Tue, Mar 08

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Meet The Massachusetts Innovation Ecosystem - Investor Insights

Join us for a lively discussion on Investor Insights from our three expert panelists, Sven Harmsen, Christine Fuchs and Eric Achtmann, moderated by Rupal Patel.

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Meet The Massachusetts Innovation Ecosystem - Investor Insights

Time & Location

Mar 08, 11:30 AM

Zoom

About the event

Some information on our panelists:

Eric Achtmann: Award-winning innovator, entrepreneur, executive, and investor. He started his career fighting fires in the Middle East after Gulf War I before moving on to the US Congressional Lean Aerospace Initiative and McDonnell-Douglas Phantom Works, and McKinsey & Co. where he served as an Aerospace & Defense and Automotive expert and ultimately pioneered the Firm’s highly successful product development practice (DTC/DTV). Thereafter, Eric moved into venture capital, serving as a Managing Partner for two pan-European tech and life science (therapeutics, diagnostics, devices) venture funds. Following his transition into operational and executive management, Eric proposed, architected, and brought to market the global fresh drinks vending system underpinning Coca Cola’s $5.1b acquisition of Costa Coffee and co-founded V-Nova, a London-based software company providing leading advanced video compression solutions (MPEG-5 II: LCEVC and VC-6). Eric is a Senior Advisor to McKinsey, Arowana Capital, and VivoPower plc; Non-Executive Director of Celdara Medical, Aclys Biotechnologies Corp., TargetArm, and VeriTX; as well as Founding Member of Meggitt PLC’s Technology Advisory Board, and AFWERX Mentor, and Expert Advisor to the European Commission (H2020 and European Heath & Digital Executive). Eric holds degrees from MIT and other universities and is a Professor of Practice at MIT-cofounded Skoltech.

Sven Harmsen: leads Saint-Gobain NOVA North America, the external ventures arm of Saint‑Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies and manufacturer of innovative material solutions that combines comfort and sustainability to enhance the well-being of people all over the world. In this role, Sven is responsible for driving NOVA’s growth strategy in alignment with overall corporate engagement and its investment strategy of startup companies. Sven came to Saint-Gobain NOVA from M Ventures, the global corporate venture arm of Merck KGaA, where he served as Investment Director. At M Ventures, he established and led a global investment team with a focus on building a portfolio of strategic investments in the field of performance materials. Prior to M Ventures, he worked at BASF Venture Capital (BVC) where he opened their first office on the East Coast. At BVC, he oversaw the investment process while also identifying relevant startup opportunities and served on the board of directors at identified portfolio companies. In the earlier part of his career Sven worked in various roles in R&D and business development with increasing responsibilities. He holds a Ph.D. in Natural Sciences, with a focus on chemistry, from the Julius-Maximilians-University in Wuerzburg, Germany and completed post-doctoral work at Stanford University.

Christine Fuchs:  Angel Investor, Board Member - Launchpad Ventures. Christine Fuchs is an active participant in the Greater Boston startup community as an early-stage investor, advisor, and mentor. She is a director at Launchpad Venture Group, the largest angel investment group in New England, and serves on the advisory board of The Capital Network, Boston’s leading non-profit organization providing fundraising education for start-ups. She frequently serves as a judge for start-up pitching competitions by The Wharton’s School’s Entrepreneurship Acceleration Progam as well as Boston University’s Innovation Pathway program. Christine holds an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). She is also a 200 hour Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher.

Rupoal Patel: Founder & CEO, VocalID and New England Innovation Award Winner 2017. Dr. Patel is a professor at Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences. In addition, she is Chief Executive Officer of VocaliD, a Belmont, MA, company that custom-builds voices for the speech-impaired; she is dedicated to developing new technologies to assist people with speech difficulties or impairment. Dr. Patel has been the driving force behind other such initiatives such as the Human Voicebank database. Dr. Patel, a speech scientist and technologist with over 15 years of clinical and research experience in assistive technology, is considered the hope of assisted speech. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and is a speaker for TED and serves as a Member of the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Innovation Network.

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