March 27, 2018


Marzolf Dane Formica Entrepreneurs in Residence for Pitt Innovators at The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute Phil Marzolf, Kelly Dane, and Mike Formica join the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute as Entrepreneurs in Residence.

The Innovation Institute has added three members to its team of Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) to strengthen capabilities in the areas of software and hardware, prototyping, manufacturing and finance.

EIRs are contracted by the Innovation Institute to identify and evaluate high-potential discoveries developed by Pitt faculty and student investigators and assist in expediting the commercialization process. They typically spend significant time within specific Pitt schools, department or institutes, where they scout for promising technologies and develop relationships with researchers.

Beyond the critical advisory, support and execution roles that EIR’s undertake at the Innovation Institute, many become founding CEOs with startups formed around Pitt-developed technology, including most recently Renerva and LyGenesis.

“We are excited about the capabilities these new EIRs bring to the Innovation Institute to address areas in our service offerings where we had identified gaps,” said Innovation Institute Interim Director Evan Facher. “Each of these individuals brings a wealth of experience in starting and growing new ventures as well as excellent technical and domain expertise.”

The new EIRs are:

Kelly Dane

Ms. Dane earned her undergraduate degree in finance at Pitt, and has most recently served as an analyst for leveraged finance for Jefferies LLC in New York City. She previously had been associate private equity investor for Pittsburgh-based Incline Equity Partners.

Ms. Dane earned her undergraduate degree in finance at Pitt and has most recently served as an Associate Private Equity Investor for Pittsburgh-based Incline Equity Partners.  She previously had been an Analyst for leveraged finance for Jefferies LLC in New York City.  Ms. Dane will define and develop the market and financial analysis tools required to evaluate high potential opportunities as the teams prepare to seek angel or venture capital investment.

Mike Formica

Mr. Formica is a veteran CEO and senior executive who earned an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Pitt.  He has been the founder of a number of startups in Pittsburgh including threeRivers 3D Inc. and NuCo Tech Group. He was also a senior executive for AssistWare Technology Inc., Palomar Photonics Automation and Aerotech, Inc.  Mr. Formica is adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon teaching “Engineering a Startup: How to Start and Grow a Hardware Company.” His expertise in software, hardware and fabrication brings a unique set of skills that will benefit Pitt innovators.

Phil Marzolf

Mr. Marzolf is returning as an Innovation Institute EIR.  Phil led engineering teams at National Semiconductor, Maxim Integrated Products, and SUN Microsystems introducing first-to-market integrated circuits in the ethernet, 3G cellular, and server markets. He previously was CTO for nSerial, an angel-backed start-up focusing on 10Gb/s Ethernet, which was acquired by Intel.  Phil earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s from Santa Clara University, and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Phil’s current interest is on power-efficient hardware and intelligent software systems for Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications.

If you are a Pitt faculty member or student working on sponsored research and you would like to consult an Innovation Institute EIR, click here to see profiles of all of our EIRs.

If you are interested in becoming an Innovation Institute EIR, contact Tony Torres at