Eric Boduch

Eric Boduch has been involved with both startup and publicly traded software companies in senior management positions since 1995. He has extensive technology marketing, product management, strategy development and business development experience.  He currently is a founder and board member of, a venture backed software company.  Pendo is a data driven platform for product engagement that enables companies to improve onboarding, understand product usage and help retain customers.  Previously, he was CEO of SMaSh, a mobile SMS technology company, and was VP of Marketing for Vitria Inc., a publicly traded software vendor based in silicon valley.  Before Vitria, Mr. Boduch held senior positions at Embarcadero Technologies, ProductSoft, and Cerebellum Software.  He has a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Philip Brooks

Phil Brooks, MBA

Phil has served as a consultant to or C-level executive (eight companies) for manufacturing, mining, information technology, entertainment and life science companies at the startup stage and global corporation level.  During the course of a 30+ year business career Phil has developed critical skills, including: successful grant writing; strategic planning; effective complex project, department, and corporate management; successful marketing and sales; recruiting; training; vendor, facilities and information technology management; and evaluating, establishing and managing human resource programs. Particular expertise developed in finance, accounting, intellectual property economics, decision analysis, technical writing support for grant applications and reports, grant budget development, market research, competitive analysis, strategic partner and investor introductions, and presentation development and coaching.

Phil has also served in a variety of roles with university-based spinouts (University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and Lehigh University). His assistance has included: mentor (NSF I-Corps Learning Team, Coulter Foundation, 1st Gear, Science 2014/2015); grant consultant (Phase I, Phase II, i6 SBIR supplement); CEO and COO of two stem cell companies; and board member. Phil currently serves as Chairman of BlueTree Allied Angels’ Growth and Transaction Committee and a member of the Screening Committee.

In addition, Phil is a co-owner of Brooks Consulting LLC, a 17-year old management-consulting firm. Brooks Consulting is a Preferred Provider in Pennsylvania’s Innovation Partnership assisting clients who are awarded MicroGrant, MicroVoucher or Federal Marketing Assistance funding. Prior to starting this business, Phil owned a PR firm focused on the high tech sector, served as a director with Big Six accounting firms in Pittsburgh, was a partner with an economic consulting firm in Washington, DC and a chemist in the pharmaceutical sector in New York. He holds a BS in Biology, an MS in Pharmacotherapeutics and an MBA and obtained a certification (expired) as an Emergency Medical Technician.


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Randy Eager

Randy has over 30 years of successful start-up, product commercialization, sales, and management experience in a wide range of companies and industries. A four-time entrepreneur with one exit under his belt, Randy has been successful as an executive, a business development professional, and an investor. At Carnegie Mellon University he managed corporate relations for the College of Engineering. Also at CMU, he built an industry consortium for the Quality of Life Technology Center (QoLT) in the Robotics Institute. Randy was an Executive in Residence at Innovation Works (IW), a leading regional seed stage investment organization, where he worked with startup tech companies to identify and address critical business issues.  He earned an MBA from Pitt, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State.

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Mara J. Horwitz, MD

Mara is a Board-certified endocrinologist who received her BA from Northwestern University and her MD from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed both her internal medicine residency and a research-based endocrine fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. Since completing her training, Dr. Horwitz has held academic positions as a clinician and clinical researcher at Columbia University, SUNY Stonybrook and the University of Minnesota. She is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh where the majority of her career has focused on NIH funded clinical research in metabolic bone disease. She has also participated in numerous pharmaceutical sponsored clinical trials and currently holds two IND’s. In addition, Mara has been a long-standing member of the University of Pittsburgh Conflict of Interest Committee and she serves as the Medical Monitor for the Education and Compliance Office for Human Subject Research.

Michael Hufford

Michael brings more than 20 years of experience in clinical research, drug and medical device development across a wide range of therapeutic areas. He is the Vice President for Regulatory Affairs, Behavioral Science, and Innovation at Pinney Associates, a pharmaceutical consulting firm.

Michael’s drug development experience includes serving as Cypress Bioscience’s Vice President of Corporate and Clinical Development, where he had responsibility for development of the drug and medical device portfolio for multiple CNS assets, including the FDA approval of Savella (milnacipran) for fibromyalgia. Before joining Cypress, he worked at Amylin Pharmaceuticals, leading drug development teams focused on orphan drug development for rare metabolic diseases, and combination peptide and protein therapies for obesity. Michael also served as Vice President of Scientific Affairs at invivodata, where he was responsible for scientific consulting on patient-reported outcome claim construction for more than 50 drug development programs. An entrepreneur, Michael has co-founded and raised venture and angel capital for multiple pharmaceutical, device, and mobile health companies including NQ Oncology, e-Nicotine Technology, and MindApps.

Michael is a graduate of Purdue University. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh before completing a Research and Clinical Fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

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Joe Marcanio

Joe Marcanio is a seasoned operations professional with solid start-up experience, accomplished in technology development and manufacturing. An engineer by training, his technical skills and business values were forged in high-tech, large-scale manufacturing operations serving competitive global markets. His technology background includes microcircuits, biosensors, chemical processing, and materials and he is named as inventor on over 20 patent applications. On the business side, Joe successfully pitched venture deals to senior leadership of Fortune 500 companies and raised over $50M in financing for startup projects. He has held COO and CEO roles, and was responsible for the design, construction, and operation of a plant that delivered $50M to Sony’s bottom line. He has developed strategic relationships in Europe and Asia and is one of only three industry experts invited to NSF’s 2014 workshop to develop the National Nanotechnology Coordinated infrastructure program.


Jeanine McCreary

Jeanine is the President of the McCreary Group, a company which helps large and small organizations with project analysis, development, implementation, and management. Jeanine has extensive experience in program & curriculum development in the areas of entrepreneurship, financial literacy, life skills training, and real estate. Jeanine served on the board of directors of the Erie School District and has been nominated to be seated on the National School Board of Directors. Previously she served on the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. Jeanine holds a BS degree from Penn State University.

Kevin Mendelsohn

Kevin Mendelsohn is a Venture Partner at JumpStart Inc., a northeast Ohio-based venture development and investment organization. Mr. Mendelsohn has approximately twenty years of experience working in investment and operational management roles for early stage medtech and biotechnology companies. Most recently, he led finance and corporate development at CardioInsight Technologies, an electrocardiographic mapping company that was acquired by Medtronic, a leading international medical device company.

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Don Morrison

Don Morrison

Don is a serial entrepreneur and visionary leader who has consistently leveraged technology to improve the customer experience and top and bottom-line results. Don has been involved in the growth and development of several businesses, including American Eagle Outfitters, from one to 165 stores as President and CEO, Sundance Catalog Company as Executive Director, and Bear Creek Corporation as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing. He is currently chairman of deal flow for BlueTree Allied Angels, a Pittsburgh-based angel investment organization. Mr. Morrison is actively involved in mentoring and coaching several startup and early-stage companies in the region and serves on several boards of directors and advisors including, Pittsburgh Green Building Alliance and The eCenter @ Linden Pointe.


Joanna Sutton

Joanna is a Business Innovation Advisor with Brights Lights Innovations helping small businesses create profitable growth with accelerated times to market.  Since 2007, she held various B2B Marketing Executive roles with Westinghouse Electric Company.  She helped create numerous business opportunities leveraging a range of advanced technologies.  Joanna’s specific expertise includes business model design, product concept development, financial planning, and partnerships with early-adopter customers. Joanna has collaborated with a number of educational organizations on the cutting edge of marketing and innovation, including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The Institute for the Study of Business to Business Markets (the only B2B Think Tank) at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, and the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State.  She has a BA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.She also earned a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification.

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tony Torres, innovation institute

Antonio (Tony) Torres

Tony has over 30 years of experience and has held numerous senior management positions in the Chemicals, Materials and Construction products sectors. He founded and currently operates FreeRadicals LLC, a consulting firm and investment holding company exclusively focused on sustainable building and construction methods and materials, packaging and renewable energy. Prior to FreeRadicals Tony co-founded Triventas LLC, a small-cap investment firm and was Sr. Consultant at Headwaters, a merchant banking and advisory company. These opportunities came after a long career in the chemicals industries where he worked for leading firms including Dow Chemical and Nova Chemicals. At Nova, Tony was President of its construction materials business, SYNTHEON Inc., and ran its Performance Styrenics business with accountability for over $300M in revenue. While at Dow Chemical he held numerous global assignments including; Global Business Director for Corporate New Ventures Global Growth Center, the founding of Dow Fibers Solutions, Polyolefin’s and Elastomers, as well as DOWBRANDS Consumer Products. He also oversaw the construction of an elastomeric fiber plant during this tenure.

In the last five years Tony has focused on building a global construction business through the formation of wholly-owned or joint venture companies in India, Chile, Mexico and the United States. He especially focused on the identification of critical and capable partners to successfully start-up technology based companies. Through partner companies like Reliance Industries in India and Grupo Idesa in Mexico Joint Ventures were started in record time. Mr. Torres was CEO of the India venture, Reliance Innovative Building Systems for nearly 2 years.

Tony has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of Miami, Florida. He has completed the Executive Programs at MIT for Management of Technology and the Thunderbird International Management Executive Program. Tony is fluent in Spanish and additionally is an adjunct professor for Entrepreneurship at Duquesne University.