Get To Know The Experts
Every advisor is hand-selected to add knowledge and experience to specific technology evaluations.
Click photos to learn more about our advisors.
Dr. Kevin R. Gillespie – DMD, MS, MBA
Dr. Gillespie is a board-certified dental specialist in periodontics. He graduated with a B.A. in Spanish from Brigham Young University. He earned his D.M.D. from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. He received his surgical residency training through the U.S. Army Advanced Education in Periodontics while simultaneously completing an M.S. in oral biology from the Medical College of Georgia. He subsequently completed an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix as well as invented and co-founded M-Paks L.L.C. (a fully integrated mobile backpack, chair, and desk all-in-one). He has served as Dept. Chief at multiple military installations, published articles in multiple scientific journals, presented many professional continuing education lectures, spent over four years in part-time private practice, and served four years as faculty at the U.S. Army Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program. He has been practicing for over twelve years while running his own M-Paks business. He is certified by the American Board of Periodontology.
Dr. Joan Tekula
Joan is a Podiatric physician who received her undergraduate degree from New York University and her Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine. Her early years practicing podiatric medicine and surgery, were spent in a private practice setting, but for the last 19 years Dr. Tekula has been the podiatrist of record in a large residential psychiatric hospital, allowing her time to express her entrepreneurial spirit. Dr. Tekula’s first business was a live-streaming company, renting channels to customers to stream their events. Her customers included businesses ranging from doggy daycares to funeral homes. Being an advocate for the elderly, she later founded Thrive At Home, a brick and mortar company that provided assistive technologies to facilitate independence for seniors who choose to age in their own homes. Most recently she developed and owned a non-invasive cosmetic procedures spa, where she used medical technologies to perform a multitude of anti-aging services. Joan has a passion for nutrition and exercise. She is thoroughly enjoying working with the diverse group of professionals who make up the Academic Venture Technologies team.
Dr. Robert Binford
Mr. Binford is a practicing cardiothoracic surgeon specializing in complex valve and structural heart surgery with an emphasis on minimally invasive surgery. During his 14 years in practice, he developed two minimally invasive cardiac surgery programs and one robotic heart surgery program. In addition, he trained and proctored several cardiac surgeons in robotic surgery from all over the US and internationally. In a previous life, Robert was an aerospace engineer with research specializing in stability and control, flight test, and advance design. He earned both a Bachelor’s and Masters of Science from Texas A&M University. NASA funded his graduate research. Robert has never been satisfied with the status quo. He is constantly looking for newer and better ideas and their applications.
Dr. Vicki Rackner, MD FACS
Surgeon & Medical Consultant
Vicki Rackner MD calls on her 30+ year medical career as a practicing surgeon, clinical faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine and serial entrepreneur to solve tough problems. Her passion for helping her clients achieve better personal, professional and financial outcomes guides her career path. This nationally-noted author, speaker, and consultant has been quoted in publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Reader’s Digest, Glamour, CNN, and Woman’s Day to name a few.
Dr. James Hurwitz
James received his BA Summa Cum Laude in Biochemistry from Harvard University, and his MD from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his residency at New York University, and has practiced general surgery in New Jersey since. He currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Rahway.
Dr. Tyler Greenfield
Dr. Greenfield received a BBA in Finance from Baylor University in Waco, Texas and MD degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He completed a General Surgery residency at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia followed by a fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery, also the Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Greenfield then went on to complete a fellowship in Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. He previously was on the full-time faculty at Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana and clinical faculty at Texas Tech University Medical School in Lubbock, Texas. Dr. Greenfield currently practices in Northeast Tennessee at Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee and at the Mountain Home VA Medical Center in Johnson City, Tennessee. He also serves on the clinical faculty at the East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine. He is certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. Dr. Greenfield serves as the medical director for both the Cardiothoracic Surgery ICU and the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport.
Dr. Cory S. Goldberg, MD
Cory is a Plastic Surgeon dual-certified in both the US and Canada, with advanced training in Craniofacial Surgery at the University of Southern California and Cedar’s Sinai. After completing medical school at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario he earned a Masters of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering while doing his Plastic Surgery residency at the University of Toronto where he is now an appointed Lecturer in both medicine and engineering faculties. Dr. Goldberg specializes in facial cosmetic surgery and volunteers for Operation Smile doing cleft lip surgery around the world. He runs his cosmetic surgery practice in Toronto and is the Medical Director for Sanctuary International Spas. Dr. Goldberg is currently doing an executive MBA through the Cornell and Queen’s schools of business, and anticipates completion in 2017. He has been featured on CTV’s Canada AM, CBC News, Rogers Media, and City TV’s Breakfast Television.
Pranay is an experienced Engineer with expertise on product development. He earned a Graduate degree in Electrical and Computer engineering from Temple University. Pranay is currently working as a lead engineer at John Deere on systems and component development. He has lead product development efforts for multiple electrical and electronic components in automotive industry from concept level to production . Broad knowledge of system requirements , product validation standards, regulatory / compliance requirements are his core expertise. Apart from being an engineer Pranay has also co-founded multiple start- up companies and helped develop their products to a marketable state.
Dr. Phil Roberts, MD, MS, ABAARM
Physician Emergency Medicine, Functional Medicine
Phil Roberts spent over 30 years doing patient care as a physician, including 2 years in General Surgery training, 27 years as an Emergency Department physician and nearly seven years practicing Anti-Aging, Functional Medicine while getting more training and a Master’s Degree in Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine. His patent on the “No Aids Blade” allowed for millions to use a safer disposable scalpel that is widely marketed by Becton Dickinson. Several publications and a chapter on thyroid toxicity have been penned over the years.
Sales were part of his life growing up. Having spent several years in real estate sales prior to going to medical school, later being involved in the development of several subdivisions (either as partner or individual with a fantastic team) Roberts is well acquainted with the sales industry.
In medicine, during the 2010-2011 early days of hormonal medicine, we built a very substantial clinic in less than 2 years with multi-million sales in the first ten months of 2011.
Consulting with a million dollar company last year to help them increase strategies for growth was a recent example. One of the lines was a supplement line he assisted in with Dr. Paul Sullivan.
I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to work with this amazing team that is seeking to help reverse the obesity epidemic afflicting animals and humans.
Matthew Kuhns, BS Eng.
Matthew is a lead R&D engineer for Vertical takeoff / Vertical landing rocket development with experience in ground fueling, manufacturing, and product development. His current activities include working to bring new technologies to this industry and creating the next generation of aircraft refueling equipment; he has 3 provisional patent applications in progress. Matt has experience in metallurgy, additive manufacturing, materials and casting through work on Jet Engines and a tooling company he co-founded. Rapid-D uses additive manufacturing to create precision aerospace injection molding dies and fixtures for single crystal turbine blades. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS in Engineering Mechanics.
Chuck, an electrical engineer, brings 32 years of experience in commercial DoD RF and Wireless Systems Development to the team. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, in Rapid City, South Dakota.
During his tenure at Texas Instrument’s Defense Systems and Equipment Group, Chuck managed multiple teams establishing emerging technologies resulting in lower cost solutions for premier DoD RF defense systems. As a co-author, Chuck presented a paper at the 1993 ARPA Symposium as part of the Raytheon-Texas Instruments Joint Venture titled, “Application of a Statistical Design Process to Increase Predicted GEN-X Module First Pass Yield”. Out of 140 papers submitted at the TI Technical Ladder Recognition Day in 1994, this paper was selected as one of four papers to be presented.
Greg is a highly adaptable technical professional with over 25 years of experience in industrial engineering, manufacturing management, operations planning, logistics, transportation, and B2B sales.
Having worked in both the public and private sectors, Greg’s engineering experience includes aviation manufacturing and logistics, transportation operations and planning, facility and equipment justifications, implementation of new technology, and development of improved business processes.
As an independent sales consultant, Greg promotes a variety of innovative technology services to businesses for increased profitability.
Greg holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Texas Tech University and a Master of Science in Engineering Systems Management from St Mary’s University.
Greg is an ASQ Certified Expert in Quality Driven Management and holds a Certificate of Achievement from Villanova University in Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
Paul graduated from Nairobi University, Kenya, in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, and then earned a Master of Engineering degree in Petroleum Engineering from Heriott-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK, in 1987. Paul has 28 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry; 10 years in operations and 18 years in Technology and Product Development. As engineering manager responsible for development of technology and products for the oil and gas service industry, Paul has led the development, field testing and successful commercialization of several key products and services, all of which are in active use today for optimization of oil and gas well drilling and production. Paul has also completed an Executive Certificate in Technology, Operations, and Value Chain Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Kirk Bigelow is a talented diverse engineer with the ability of making projects work from the system level down to the functional details. He prefers to foster a team working environment. Working for NASA contractors for 18 years, he has taken many projects from concept to production-ready. With his primary focus of electrical engineering, he has worked in the following areas: hardware electronics – digital and analog, robotics and automation, avionics, simulation systems, and information technology with more to come.
Publications from his successful projects are “Flexible Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) Input/Output (I/O) Card” NASA Tech Brief June 2010, “A Robotic System for Inspecting HEPA Filters in a Large Cleanroom” and “An Open Architecture Robot Controller for NASA’s Robotics Application Development Laboratory”
Along with his work experience, he has expanded his initial Electrical Engineering Bachelor Science education from Iowa State University in the following areas: Microware RF design, High Speed Digital Design, EMI, VLSI Cad, Linear Circuits, Optoelectronic, Photonic, Organic Solar Cells, Robotics, Modern Controls, Electric Machines, Machine Learning, and Instrumentation.
Dr. Patrick Tyrance, Jr.
Physician / Orthopedic Surgeon
Patrick Tyrance, Jr is a licensed physician and orthopedic surgeon with 13-plus years experience. He received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he was also a three-year letter winner on the Nebraska football team. He earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a degree in health policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He completed his orthopedic surgery training at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Combined Orthopedic Surgery Program.
After years of performing joint replacement and arthroscopic surgeries, his medical practices now focuses primarily on integrative, holistic and non-operative approaches to joint preservation and musculoskeletal health. He also has an interest in healthcare technology and telemedicine serving as an advisor for start-up enterprises such as Fruitstreet Health and Ampt Health. He recently completed his MBA in healthcare from The George Washington University.
Wing Ho Ma
Wing Ho Ma is a Civil Engineer with over 3 years of professional experience in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering. Wing graduated from Rowan University with a B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering and is currently working towards his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Wing also has extensive experience with both field work (i.e. CQA, inspections, documentation, etc.) and office work (i.e. permit and report preparations; client meetings; project management, etc.). Wing is currently an Associate Member of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Structural Engineering Institute (SEI). He is expecting to receive his Professional Engineering license in the State of New Jersey within a year’s time. Wing is very interested in the growing field of technologies today and is always looking for the next breakthrough, especially in the field of civil or mechanical engineering.
Stephen Listas, P.E.
Stephen is a Professional Civil Engineer in the State of California. With experience on some of the largest infrastructure projects in America, he has tackled a variety of unique challenges and has been a part of major design feats. Areas of expertise include: Pavements, Construction Detailing/Techniques, Sustainable Design, Utilities, Roadways, and Water. Prior to his current role, he has worked in single-family housing construction and mining. He holds a Master’s of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, being published in areas related to innovative transportation designs. He also holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech. His pro-bono efforts have included leading Haitian construction teams in innovative, seismically safe wood-frame construction practices after the devastating 2010 earthquake. He has consulted on areas related to building material properties, building material designs, corrosion reduction measures, and sustainable energy harvesting techniques.
Dr. Nhut (Andy) Diep, PhD., MBA
Andy Diep is a synthetic organic chemist with 13+ years within biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Hands-on experience in CMC drug development from pre-clinical through full-scale manufacturing. His areas of expertise span from medicinal chemistry to process development, manufacturing, project management, and regulatory. His previous experience includes working as a medicinal / process chemist at Forest Laboratories. He has been involved in the development of several key drugs such as Bystolic®, Viibryd®, Teflaro®, GK1-399, Dutogliptin, and is co-inventor of 15 issued patents. Dr. Diep received a B.S in chemistry from LSU, a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from Montana State University, and an MBA in business management from Kaplan University.
Todd Lineberger is a Senior Program / Project Manager with 22+ years of experience bringing new technology to market. Currently, Todd is working in the Financial Services Industry; however, he has also delivered new leading edge products to market for both IBM and BlackBerry. Working with IT Systems Hardware, Operating Systems, and Application Development, Todd has a proven track record of driving integrated teams that were instrumental in growing revenue. His products include ones that have been used in labs that are leading the world in technological advancements; on the latest high tech battle ships and communication devices trusted for use by the Department of Defense and the President of the United States. Todd holds a certification in Project Management from PMI and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology with a concentration in Physics.
Senior Software Engineer
Joseph is a Senior Software Engineer with 23+ experience supporting business information needs. Currently, Joseph is working as a Senior Software Engineer in the Trucking Logistics Industry. With experience in IT Systems Hardware, Operating Systems, and Application Development, he has a proven track record of working as a part of integrated teams that were instrumental in growing revenue in existing and new markets. His work supports industries from semi-conductor to mortgage loan originations and servicing. In addition to technical positions, Joseph Has been a loan officer and real estate agent which provided him with good financial business exposure. Joseph completed his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, at Coleman University in San Diego.
Mr. Story is a Computer Engineer with 23+ years in IT. Currently, Don works as a senior systems engineer for Hewlett Packard. He also has experience in IT network, storage and high performance computing verticals. For several years, Don was a Technical Instructor for Cisco Systems, teaching routing, switching, and network design classes for enterprise companies such as AT&T and Sprint. Don has 10 years experience installing, troubleshooting, and designing High Performance Computing Clusters for Universities such as UNC at Chapel Hill, University of Oklahoma, UC at Berkeley, MIT, Columbia University as well as companies like NASA JSC, Sandia National Labs, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications(NCSA).
He obtained his bachelor’s in Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois with High Honors and Departmental Distinction and received a masters in Molecular Microbiology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Since then he has worked as a support scientist with the USDA in many locations throughout the country. His research experience covers a broad spectrum of fields including health, bioenergy, biotechnology, ecology, agriculture, and genetics. He also teaches college courses in biology and chemistry and has a strong aptitude for public dissemination of scientific concepts. He enjoys shepherding disruptive technology out of the laboratory and into the marketplace.”
Todd is a self-motivated technology professional with 20+ years of experience, works well in a challenging environment and has a proven track record of application development, architecture and management. He enjoys staying up-to-date in the fast moving technology industry and has helped the companies he’s been a part of keep pace. Todd holds a bachelor’s degree in Management of Information Services from Bellevue University, as well as a master’s degree in Telecommunications from the University of Denver. He is currently a Systems Architect with West Corporation and has also started his own technology company.
Business Development - Medical Devices
Allen Brown is a business development professional with 35+ years of experience in diagnostic imaging. He was a significant contributor in a small company that developed and marketed a number of innovations that enabled the transition from film to softcopy radiology. Those advancements changed the way radiology is practiced today and allowed diagnostic images to be included in the electronic medical record. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame.
Paul Nitardy, P.E.
Paul Nitardy is a Professional Civil Engineer with 15+ years of experience spread out over building structural design, land development, and precast concrete. He has produced hundreds of drawings using AutoCAD. He has another 5+ years of driving experience that includes roll-off, dump truck, and tractor-trailer. Paul earned a Civil Engineering Degree from the University of Washington.
Software and Systems Engineer
Jeff is an entrepreneur and expert in software and systems engineering, system modeling and simulation, and systems integration with 20+ years of experience in the intelligent transportation and defense industries. Jeff has launched several startups in the real estate, software and FinTech industries. Most recently Jeff established a North American subsidiary for an Austrian-based multinational company active in intelligent road telematics solutions, where he led the overall system design for the company’s first tolling and ITS projects in North America, which combined led to 0 million in revenue. Previously he worked in the defense industry involved in systems design through modeling and simulation. Jeff is also an advisor to several technology startups. Jeff holds a B.Sc. in Aviation Computer Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University; an M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota, and; an MBA from George Washington University. He is also the author of several published papers, holds two patents that are USPTO-pending, and a PMI licensed project management professional.
Matthew Macus – RPh, MBA
Matthew Macus received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Mr. Macus is currently a candidate for Doctor of Health Administration from the University of Phoenix. Matthew had attained a number of business certifications from the Management and Strategy Institute. These include: Certified Kaizen Facilitator, Change Management Specialist, Corporate Leadership Certified, Project Management-Lean Process Certified, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Matthew is a member of the American Pharmacists Association and is a Management and Strategy Institute Senior Fellow. He was previously a Pharmacy Manager/General Manager at Thrift Drug and Eckerd Drugs where he led day-to-day pharmacy operations as a Pharmacist. He was also a Pharmacy Manager for CVS Pharmacy. He has been the CEO of Macus Enterprises LLC since 2007, a Business Consulting Firm focusing on analyzing management practices that can improve employee productivity while reducing error rates. Matthew is also the Chief Business Development Officer of Omega Skin Solutions INC, a Biotech-Pharmaceutical Company.
Brandon M. Calhoun
Industrial Engineer and Strategic Business Advisor
Brandon has nearly 20 years of leadership experience both as a military officer and business professional. After graduating from West Point, he advanced through the military ranks serving in front line leadership, executive staff and company command. He is a combat veteran having proudly served two tours of duty in Iraq. He then joined the upstream oil and gas industry where he built and led teams that rapidly grew activity in two of the most prolific shale gas reservoirs. Brandon rapidly advanced from field engineer to executive leadership. Additionally, he has provided leadership to rapid growth mid-market firms as a Chief Operating Officer and Strategic Business Advisor. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management with an emphasis in Mechanical Engineering.