Scott is life sciences executive with broad experience in technology development, clinical trials, regulatory strategy, marketing, and sales. He began his career at ALung Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based medical device company, where he developed and commercialized artificial lung technologies. Most recently, he founded 3Rivers MedTech LLC, providing innovation and commercialization services to the medtech industry. Scott is a two-time graduate of the University of Pittsburgh having earned a BS from the Swanson School of Engineering (Bioengineering) and an MBA from Katz Graduate School of Business (Marketing).
In tandem with his role as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Innovation Institute, Scott is the Director of the Coulter Program, a University-based accelerator which helps faculty researchers commercialize their biomedical innovations.
Office location: 120 McKee Place
Phil Brooks, MBA
Phil has served as a consultant or C-level executive with six startups and two established companies in manufacturing, mining, information technology, entertainment and life sciences. One exists today as Cook Myosite and for another, Jump Start Associates, Time Capitalists,SM he served as co-founder and CEO, assisting early stage businesses prepare for their first outside capital and as an active member of their management team. He co-leads the National Science Foundation-funded Pitt Ventures program to help faculty researchers and students listen to customers and help them build market winning value into their innovative solutions.
The consulting business he began over 20 years ago with his wife has provided grant writing assistance to clients resulting in almost $7 million in awarded SBIR/STTR funding. Prior to this, Phil owned a public relations 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.
Phil currently serves as Chairman of BlueTree Allied Angels’ Growth and Transaction Committee and is a member of the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association. He has an MBA from CMU, an MS in Pharmacotherapeutics from LIU Brooklyn and a BS in Biology from UConn.
Kelly has spent her career working across many facets of healthcare innovation and product development. First, as the founder and CEO of a medical device company spun out of Carnegie Mellon’s Biomedical Engineering department, followed by an experience leading new product development and R&D within the medical supply corporation that acquired her startup. Currently, Kelly has a business development role at UPMC Enterprises where she looks to connect startups, corporations, and other health systems with strategic opportunities to partner with UPMC to commercialize innovations in healthcare IT and life sciences. Kelly’s journey has included being a participant and beneficiary of many of Pittsburgh’s excellent entrepreneurial resources, and now is a mentor, speaker, and subject matter expert in support of many of those same local programs. Her passion and unique expertise lies at the intersection of entrepreneurship, healthcare, and corporate innovation.
Kelly M. Dane brings experience as both an Investment Banker and Private Equity Investor, serving as an Executive in Residence at the Innovation Institute. She provides technical expertise in both finance and investing, with a focus on the commercialization and monetization of University IP and start-ups. She is the founder of Dane Consulting, a strategic consulting firm for start-ups, investors, and small business owners. Previously, she served in various investment banking and private equity roles in New York City and Pittsburgh, including roles at Incline Equity Partners, Jefferies, and PNC Bank.
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.
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 was the previous Chairman of The Linden Pointe Development Corporation which operates The eCenter @ Linden Pointe and The Entrepreneurship Academy program for area high school students.
Rhonda is an entrepreneur and seasoned professional experienced in driving customer-focused, purpose-centric strategy and innovation, especially in complex environments. She is the founder and President of The Synergos Group LLC, a boutique firm providing business and strategic consulting for early stage and evolving organizations across multiple industries and sectors. As an early advocate and subject matter expert on the “local” movement, Rhonda created Local Goodness, a multi-media firm that most recently launched the Local Goodness Marketplace, a website dedicated to offering all the best of all things local. Rhonda serves as the Innovation Coordinator for The Pennsylvania State University in New Kensington, where she develops and delivers innovation and entrepreneurial programming on campus and at The Corner, a co-working and entrepreneur/small business support space anchoring the Corridor of Innovation in downtown New Kensington.
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.
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.
Jessica Trybus is an entrepreneur passionate about envisioning interactive experiences that change lives, employing innovative technologies as solutions. In addition to serving as an entrepreneur in residence in support of the University of Pittsburgh’s Big Idea Center, Jessi is currently “Firestarter of Moonshots” at X, The Moonshot Factory (formerly Google[x]). Jessi also founded Simcoach Games, a Carnegie Mellon spin off which has delivered hundreds of games as learning, safety, and workplace training solutions since 2005. Jessi also served as faculty and Professor of the Practice at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center from 2004-2018, her efforts dedicated to spotlighting innovation, entrepreneurship, and partnership at the University. In 2015, Jessi was appointed by Governor Wolf to the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board, and served as Board Member and Secretary of Partner4Work from 2013-2019. Jessi is a founding member of Remake Learning, and chairs CSforAll Pittsburgh. Jessi is also on the board of The Beckwith Institute, an organization associated with UPMC that is dedicated to improving clinical outcomes through innovation. Jessi received her bachelor’s at Cornell University (majors in English and Theatre) and her graduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University (entertainment+interactive technology).
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.
Phone: (412) 383-8191