2022 INNOVATION JUDGES
Sr. Associate Director- Alumni Relations Entrepreneurship and Career Strategy - Northeastern University
Laurie manages the Health Sciences Entrepreneurs program at Northeastern University (HSE). HSE Supports entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in healthcare, health sciences and life sciences, by providing mentoring and technical assistance to develop the entrepreneurial mindset and ultimately, a pathway to venture commercialization. Her professional career started with a 12-year tour at Verizon Communications in Boston, strategically navigating around the company to broaden her knowledge and impact in various positions, ranging from deep tech to global sales. After leaving Verizon, she championed operations and business development strategic initiatives for several startups and non-profits in Florida and the Boston area. Immediately prior to joining Northeastern, Laurie spent time with the New Venture Development team at UMass Lowell. In this role, she coordinated the NSF-funded I-Corps Site program and various workforce development projects, while mentoring life sciences and high tech ventures. Laurie earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University, participating in their first solar-powered car project and racing in the Tour de Sol. She also earned an MBA with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Babson College.
Dr. Jon Bloom
CEO & Co-Founder, Podimetrics
THE EDDIES Winner, 2021
Dr. Jon Bloom is a board-certified physician and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in technology development, patient monitoring, biomedical research, and health care delivery. He co-founded Podimetrics in 2011 while a student at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and he’s served as our CEO ever since. Dr. Bloom was first inspired to create a solution to help prevent diabetic amputations while practicing anesthesia; he frequently treated patients who required foot amputations, and knew there had to be a less drastic way to prevent diabetic foot complications. He previously served as a Clinical Assistant Professor and staff anesthesiologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and as the Director of Global Medical Affairs for Covidien's Respiratory and Monitoring Solutions division. Dr. Bloom has co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications with a primary focus on health care economics and perioperative complications. He earned his medical degree from
the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Co-Founder, Beckon Ice Cream
NEIA WINNER, 2018
Gwen Burlingame is Co-Founder of Beckon, the first and only premium ice cream, made from fresh milk and cream, that is completely lactose free. Gwen is a graduate of Villanova University and started her career in CPG brand marketing at L'Oreal USA. She traded beauty tobe a foodie in 2016 and started Beckon with co-founder, Katy Flannery. Beckon, which began at a local farmer's market in Boston, is now sold in over 1500 retailers nationwide and on beckonicecream.com. In 2018, Beckon Ice Cream won The Robert J. Crowley Rising Star Innovation Award.
Chief Operating Officer, Etiometry
NEIA WINNER, 2018
Evan Butler is an engineer and entrepreneur who co-founded Etiometry in 2010. Previously, he worked at Boston Children's Hospital in the Pediatric Cardiac Bioengineering Laboratory designing, building, and testing novel surgical robots and tools. Evan was also a NASA GSFP Fellow with Dryden Flight Research Center, and created intelligent flight control systems. Evan received his Bachelor's Degree in Physics and Aerospace Engineering, and his Master's Degree in Dynamics and Control Engineering from Boston University. Evan has published conference papers, journal articles and a book chapter in the fields of medical predictive analytics, concentric tube robots and tools for minimally-invasive beating heart surgery, and intelligent flight control systems. Evan has received multiple awards, including the 2010 IEEE Transactions on Robotics Best Paper Award.
Kelly Crowley - McInnis
Director of Business Development, AIM HR Solutions
With over 20 years of experience, Kelly is a dynamic and highly regarded HR professional. Kelly has had the longest association with New England Innovation, as the concept of recognizing and supporting innovation was the brainchild of her late father, Robert J. Crowley, Sr. and his long-time associate, Julie Scofield . Having been surrounded by innovative companies her entire life and listening to them pitch their ideas at Babson College and the MIT Forum throughout her childhood, Kelly has seen over 200 companies win this prestigious award since its inception back in 1986. She has served as a Judge for many years; Kelly currently is the Director of Business Development at AIM HR Solutions.
Dr. Maher Damak
CEO & Co-founder, Infinite Cooling
NEIA WINNER, 2020
Dr. Maher Damak is the CEO and Co-Founder of Infinite Cooling, an award-winning startup with mission to mitigate water scarcity around the world, by helping power plants and other industrial processes dramatically reduce their water consumption and water treatment costs by recovering water from their cooling tower exhausts. Dr. Damak has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from MIT where -at the Varanasi Research Group- he developed a novel patent-pending technology to efficiently capture water from fog and cooling tower plumes using electric fields; this technology is the basis of Infinite Cooling. Maher is an expert in fluid dynamics, heat transfer, interfacial phenomena, and electronics. Before MIT, Maher graduated from École Polytechnique, France’s top engineering school, with a concentration in mathematics, physics, and mechanical engineering. He has several awards for his work including Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy, a World Technology Award, the New England Innovation Award in Sustainability, and the Lemelson-MIT student prize. His personal interests are traveling, with 30 countries visited so far, horseback riding that he practiced intensively in college, and international relations
H. Day Shields
VP Finance & Funding, Board Member & Chair, Capital Raise Committee Targatek
Angel Investor, Member of Launchpad Ventures
H. Shields Day, Jr., CFA has been a professional investor and business advisor for over 25 years. He began his career as an investment banker at JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs in leveraged finance and equities. He then spent the
next 15 years as an activist hedge fund investor working with small companies providing capital and business advise for growing, acquiring, restructuring, recapitalizing, and turning around businesses. Currently he is working as an angel investor with Launchpad Venture Group. He has also served as the co-President and Treasurer for Loon Freestyle, Inc. for the past 7 years.
Founder & CEO, Shiki Wrap
THE EDDIES WINNER, 2021
After two decades in senior leadership and consulting for nonprofit organizations across the U.S., Meagan founded Shiki Wrap, a sustainable alternative to paper gift wrap and bags made from recycled plastic. Meagan has an MBA from Champlain College and a BA in Psychology from DePaul University. She lives in Vermont where she serves as Governor Phil Scott’s Appointee to the Vermont Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Founder & CEO, Cleo Robotics
NEIA WINNER, 2020
Omar Eleryan is an inventor and entrepreneur with a deep passion for hard tech and all flying things. He is the founder and CEO of Cleo Robotics, a Boston company on a mission to revolutionize drones through their Dronut technology. Unlike traditional drones, Cleo's ultra compact Dronuts can safely operate near people and indoors, thus unlocking several markets that traditional drones haven't been able to address.
Dr. Carolyn Edelstein
Executive Director, OpenBiome
NEIA WINNER, 2017
Dr. Carolyn Edelstein is the Executive Director of OpenBiome, a universal stool bank and microbiome research institute, and a 2017 New England Innovation Award Winner. Carolyn was a member of the founding team and previously served as Director of Outreach and Public Affairs, where she oversaw OpenBiome's efforts to expand the availability of FMT across 1,000 hospitals and clinics, present its work to the public, and contribute to the discourse on the regulation of fecal microbiota. Previously, Carolyn worked at the US Agency for International Development, where she helped launch the Global Innovation Fund, a $200 million institution backed by foreign aid agencies from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Sweden, and South Africa, to test and support low-cost, high-impact interventions to improve global health and prosperity.
Co-Founder & CTO, invisaWear
NEIA WINNER, 2020
Ray graduated from UMass Lowell with a degree in electrical engineering. His background mainly consists of hardware design, system applications and mobile app development. Currently, Rayis the CTO & Co-founder of invisaWear which creates discreet devices disguised as jewelry and stylish accessories that are equipped with advance safety technology. Ray is passionate about helping others and committing with the best effort to make a difference in society.
Dr. Kimo Johnson
Co-founder, CSO, GelSight
THE EDDIES WINNER, 2021
Kimo Johnson is a Co-Founder and the Chief Science Officer at GelSight, Inc., a startup company focused on commercializing a high-resolution tactile sensor developed at MIT. Before leaving academia to start GelSight, Dr. Johnson was a Research Scientist at MIT where he published numerous papers in leading conferences and journals on computer vision and graphics. Dr. Johnson holds undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Music Theory, a master’s degree in Electro-Acoustic Music, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.
President & Managing Director,
GET Group North America
Board Member, Document Security Alliance
Alex is an Identity Solutions expert and for over 15 years has enabled Governments around the world implement new technologies around secure Government Credentials (National IDs, Driver’s Licenses and Passports). Alex is President & Managing Director of GET Group North America based in Waltham MA,which was recently awarded a contract by the US Department of State for the implementation of the Next Generation US Passport. Alex believes that mobile identity is the foundation of any effective digital security strategy and has recently directed the company’s efforts towards the development of its new globally interoperable mobile drivers’ licenses technology. Alex serves on the Board of the Document Security Alliance, an association of government, industry and academia dedicated to securing the production, issuance, and authentication of identity, credentials, and currency.
CEO 4Immune Therapeutics,
NEIA WINNER, 2012
Pamela Layton is a founder, CEO and board member of 4Immune Therapeutics, a pre-clinical biotech company that is developing a CAR T cell therapy platform that allows antigen-specific killing of autoreactive T cells that cause autoimmune disorders. The companies lead candidate targets Type 1 diabetes, with follow-on therapies for celiac disease and vitiligo. Prior to 4Immune, Pamela was the CEO and a member of the Board of XenoTherapeutics Foundation, responsible for bringing the first live cell pig graft into the clinic through a three-phase clinical trial treating patients with severe burns. Prior to XenoTherapeutics, she was President and a member of the Board of Directors of Bioarray Genetics, Inc., a breast cancer molecular diagnostics company, where her role spanned the acquisition of capital, operations, reimbursement, regulatory path and partnerships. Prior to Bioarray, Mrs. Layton was the Founder and CEO of Parcell Laboratories, and responsible for taking the first pure stem cell product from bench to bedside for spinal fusion surgery. She holds multiple U.S. and European patents for the ELA® cell and its applications. Mrs. Layton is a Certified Tissue Bank Specialist as designated by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). In addition to mentoring young companies in the U.S. and abroad, she is a member of the Board of the Pioneer Institute, a non-partisan public policy institute in Massachusetts, as well as a member of the board of the Massachusetts Innovation Network, a member of the Mass General Hospital Corporation and a long-standing Judge for the New England Innovation Awards. Mrs. Layton is a longstanding member of SkyVentures, as well as an individual Angel Investor.
COO, Office of Business Development - Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Nhat Le is the Chief Operating Officer of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD); she was appointed to this role in 2015. Nhat’s principal function is to connect businesses with available state resources, to help them grow and succeed; her understanding of economic development, knowledge of available funding, and relationship-building skills have created numerous opportunities for growth and success in a wide variety of business sectors. Before joining the MOBD team, Nhat was at State Street Corporation, as an Officer in the Institutional Investor Services Accounting Operations Team; there, she oversaw a team providing the daily and monthly valuations of clients’ portfolios, trained personnel, and instituted procedural and infrastructural protocols for all processes.
Actively involved in her community.
Dr. Val Livada
Research Affiliate, MIT Materials Research Laboratory; Founder, Corporate Entrepreneurship Network; Advisor, MassRobotics; Advisor, Greentown Labs;
Director, Built Environment Coalition.
Dr. Livada has been active in the innovation/entrepreneurship ecosystem for over 35 wars. He has advised Global 300 type companies, research universities, regional organizations and startups on commercializing technology. Presently Val leads the Boston Center of the EU Enrich program, connecting European ventures to the US, and is working with MIT's Materials Research and Deshpande Centers to better connect. academia and industry. He is founder of the Corporate Entrepreneurship Network, sits on the Board of Directors of Aphios Corporation, The Built Environment Coalition, AutoHarvest Foundation and Monarch Antenna. He is also advisory board member for Greentown Labs, Mass Robotics, NU's Advanced Manufacturing Group, and Portugal's. BGI Incubator. Dr. Livada holds degrees from MIT and Tufts' Fletcher School and has taught at the Sloan School of Management at MIT and the Questrom School at BU.
Dr. Alexander Margulis
Chief Operating Officer,
Dr. Margulis has more than 20 years of science and business development experience in the Life Science industry. Trained as a cellular and molecular biologist, his accomplishments include a dozen authored scientific papers and numerous abstracts. In business development, Dr. Margulis increased sales by 200% within two years in the US and Canada, placing the Capital Equipment instruments into world-class academic and biotech/pharma accounts in the Boston area. He is currently building a world-class life science innovation ecosystem in the Southeastern Massachusetts through Mansfield Bio-Incubator serving as a centerpiece. Margulis has served as a Judge for International BioGENEius Challenge for the past three years.
Founder, CEO, Target Arm
THE EDDIES WINNER, 2021
Mr. McChesney is the CEO and Founder of Target Arm currently leading the aeronautical industry with Tular, the groundbreaking technology that launches and recovers drones autonomously from any moving vehicle, already at over 65mph. Jeff is an alumnus of the USAF Academy, Columbia University and Harvard University; a graduate of the USAF Fighter Weapons School (TopGun); a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Harvard National Security Fellow. As a graduate of the Congressional Research Services’ Advanced Legislative Institute, Jeff is also an expert on the US Congress, having served as the Deputy of the House Liaison Office, and later the Chief of the Senate Liaison Office, both for the Secretary of the Air Force.
Mr. McChesney brings a broad spectrum of unique experiences to the table as a respected serial entrepreneur, inventor, subject matter expert in Finance and Venture Capital and Cybersecurity investments, combat fighter pilot and former Air Force Colonel. His warrior perspective is laser focused on results, as shown by his leadership and track record of performance from startups to billion-dollar enterprises with thousands of people. Jeff inspires and harvests excellence, leads with integrity and understands the human factors necessary for financial success in any organization. Throughout his aviation career, Jeff has flown 29 different aircraft and possesses an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license, a Commercial Pilot’s license and a drone pilot license. When he isn’t driving innovation at Target Arm, Jeff enjoys hiking the Appalachian Trail, playing ice hockey and driving fast cars!
Vice President, Strategic Projects & Mobile Solutions, STERIS
NEIA WINNER 2012
Mr. Munroe brings more than 20 years of healthcare sales and manufacturing experience to the industry. Mr. Munroe is a senior executive with expertise in national start-up organizations, strategic/relationship sales, and distribution development. He is responsible for establishing consistent sales and marketing processes, tools and techniques. Mr. Munroe’s background includes experience in outsourcing strategy development, organizational leadership, market analysis and sales force training and development. Mr. Munroe currently serves as the Vice President of Strategic Projects and Mobile Solutions at STERIS Corporation. He has also served as General Manager of STERIS HSS business. In his Strategic Projects role, he sets strategic direction for STERIS’s Off Site Reprocessing solutions in North America and in his Mobile Solutions role, he oversees the growth and development of STERIS’s mobile business. Historically, in his GM role he managed an outsourced relationship with Sterilmed, a division of Johnson & Johnson.Mr. Munroe’s healthcare career began with the Medical Manager Corporation prior to its 1997 initial public offering. Mr. Munroe holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Northeastern University.
Integrated Marketing & Global Branding Manager,
Irina Muradian is an integrated marketing and brand strategy professional with 10+ years of diverse marketing experience that spans account/project management, digital campaign planning and execution and brand strategy development and governance. Irina's current primary focus as a Global Brand Manager at Boston Scientific is to craft and implement advanced brand and communications strategies that inspire employees, grow customer affinity and engagement and ultimately help drive business results. In her free time, Irina enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling and trying out new hobbies.
Dr. Rupal Patel
Founder & CEO, VocalID
NEIA WINNER, 2017
Dr. Patel is a professor at Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences. In addition, Dr. Patel 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. Dr. Patel serves as a Member of the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Innovation Network.
Co-Founder & CEO, Rendever
NEIA WINNER, 2020
Kyle grew up volunteering in a senior living community, and went on to study cognitive decline in the aging population. His neuroscience research was largely focused on the link between functional structural changes in the brain that happen as you age, and the associated deficits in economic-based decision making. He also studied neuroprosthetics and has been published for his work linking reward-based behavior coding with motor area activation in monkeys. Since joining the tech world, he has led the development of a niche research-based social network, created a crowdfunding platform for ecological conservation, and architected a grassroots initiative focused on increasing healthcare access in populations-in-need, which was eventually recognized by the Obama administration. After having a negative personal experience moving his grandmother into a senior living community, he realized the severe impact of social isolation on seniors, and cofounded Rendever to use new virtual reality technology to build communities and increase resident engagement through positive shared experience.
Executive Director, MassRobotics
Thomas Ryden is the Executive Director of MassRobotics. MassRobotics is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help grow the next generation of robotics companies. Prior to joining MassRobotics Thomas was the founder and CEO/COO of VGo Communications, Inc. While at VGo Mr. Ryden oversaw the development and launch of the VGo telepresence robot. The VGo is used by hospitals, eldercare facilities, schools and other organizations to help people stay better connected, allowing users to essentially be in two places at once. Previously, Thomas was the Director of Sales & Marketing at iRobot Corporation. Under his leadership iRobot secured over $300M in contracts and revenue from its government and industrial products increased from $2M to over $80M annually. In addition Thomas held roles in program management, overseeing the development of some of iRobot’s most successful products. Mr. Ryden serves as the co-chairman of the robotics cluster of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council and is on the board of directors of AUVSI New England and the Robotics Technology Advisory Panel for ASME. Mr. Ryden has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Bentley University.
Founder & CEO, SmartDiiet
NEIA WINNER, 2019
Christopher graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology with multiple Engineering degrees. He holds multiple United States and International utility patents focused on Artificial Intelligence and Multispectral camera imaging systems for smartphones and IoT devices, his most recent patent granted in 2019. His early career in engineering began with United Engineers and Craig Systems in the fields of design and mechanical engineering. He continued his career with Digital Equipment Corporation where he was principal engineer in worldwide environmental field support. After Digital, he was president and owner of numerous companies securing over $50 million in financing, mainly in the field of residential and commercial site engineering and development. Mr. Mutti’s new venture is in the Health and Nutrition monitoring technology field, which he has been involved with, for over 10 years. He is founder and CEO of SmartDiiet, responsible for driving all aspects of product development, strategy, business planning and investor funding for the company. He won the 2019 New England Innovation Award in “Wellness” and the the 2019 InnoStars World Grand Finals competition in Changsha, China. He has won numerous pitch competitions including The Venture Forum at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2017 and 2018 and was awarded first place in the TechSandBox Pitch contest in 2014. He also won the Audience Choice Award at the annual TechSandBox Pitchfest in 2015. Mr. Mutti is a life member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Dr. Jack Salerno
Consultant, Advisor - Innovation & Technology Commercialization
NEIA WINNER, 2008
Jack Salerno is a consultant and advisor for Innovation and Technology Commercialization. He has over 30 years executive and operational experience in start-up and rapid-growth enterprises and developing and transitioning emerging technology to successful commercial products, with innovations generating $100M’s revenue and employed in smartphones, optical communication systems, AR/VR displays, and defense systems. His previous positions include Founder and Business Development Officer of Sensera (ASX:SE1), EVP of Triton Systems, CEO of Agiltron Inc., and Vice President of Kopin Corporation (Nasdaq:KOPN). He brings technical, go-to-market, and company-building experience in Internet of Things platform and sensors, semiconductor and photonic materials and devices, and display systems. Dr. Salerno has authored more than 50 technical papers and is an inventor on over 30 U.S. patents. He has served as principal investigator for numerous R&D programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Commerce. He holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT.
Dr. Alexander Sappok
THE EDDIES WINNER, 2021
Currently the CEO of RaySecur, Dr. Alexander Sappok is a tech entrepreneur with a proven track record developing and bringing to market disruptive innovations in historically conservative industries. Previously founder and CEO of an automotive tech startup, spun-out of MIT and acquired by CTS Corporation (NYSE: CTS). Experienced in scaling early-stage tech companies, building start-up teams, securing non-dilutive funding, structuring corporate partnerships and M&A. Active advisor and mentor to technology startups in the Boston area.
Strong technical and R&D background with 40+ peer-reviewed conference and journal publications, and over a dozen patents in the fields of energy efficiency, emissions systems, and advanced sensing. Frequent speaker at leading international conferences in the automotive and transportation space.
Dr. Mohan Thanikachalam
CEO, President & Co-Founder, Dynocardia
THE EDDIES WINNER, 2021
As a physician devoted to public health, Dr. Thanikachalam has overseen numerous programs dedicated to the care of patients with diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. To address unmet needs of blood measuring technologies, Dr. Thanikachalam leads a collaborative team drawn from TUFTs and MIT, and supported by NIH grant 1U01EB018823-01A1 to develop ViTrack, the first stand-alone, cuff-less device that allows for continuous, non-invasive blood pressure (cNIBP) measurement. Unlike conventional occlusive devices, ViTrack offers direct, beat-to-beat measurement of blood pressure that is wearable, mobile, and easy to use, with the accuracy of an intra-arterial line. With data-rich capability that includes heart rate, heart rhythm, and respiratory parameters in addition to blood pressure, ViTrack
enables early intervention prior to acute events.
Previous to his work at Dynocardia, Dr Thanikachalam has been a pioneer in the areas of population- based cardiovascular disease (CVD). His work includes risk assessment and point-of-care technologies to facilitate comprehensive, community-based intervention strategies for CVD prevention and management. In partnership with the Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Dr Thanikachalam established a comprehensive CVD and diabetes management program with a custom-built virtual-care platform with the primary aim of increasing access to high-quality care, while reducing cost. With USAID support, he has led the efforts to develop a mobile-health technology platform, as an adjunct to the management of hypertension and diabetes by non-skilled health workers.
Founder & CEO, Untill
THE EDDIES WINNER 2021
Ahmad noticed the inefficiency of the fresh food supply chain early on while growing up in Saudi Arabia. Being a big salad fan, he noticed that fruits and vegies travel longer than Americans drive annually to get to his plate. As an industrial engineer, he, along with a great team, founded Untill to tackle this issue and invented technology to grow food closer to people's plates, year-round, anywhere on earth. He's a graduate of Northeastern University and previously served as a consultant to high-tech manufacturing companies.