Tom is the Executive Director of Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) and is a Visiting Lecturer at the Johnson Graduate School of Management. CREA’s programs include Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, the Southern Tier Startup Alliance, and support of Cornell’s regional economic advancement efforts. Tom leads the Upstate NY I-Corps Node, and is the lead instructor for Cornell Engineering’s Commercialization Fellows program. He serves on the teaching team for eLab, Cornell’s student business accelerator, and teaches entrepreneurship and business strategy at Cornell.
He is an experienced entrepreneur having served as a startup founder and senior finance executive of high-growth companies. Previously, he was Director of Finance for the Triad Foundation, where his responsibilities included investing the Foundation’s $250m portfolio to top-quartile returns. His board affiliations include the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park and Tompkins County Area Development, and as board vice-chair of the Business Incubator Association of New York State. Tom co-chairs the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council’s Innovation Culture workgroup.
Tom has an AB and MBA from Cornell, where he was a recipient of the MBA program’s Albert J. Fried Fellowship for Leadership and Academic Excellence. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Ken Rother is the Director of Rev as well as its Hardware Entrepreneurship program. He is the Managing Director of Cornell’s eLab student accelerator program, teaches entrepreneurship at the Johnson School, instructs and coaches in several technology commercialization programs including NSF I-Corps, and is a Venture Partner at Cayuga Venture Fund.
Ken has held multiple senior business and technical positions for organizations such as Discovery Communications, Reuters, Matrox, and the Toronto Stock Exchange. He has direct startup experience having co-founded a software business in Toronto and joining an early stage online media business in New York, both of these startups concluded with successful exits.
Most recently Ken was the Senior Vice President of Digital Media at Discovery.
Caitlin Schickel is a Regional Economic Development Specialist for Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement. Responsible for collecting data on start-up activity in the Southern Tier and coordinating Cornell’s response to START-UP NY, Caitlin also helps out at REV when she can.
Caitlin, an Ithaca native, left to study urban development at Bryn Mawr College, but found herself back home after four years in Philadelphia. While new to the world of start-ups, she is excited to be a part of one of the organizations working to help revitalize Upstate New York.
EIR, Program Lead: Clean Energy
Brian Bauer is the Program Director for clean energy programs with Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement. Brian runs 76West, NYSERDA’s clean energy business competition, and he is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Southern Tier Startup Alliance, a member organization of incubators across the Southern Tier which is a collaboration between Cornell, Binghamton University, and Corning Enterprises.
Brian is a seasoned international energy industry executive with extensive experience in Oil, Natural Gas, Chemicals, and renewables in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Brian ran several international businesses during a 30-year career in the energy industry and has expertise in operations, strategy, business development, mergers and acquisitions, major project management, corporate governance and organizational change.
Brian has a B.S. In Chemical Engineering from Cornell and an MBA in Operations and Finance from the University of Chicago. In addition to his entrepreneurial work, Brian lectures at Cornell and serves on the Board of the Paleontological Research Institute, which includes the Museum of the Earth and the Cayuga Nature Center, both near Ithaca.
EIR, Program Lead: Southern Tier Startup Alliance
Brad is a career entrepreneur with an emphasis on technology-driven companies. Brad was most recently the Founding CEO of Mezmeriz, a high-tech company making interactive projectors and reality capture cameras to embed into mobile phones. Mezmeriz is based on patented MEMS technology developed by company co-founder Shahyaan Desai at Cornell. Previously, he was the Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Cornell University.
Brad was also the co-founder and CEO of SightSpeed, an innovative video and voice communications company. Together with co-founders Aron Rosenberg and Cornell Professor Toby Berger, Brad grew SightSpeed from a university research project into the world’s premier video calling software. SightSpeed was profitably acquired by Logitech for $30M.
Earlier in his career, Brad worked for eight years in the automotive industry in both the US and Spain at Bowles Fluidics and GKN Automotive. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State, and an MBA from the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell.
Brad lives in Ithaca, New York. He is faculty at Johnson at Cornell, Cornell Engineering, and Ithaca College teaching practical entrepreneurship, empathetic leadership, and project management. With the loving support of his wife Kristin and sideways looks from his children, he competes in long-distance triathlons in the “Clydesdale” division, has done a few Ironman triathlons, and has finished a handful of marathons without walking.
76West Competition Manager
Rena Scroggins is the Competition Manager for the 76West Clean Energy Competition. Rena is part of the Southern Tier Startup Alliance (STSA), a member organization of business incubators who provide support to people starting and growing companies in the region. STSA is operating the competition under contract with the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Previous to this role, Rena was the owner and CEO of the Montrose Theatre, an independent movie and special events space, for eight years. She lives in Ithaca and enjoys the chaos of working out of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works.
Molly Israel is the Marketing Strategist at CREA. She plans and implements marketing communications plans to promote CREA, its programs, and its various members.
Prior to joining Cornell University, Molly worked at Ithaca College for seven years, most recently as the Executive Director of Marketing. Before joining the ranks within higher education, she got a taste for start-ups as the Director of Marketing and Sales Operations for a fast-growing digital marketing agency in Washington, D.C.
Molly holds a degree in communications from Ithaca College and is constantly seeking better ways to balance mom-life with her two small children. She also serves on the board of the Learning Web, a local nonprofit supporting youth from various backgrounds.
Regional Director of UNY I-Corps Node
Shannon Sullivan is the Regional Director of the Upstate New York (UNY) I-Corps Node. She focuses on identifying and supporting innovative researchers who wish to explore the commercialization potential of technologies they’ve developed, and on growing the NSF I-Corps network in the Northeast through strong partnerships with universities, incubators and nonprofit venture development organizations.
Shannon has 10+ years of entrepreneurial experience and was a founding executive at Globaloria, an education technology start up that was sold to Carnegie Learning in 2017. Her career in digital media and technology spans 20 years and includes leadership roles at MTV and Knowledge Adventure.
She holds a BA in Public Relations from the University of Southern California and a MEd in Instructional Technology from the University of Virginia.
Liane is the Program Manager for CREA. She handles the Finances and is the Research Administrator for the Center. Liane has 15+ year of experience at Cornell in a number of financial and administrative roles, most recently as the Administrative Manager for the KAUST-CU Research Center.
She received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from American University in Washington, DC as well as her Bachelors in Government and Economics.
Outside of Cornell, she is the Chair for both the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Veteran, NY.
Christy Johnson is the Events Coordinator for Cornell’s Center of Regional Economic Advancement. She is responsible for pulling off an ambitious calendar of entrepreneurship and economic development events for all CREA program areas, including the 76West Clean Energy Business Competition.
Christy is an experienced entrepreneur, having run a successful event design & management company in Southern California before recently moving to Ithaca.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Max Henry is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) serving startup members of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works and he is part of Cornell AgriTech’s Center of Excellence in Food and Agriculture in Geneva, NY.
Henry is the founder and president of Humming Bird Leadership and serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence for NextCorps in Rochester, NY. His former experience includes serving as president and CEO of multiple companies including Topica (internet marketing), PrivateExpress (digital courier delivery company), Fabrik Communications (business messaging company, sold to Critical Path), and JSB Corporation (global software company, sold as SurfControl to Websense).
Previously, he served as vice president and general manager of Information Access Company (sold to Thomson), executive vice president and general manager of U.S. Telestar, and vice president and general manager of NeXT Computer (sold to Apple), where he was a direct report to Steve Jobs and was part of the executive policy team. Henry has served on numerous boards of directors and advisory boards and is currently board chairman at InfoStreet, an Inc 500 SaaS company.
Henry holds an MBA degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Hobart College.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Currently, Miller-Out serves as the managing partner at Chloe Capital, a seed stage venture capital investment fund focused on women-led technology companies. She’s also co-founder of PollQ, a chatbot polling tool for higher education, and a board member at Women 2.0, the leading media brand for women in tech.
In 2016, Elisa oversaw a successful acquisition deal with a division of Singlebrook, a custom software services firm that she co-founded and led as CEO for over 10 years. She is the company’s CFO as well as chair of the board. Singlebrook has Fortune 500, higher education, and nonprofit clients from around the world including: Cornell, Yale, Henry Schein, Hitachi, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, and more.
Prior to starting Singlebrook, Elisa founded two other companies and worked in a variety of industries in New York City. She has also launched several networking groups and regularly serves as a mentor and judge for startup accelerators and competitions. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Barnard College of Columbia University. Learn more at www.elisamillerout.com.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Brandon is a serial entrepreneur, most recently co-founder and CEO at Zibby. Zibby is a mission-driven finance company helping retailers sell life’s necessities to 100M nonprime consumers seamlessly through every channel, from online to in-store. Zibby customers that demonstrate creditworthy behaviors graduate to more attractive financing terms over time.
Brandon’s landed his first job with a top-10 asset management team at Smith Barney, but quickly transitioned from analyzing companies to building them. He co-founded and successfully exited companies in residential mortgage, multi-family real estate, and retail coffee, all in the Pacific Northwest.
Wright has co-founded business associations and served on mayoral advisory committees for economic development. He graduated from Whitman College with an undergraduate degree in Economics and received his MBA from Cornell University in 2012.
Speaker / Mentor
Andrea Ippolito is the executive director of the Engineering Management Program at Cornell University. She is an instructor for eLab, Cornell’s student accelerator, Engineering’s Commercialization Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps.
She recently completed a role as the innovators network director at the Department of Veterans Affairs and she previously served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the VA Center for Innovation based out of the White House Office of Science Technology Policy and General Services Administration.
She previously was a Ph.D. student in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT, cofounder of Smart Scheduling, Innovation Specialist at the Brigham &Women’s Hospital Innovation Hub, and co-leader of MIT’s Hacking Medicine. She also served as a product innovation manager at Athena Health and completed her M.S. in engineering and management at MIT. Prior to MIT, Ippolito worked as a research scientist within the Corporate Technology Development group at Boston Scientific. She obtained both a B.S. in biological engineering in 2006 and Master of Engineering in biomedical engineering in 2007 from Cornell University.
Interested in working with regional startups and economic development?
We hire paid student assistants every semester – and over the summer! Contact Caitlin Schickel at email@example.com to submit your resume and cover letter.