2019 Program

Agenda Item
8:15 - 9 am
Registration, light breakfast, networking in Technology Showcase
9:00 - 9:15am
Welcome and Introduction
9:20 - 10:05am
Morning Workshops

The Importance of IP, Market, Regulatory & Business Information

Experts in startup formation and support discuss the type of research and information necessary for startups to move forward.

Panel Lead

  • Jack Rudnick, Esq.

    Jack Rudnick is Director of the New York State Science and Technology Law Center at the Innovation Law Center and a professor of practice at Syracuse University College of Law. He is an experienced corporate and intellectual property attorney who has been providing legal counsel for 40 years. He has extensive experience in commercializing new technologies and advising emerging technology companies. His interests are IP strategy development to maximize protection and return on investment and managing technology commercialization programs and ventures.

    Rudnick began his career as in-house counsel, first at Oneida Ltd. and then at medical device manufacturer Welch Allyn, Inc. Rudnick co-founded Blue Highway, Inc. while at Welch Allyn to locate and accelerate the development of technologies with medical applications. He is currently of counsel with Barclay Damon, LLP’s Emerging Technology Team, where he provides business and legal consultation to technology-based companies.

    In addition, Rudnick serves on the Board of Directors for MedTech Association and the Central New York Community Foundation, Inc., and the Board of Advisors of the CNY Biotech Accelerator. He received his JD from Syracuse University College of Law. He received his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College.



  • John Boger, Esq.

    John Boger is a partner and head of the Medical Products/Technology Practice Group at Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C. Prior to joining the firm, John was senior counsel at Capital District Physicians' Health Plan, Inc. He also was an associate with Brown & Tarantino, LLC in Rochester.

    Before attending law school, John worked for eight years at DePuy, Inc. as a product development engineer and product manager specializing in orthopaedic implant design. He also worked for DePuy-DuPont Orthopaedics, Inc. as the venture project manager, focusing on the development of advanced implantable biomaterials and medical implants.

    John is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Rochester's Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He also works with students at the Couri Hatchery located in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.

  • David Eilers, Adjunct/MBA@Syracuse, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University
    David  Eilers

    Dave Eilers is an enterprise leader focused on the convergence of technology development, innovation process and user engagement. Over the course of his career Dave has pioneered new products, opened new international markets and developed new business models in the healthcare industry through his work with the Marmon Group of companies and InterV Medical/ Roundtable Healthcare Partners, resulting in a $785 Million acquisition. In 2008, Dave applied his interest in Open Innovation to the co-founding of Blue Highway, LLC; a technology accelerator focused on creating early diagnosis of adverse health conditions. In 2013, Dave helped launch the Life Reimagined Institute for AARP, focused on improving the social determinants of health for people 50+ through millions of digital interactions and nearly fifty thousand live in-person seminars. Most recently, Dave was asked by leaders at the American Hospital Association (AHA) to co-develop and teach a practical innovation curriculum for AHA’s member hospitals which can prototype novel solutions in a ninety-day period.

                Outside of his consulting practice, Dave is an Adjunct in Syracuse University’s Online MBA program teaching Corporate Entrepreneurship, serves on the Board of Advisors for Lexington Wellness Holdings; and is a volunteer Board Member for the Lwala Community Alliance which pioneers health and wellness programs in rural Africa. Dave often speaks to innovation communities interested in the design thinking process and commercialization of emergent technologies.

  • David Quinn, Chief Scientist, Welch Allyn
    David Quinn

    David Quinn is currently a Chief Scientist at Welch Allyn, a part of the Front-Line Care division of Hill-Rom. David has over 30 years of experience in the design and development of medical diagnostic devices and sensors. He holds over 125 US and International patents and is recognized in Welch Allyn’s Patent Hall of Fame. David is serving his second term as Co-Chair of the US AAMI Blood Pressure Committee as well as serving as a subject matter expert on the International Standards Organization writing groups for Blood Pressure and Thermometry standards. As an adjunct instructor in the Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Graduate department at Syracuse University, David was presented with the 2016 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Engineering Education.

  • Denis Sullivan

    Denis is Barclay Damon’s Intellectual Property Practice Group leader and the co-team leader of the technology, medical devices, communications and networking technology, and emerging technologies teams. A nationally recognized intellectual property lawyer and registered patent attorney, Denis handles patent infringement disputes in federal district court and at the International Trade Commission, patent office proceedings such as inter partes reviews and reexaminations, and the preparation of patent applications.

    His experience as both a patent litigator and patent prosecutor enables Denis to successfully challenge and defend patents under the America Invents Act before the US Patent and Trademark Office. Denis regularly serves as lead counsel in IPRs of patents involved in district court litigation.

    His ability to provide clients with high-value intellectual property counsel is enhanced by his strong engineering background, which includes several years working as a licensed professional engineer. This technical experience enables Denis to handle patent matters across a wide variety of technologies and industries, including health care, telecommunications, semi-conductor manufacturing, and oil and gas.

  • Jessie Verna, Director of Regulatory Affairs, CONMED Corporation
    Jessie Verna

    Jessie Verna is currently associated with the Innovation Law Center.  Jessie has an undergraduate degree in engineering and is a licensed attorney. Jessie previously worked in the medical device industry as Director of Regulatory Affairs at Conmed Corporation for over 12 years. During this period her team was responsible for 510k’s and various regulatory registrations around the world. She also participated in multiple FDA inspections and EU Notified Body audits during her time at Conmed. Prior to joining Conmed Jessie held various positions with General Electric, Lockheed Martin, and Carrier Corporation.



10:05 – 10:35am
Break: Tech Showcase FEATURE Spotlight
10:45 - 11:30am
Morning Workshops
Demystifying Smart Manufacturing

Smart Manufacturing harnesses the power of big data and wireless sensors to enable smarter manufacturing decisions. This panel will discuss ways that Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology will transform manufacturing by helping to optimize supply chains, monitor processes and equipment in real time, and avoid downtime through predictive maintenance.

Panel Lead

  • Beth Bornick, Smart Manufacturing Lead, Fuzehub


  • Wayne Bequette, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Technical Manager, Northern Regional Manufacturing Center of the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Wayne Bequette

    B. Wayne Bequette is a Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Technical Manager for the Northern Regional Manufacturing Center of the Department of Energy Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where his research efforts are focused on the modeling and control of biomedical and chemical process systems. He serves as Board Secretary for the American Automatic Control Council (AACC) and as President of the Computer Aids for Chemical Engineering (CACHE) Corporation. Dr. Bequette is a founding member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, and serves on the Editorial Board of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. He is a Fellow of IEEE, AIChE and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (AIMBE), and was inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Chemical Engineers.


Startups who have successfully established profitable operations – or are well on their way - talk about the challenges they have encountered along the way.

Panel Lead

  • Judy Albers, VanArsdale Chair: School Of Business, SUNY Geneseo

    Judy Albers received an appointment to the VanArsdale Chair in Entrepreneurship at Geneseo in the Fall of 2013. Since then, she has introduced a comprehensive program in entrepreneurship to the university including courses, workshops, and events which are open to all upper level students in all majors. The program also involves student participation in local, regional and state-wide business plan competitions and national conferences such as the Clinton Global Initiative through CIDD. Further, she has established an incubator program where students grow their businesses during the summer months and follow-on semesters. The support of highly experienced mentors from both on- and off-campus provides huge value to the students and is vital to the students’ education and achievement. Collaborating with more advanced regional entrepreneurial programs such as those at High Tech of Rochester (HTR) has also been instrumental in student success.


  • Joe Dickson, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Pelitex
    Joe Dickson

    Joe Dickson, co-founder and currently the CEO of Pelitex, is a veteran entrepreneur who has served as the founder and/or senior C-Level executive of seven high-tech start-up firms across multiple industry and technology sectors during his 30-year career.  His areas of primary focus and expertise are advanced materials, renewable energy, microelectronics, biotech, and green tech/clean-tech business development.   Mr. Dickson has helped raise over $30MM in venture and private equity capital, and also has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions.   He is an expert in business and financial modeling, market validation, strategic positioning, and business plan execution.

    Mr. Dickson is currently a NYSERDA EIR, and he has also taught entrepreneurship at both Cazenovia College and Syracuse University, and was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Syracuse Citizen’s Foundation in 1992.   Mr. Dickson also developed and managed a successful Business Incubator for Syracuse University, and has run business plan competitions, internship programs, and mentored hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs.   Mr. Dickson has a BS in Chemistry from Syracuse University and an MBA from the University of Rochester.  

  • Dr. Jay Reeder, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, EndoGlow
  • Chuck Stormon, Chief Executive Officer, Acumen Detection, Inc.
    Chuck Stormon

    Chuck has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Syracuse University. He has cofounded six successful companies and a venture fund for seed stage startups. His background includes executive leadership positions in both public and private companies, research, engineering, board directorships and faculty at two universities (Syracuse University and LeMoyne College).

  • Richard Uhlig, Chief Executive Officer, Quadrant Biosciences
    Richard Uhlig

    With more than 25 years of business experience focused on the design and development of innovative products across various industries, Richard’s management capabilities range from ownership of regional retail businesses to the start-up and management of major corporate divisions with domestic and international product sourcing and sales experience. Previously, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley Bank, the principal banking subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, and was the Chief Investment Officer at Merrill Lynch Bank. He held other significant posts in the financial industry and served as an Executive in Residence at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. Richard is a graduate of Cornell University.

11:35 am - 1:20pm
Luncheon Keynote
1:25 - 2:10 pm
Afternoon Workshops

CNY has established itself as a hub for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology, with companies developing technologies to enable growth and development of the UAS traffic management (UTM) corridor. Panelists will discuss how this ecosystem can help establish a roadmap for the rest of the world to follow and how their organization is playing a unique role to advance UAS integration.

Panel Lead

  • Dr. Pramod  Varshney

    Pramod K. Varshney (S’72–M’77–SM’82–F’97-LF’18) was born in Allahabad, India, in 1952. He received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering and computer science (with highest Honors), and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, in 1972, 1974, and 1976 respectively. From 1972 to 1976, he held teaching and research assistantships with the University of Illinois. Since 1976, he has been with Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA, where he is currently a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Director of CASE: Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering. As Director of CASE, he is responsible for technology transition of university expertise to make economic impact in the high-tech economy of New York. He served as an Associate Chair of the department from 1993 to 1996. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Radiology at Upstate Medical University, Syracuse. His current research interests include distributed sensor networks and data fusion, detection and estimation theory, wireless communications, image processing, radar signal processing, physical layer security, and machine learning. He has published extensively. He is the author of Distributed Detection and Data Fusion (New York, NY, USA: Springer-Verlag, 1997).

    Dr. Varshney was a James Scholar, a Bronze Tablet Senior, and a Fellow while at the University of Illinois. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi and received the 1981 ASEE Dow Outstanding Young Faculty Award. He was elected to the grade of Fellow of the IEEE in 1997 for his contributions in the area of distributed detection and data fusion. He was the Guest Editor of the Special Issueon Data Fusion of the IEEE Proceedings January 1997. In 2000, he received the Third Millennium Medal from the IEEE and Chancellor’s Citation for exceptional academic achievement at Syracuse University. He received the IEEE 2012 Judith A. Resnik Award, Doctor of Engineering degree honoris causa from Drexel University in 2014, the ECE Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois in 2015 and ISIF’s Yaakov Bar-Shalom Award for a Lifetime of Excellence in Information Fusion in 2018. He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal on Advances in Information Fusion and has served on the editorial boards of IEEE Transactions of Signal Processing as well as IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. He was the President of International Society of Information Fusion during 2001.


  • TBD , Sentinent Blue
  • Timothy Gleeson, Captain, Syracuse Fire Department
  • Mike Hertzendorf, Interim Chief Executive Officer, NUAIR
    Mike Hertzendorf

    Mike is the Interim CEO of NUAIR.  He has a leading role in the integration, synchronization, and execution of all activities and policy development for UAS operations aimed at developing a National UAS Traffic Management System.  Mike leads the organizations strategy development process and the execution of supporting fiscal, business development, outreach, and communications plans enabling a targeted approach for growth and revenue generation.  He is also instrumental in developing future budgets, fiscal forecasts, and grant proposal submissions to enable execution of operations and development in Central New York.

    Prior to working at NUAIR Mike spent 29 Years in the U.S. Army as a special operations aviator.  He has over 20 years of command and leadership experience.  His last role was as the Chief of Staff of the 82nd Airborne Division.  Mike holds a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategy from the U.S. Army War College, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Murray State University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Ithaca College.  Mike volunteers on the Military Advisory Committee for Tuesdays Children as well as the Ithaca College School of Business Advisory Committee and Ithaca College Alumni Association Board of Directors.

  • Frank Matus, Director, Strategy & Business Development , Thales Air Traffic Management
    Frank  Matus

    Mr. Frank Matus has 18 years of experience establishing strategy and development initiatives for emerging air traffic management concepts and solutions in the United States and the global aviation market.  Currently, Matus serves as the Director of Strategy & Business Development for Thales Air Traffic Management in the US.

    At Thales, Matus leads UTM activities in the United States, collaborating with the FAA on Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) and serving on the RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee Subcommittee (NACSC), the RTCA Drone Advisory Committee Sub Committee (DACSC), the RTCA Working Group 228, Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) UAS Working Group and the American National Standards Institute Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative (UASSC).

    Matus is involved in a variety of industry development activities including articles in publications such as The Journal of Air Traffic Control and Avionics, and speaking engagements at conferences including ICAO RPAS, ICAO GANIS 2, Global UTM, ATCA, DASC, CTIA and ICNS.  Matus also serves as a board member for the Center of Advanced Systems and Engineering (CASE) at Syracuse University.  Further, Matus is a member of the Professional Pricing Society (PPS) which encourages the exchange of innovative pricing strategies and ideas across many domains.

    Matus holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Syracuse University.    

  • Jamie Winders, Director, ASPI Policy Institute
    Jamie Winders

    Jamie Winders is Director of the Autonomous Systems Policy Institute (ASPI) at Syracuse University and Professor of Geography in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. As ASPI’s director, Jamie brings together faculty and students from across Syracuse University to offer interdisciplinary insight into the policies, regulations, and varied uses of autonomous systems, from driverless vehicles and pilotless ships to unmanned aerial vehicles. Given ASPI’s focus on the technology, policy, and social implications of autonomous systems, Jamie works closely with key stakeholders in industry, government, non-profits, and wider communities impacted by or associated with autonomous systems. Beyond her work with ASPI, Jamie is known for her interdisciplinary research on international migration, as well as her contributions to geography’s engagements with race, labor, and social reproduction. She is Editor-in-Chief of the International Migration Review, the flagship journal in migration studies, and Associate Editor of cultural geographies. She holds a PhD from the University of Kentucky and joined the Syracuse University faculty in 2004.



Women in innovation and entrepreneurship face different obstacles than their male peers. These obstacles account for the disparity of women starting their own companies and making it to the c-suite. Yet, despite the disproportionate number of women disrupting in entrepreneurship women-led startups yield higher returns on investment and incorporating diversity in an entrepreneurial team and increases productivity, efficiency and profitability. How do we fill the gender gap in innovation and entrepreneurship? Join us for a facilitated conversation about meaningful strategies to address this problem offered by stakeholders from all components of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Panel Lead

  • Emily Ekland, Commercialization Director, Innovation Resource Center, Division of Science, Technology & Innovation
    Emily Ekland

    Emily Ekland is the commercialization director at NYSTAR, Empire State Division of Science Technology and Innovation. At NYSTAR, she runs a program called the Innovation Resource Center. The IRC helps entrepreneurs strategically leverage different NYSTAR-funded programs, investigates bottlenecks in the commercialization lifecycle and coordinates programs that alleviate bottlenecks to accelerate innovation and commercialization across New York. Emily’s background includes working in a biotech incubator, investigating economic development policy at a government think tank and helping startups navigate early-stage legal issues. When she’s not working Emily enjoys cooking, reading and anything outdoors, especially camping in the Adirondacks.


  • Kathryn Cartini, Partner, Chloe Capital; CMO, Upstate Venture Connect & Owner, Peacock Media, LLC
  • Amanda Curtis, CEO and Co-Founder, Nineteenth Amendment
    Amanda Curtis

    Amanda Curtis is the Cofounder and CEO of Nineteenth Amendment a venture backed platform for sustainable, on-demand, quick-turn manufacturing in the USA which enables inventory-free retailing for brands of all sizes. A former fashion designer turned tech entrepreneur Amanda through Nineteenth Amendment's 'fashion-as-experience' has worked with over 1,000 fashion brands across 30 countries, and helped forge creative retail partnerships with global brands like Disney, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Microsoft, Dell, and Bravo's Project Runway. Amanda is Forbes' 30 Under 30 2016 for Retail & E-commerce, Apparel Magazine's 30 Under 30 2016, and was named one of the National Retail Federation's Person Changing Retail's Future.

  • Ana-Maria Galeano, Chair, Corporate Practice Group, The Wagoner Firm, PLLC
  • Norma J. Nowak, PhD, Executive Director, NYS Center of Excellence, Bioinformatics & Life Sciences, Center for Advanced Technology, Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships and Professor of Biochemistry, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo an

    Norma Jean Nowak, Ph.D., is recognized as a leader in the field of human genomics.  Her research contributed directly to the Human Genome Project, as well as to genomic based approaches to understanding heritable disorders and cancer. In 2015, Dr. Nowak was named executive director for the University at Buffalo New York State Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, and holds the rank of Professor of Biochemistry. In addition, Dr. Nowak is the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Empire Genomics LLC, a molecular diagnostics firm focused on enabling personalized medicine. Dr. Nowak was appointed to the Empire State Stem Cell Board in 2014, and to the New York State Life Science Advisory Board in 2018.

    She previously served as the director of science and technology for UB’s New York State Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences from 2003-2015, as well as director of the UB/RPCI Genomics Facility from 1999-2012, a collaborative research lab shared by UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Prior to that, she was involved for 14 years in research at RPCI developing physical clone resources for cloning disease genes and mapping the human genome.

    Among her major achievements, Nowak has authored landmark papers describing the cloning of several heritable cancer disorders, including a form of Ataxia Telangiectasia (Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome). Her work on the Human Genome Project was published in the 2001 landmark genome issue of Nature describing the sequencing of the human genome. Dr. Nowak led and coordinated the three groups for the NCI extramural Cancer Chromosome Aberration Project. As part of this project, Dr. Nowak also developed BAC based array CGH (Comparative Genomic Hybridization) a microarray-based method for identifying numerical differences in DNA between tumor and normal cells and cells from individuals with genetic disorders including autism and other developmental disorders. The results of this work were published in Nature Genetics. She also was a key member of the GENSAT project studying spatial and temporal gene expression during development of the central nervous system in mice, and this work was published in the 2003 genome edition of Nature.  Dr. Nowak received the 2008 American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Team Science award for the development of CGH (Comparative Genomic Hybridization) and array CGH technology. In addition she was awarded the 2008 Thomas B.Tomasi award for her outstanding achievements in science by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

    Dr. Nowak's efforts were instrumental in obtaining more than $70 million in funding for research and infrastructure and she has authored or co-authored 150 research articles in leading scientific journals.  She also has served on the editorial board of Cytogenetics and Genome Research as well as an Associate Editor of Physiological Genomics.

2:10 – 2:40pm
Break: Tech Showcase FEATURE Spotlight
2:45 - 3:30 pm
Closing Panel
  • Quentin Hillsman, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Syracuse University
  • Jeffrey Rubin, Chief Executive Officer, Sidearm Sports
  • Kelley Walton, Head of Global Experiential Marketing, Under Armour, Inc.
  • John Wildhack, Director of Athletics, Syracuse University
3:30 - 5:00 pm
Reception and Networking in Technology Showcase
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