as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Launch NY, Ken joined Cayuga Venture Fund in 2013 as an advisor and starting in 2014 as a Venture Partner. Ken is also a lecturer for Cornell’s student accelerator program eLab and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Ithaca’s business incubator Rev. He currently serves as a Director for FreeATM.


Ken is a proven entrepreneur who has built and exited two successful tech/media start-up companies. He offers a unique blend of experience leading Web and Mobile technology teams, as well as in-depth operations expertise in organizations ranging from a few people to a few hundred.  He also leads Discovery Communications’ Digital Media Technology group, where he is responsible for the strategy, development and ongoing operations of the systems required to support Discovery’s 16 US websites, over a dozen mobile and tablet applications, and the delivery of Discovery’s hit shows to digital distribution platforms, such as Netflix, iTunes, and others. Previously at Discovery, Ken was responsible for the business and content strategy, programming and operations for a number of Discovery’s key web properties including; Animal Planet, TreeHugger, Investigation Discovery, Planet Green, and Military Channel.


Ken was CIO/CTO for Bowne Global Solutions (now part of LionBridge)., after Mountain Lake Software, a Toronto-based company he co-founded with two partners, was acquired by New York based Bowne. Mountain Lake helped some of Canada’s largest banks get started on the Internet. Ken has a deep passion for disruptive technology.  His current interests include the renaissance in hardware products enabled by advances in desktop manufacturing, electronics, and small-scale manufacturing.


Early in his career, Ken held various roles as both a developer and organizational leader at Reuters, Toronto Stock Exchange, Alias, and Matrox Electronics. Ken studied Computer Science at Concordia University in Montreal, but like a few others of that time never completed his degree and just started coding for a living.



Brad Treat, Southern Tier Startup Alliance, Entrepreneur-in-Residence


Rev Ithaca • 314 East State Street • Ithaca, NY 14850



Brad is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Southern Tier Startup Alliance, Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, and Launch NY.  He is Faculty at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell College of Engineering, and Ithaca College School of Business. Brad specializes in teaching entrepreneurship from an experiential perspective to entrepreneurial students actively starting real companies.  As a consultant, advisor, and board member for several technology startups, he has established a niche around creative fund raising.


Brad was most recently the Founding CEO of Mezmeriz, a high-tech company making interactive projectors and reality capture cameras.  Mezmeriz is based on patented MEMS technology developed by company cofounder Shahyaan Desai at Cornell.


Brad was also the co-founder and CEO of SightSpeed, an innovative video and voice communications company. Together with co-founders Aron Rosenberg and Cornell Professor Toby Berger, Brad grew SightSpeed from a university research project into the world's premier video calling software, achieving 300MM minutes a month of use. SightSpeed was profitably acquired by Logitech for $30MM.


Earlier in his career, Brad worked for eight years in the automotive industry in both the US and Spain at Bowles Fluidics and GKN Automotive.  He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State, and an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell.



Paul Tyno, ECO Incubator Program Director

77 Goodell Street, Suite 201 • Buffalo, NY 14203



Mr. Tyno is a respected energy industry professional who has led multiple energy services companies to become integral resource partners with utility companies, Regional Transmission Organizations, Independent System Operators, program participants, federal and state regulatory agencies, trade associations, economic development organizations, and affiliate service providers.


In addition to his role with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) as Strategic Advisor for Energy Initiatives, Paul will be serving as the ECO Incubator Program Director. Prior to joining the BNMC in 2014, Paul served in lead roles with REGEN Energy in Toronto, Viridity Energy in Philadelphia, Direct Options in Cincinnati, Constellation Energy in New York, and Energy Curtailment Specialists in Buffalo.


His background includes building, designing and implementing complex demand response/load management programs and related demand side management solutions. Paul is a nationally recognized industry spokesperson and demand response subject area expert. He is the past Chairman of the Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA), a professional industry organization.






























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