Advisory Board

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Gregory J. Galvin
President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors

Gregory J. Galvin MS ’82 PhD ’84 MBA ’93

Committee member for:
- Innovation Acceleration
- Startup Projects
- Fellow for New Ventures

Dr. Galvin has been at the forefront of multidisciplinary technology commercialization since 1993, when he launched Kionix Inc. to commercialize a novel micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) technology platform. Dr. Galvin sold the Kionix telecommunications platform to Calient Networks Inc. in 2000 and purchased the rights to the name and access to certain markets in 2001. Dr. Galvin continued his successful commercialization of Kionix with applications in MEMS technology for semiconductor applications including a highly successful accelerometer product for smartphones. Dr. Galvin spun out Rheonix Inc. from Kionix in 2008 to capitalize on non-MEMS-based microfluidic opportunities in the molecular diagnostics industry and sold the second incarnation of Kionix Inc. to Rohm Co. Ltd.

Dr. Galvin is a member of several scientific societies, has published more than 20 technical papers and holds 58 patents. He is a member of the Advisory Councils of the Cornell Engineering College, Entrepreneurship at Cornell and the Cornell Materials Science Department and has served as a member of the Cornell Board of Trustees. He also serves as a director of the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research and Ithaca Area Economic Development. He was named Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year 2014.

He holds a B.S. from the California Institute of Technology in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in materials science and MBA from Cornell University.

Anupendra Sharma
Founder - Accelerate Medicine (Axlmed). Former Global VP of Growth & BD at Siemens Healthineers

Anupendra Sharma MBA ’98

Committee member for:
- Innovation Acceleration
- Startup Projects

Anupendra Sharma was the Global VP of Growth & Business Development at Siemens Healthineers within Enterprise Services & Solutions where he partners with innovative companies to create new business lines for Siemens.
For eleven years, he was Senior Investment Partner at Siemens Venture Capital / Next47.
Prior to SVC, Anupendra spent eight years in M&A at JPMorgan, Salomon Smith Barney and Siemens. Anupendra also worked in strategy consulting for McKinsey, and Product Development Finance for Ford, where he was a member of the core team that set-up Ford in China and India.
Anupendra Sharma is a passionate Cornellian. He led the creation of the Cornellians in Venture Capital Database. When he was at Cornell, he was recognized with the Johnson 10×2000 award for his efforts to make the Johnson School a top 10 school (it was ranked 8th when he graduated). He also judged the Entrepreneurship competition for two years, and mentored one of the companies to Angel and Series A rounds.
Anupendra holds an MBA from Cornell, Masters in Accounting & Finance from Manchester Business School, and Masters in Economics and Bachelors of Instrumentation Engineering from BITS Pilani.
Blake Stevens
Principal Alexandria Venture Investments

Blake Stevens ’05

Committee member for:
- Innovation Acceleration
- Startup Projects

Blake Stevens, PhD, is a Principal at Alexandria Venture Investments and the Head of Alexandria Launchlabs – AgTech, the premier startup platform for agtech companies. Dr. Stevens specializes in assisting early-stage companies accelerate their growth and has worked as both an entrepreneur and a venture investor. Dr. Stevens leads Alexandria’s agtech investment portfolio and venture investment activity in the Research Triangle region. At LaunchLabs, Dr. Stevens works closely with members on company-building activities.

Dr. Stevens formerly served as Vice President at Harris & Harris Group, an early-stage venture capital firm. He also sat on the Board of TARA Biosystems, Inc.; ProMuc, Inc.; Interome, Inc.; and SynGlyco, Inc. Dr. Stevens was an early employee at HZO, Inc., leading its R&D, commercialization, and technical business development efforts.

He holds degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University (BSc) and Northwestern University (PhD) and a Certificate in Management for Scientists and Engineers from the Kellogg Business School.

Alexandra Cantley
Partner – NYC Office, Polaris Partners

Alexandra Cantley

Committee member for:
- Fellow for New Ventures
- Startup Projects

Alexandra joined Polaris in 2019 and serves as a partner in the New York office. She is primarily focused on early-stage biotech and healthcare investments.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of BeMeHealth, Podimetrics, SunBird Bio, and TRex Bio and is a Board Observer to Auron Therapeutics and Engine Bio.

Prior to joining Polaris, Alexandra was part of the initial research team at Inzen Therapeutics, where she helped develop their platform technologies. She moved to Inzen from Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where she held a research fellowship.

Alexandra received a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from Harvard University, where she studied natural product discovery. Alexandra performed her undergraduate studies at New York University.

Meghan Cross
Partner at Amplifyher Ventures

Meghan Cross Breeden ’08

Committee member for Startup Projects Program

Meghan has 14 years of asset management and operating experience in New York venture. Prior to joining Amplifyher, Meghan built the Cornell alumni investment network Red Bear Angels, leading the firm's investments into 25+ companies including Datalogue [acq. Nike] and Grokstyle [acq. Facebook] as well as two 'Unicorns' Lyft [NASDAQ: LYFT] and Trumid. She received her venture training from Foundation Capital and StarVest Partners. Meghan was previously a communications specialist, managing public relations for Skype and Foursquare, before becoming a director at the leading post-dot-com media company, StyleCaster Media Group [acq. She Knows Media].

Meghan is a guest writer for TechCrunch and Forbes and lecturer at Columbia University, Cornell University, and Yeshiva University on Venture Capital. She is an active leader on the Young Patrons board at Lincoln Center and co-chairs the nextgen board of Facing History, an education nonprofit that furthers diversity and inclusion.

Meghan received her B.S. in Fiber Science from Cornell University and M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Huang Siyu
Founder and CEO, Factorial Energy

Siyu Huang, Ph.D. ’12 MBA ’14

Committee member for Startup Projects Program

Dr. Huang is the co-founder and CEO of Factorial and its heritage company, Lionano, which has raised $75M+ from US and European financial and strategic investors. She has established partnership agreements with 5 leading auto OEMs, 2 battery manufacturers, and 3 strategic material suppliers. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry and MBA from Cornell and is a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Diego Rey
Co-Founder & CSO at Endpoint Health, Inc.

Diego Rey, Ph.D. ’10

Committee member for Startup Projects Program

Diego is a skilled start-up executive, engineer, and scientist with extensive experience leading research efforts to develop products that help patients and physicians overcome healthcare obstacles. Prior to co-founding Endpoint Health, Diego invented the core technology and led investigational efforts related to Roche’s antibiotic therapy guidance research and development. Before Roche, Diego co-founded GeneWEAVE, a diagnostics company that developed rapid tests to detect and guide therapy choices for severe infections, which Roche acquired in 2015.

Diego received a BS in Electrical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara and an MS and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University.

Diego is a co-founder, board member, and Chief Scientific Officer of Endpoint Health. He employs his background in building multidisciplinary technical teams to create and develop the core technologies that enable Endpoint Health to deliver products to improve patient care.

Steve Shapiro headshot
CEO, Finetune, Social Entrepreneur and Venture Investor

Steve Shapiro, BS, 84' Hotel, MBA 91'

Committee member for Startup Projects Program

Steve is a three-time founder in the education and workforce technology field. His latest venture, Finetune, has been a pioneer in leveraging Large Language Model (LLM) technology for use in the educational content sector.

Steve is also an Angel Investor and Adviser to multiple early-stage ventures. Member of Cornell Red Bear Angels Group. Venture Partner at LearnLaunch, the premier EdTech Accelerator program (and more) in Boston. Achievement Gap Combatant. Passionate about helping students early-stage founders gain the new 'Leveler': The Art/Science of Argumentation and Persuasion.

John Alexander
Former CEO of CBORD and Trustee Emeritus of Cornell University

John Alexander ’74, MBA '76,

Committee member for Startup Projects Program

John is the founder of The CBORD Group Inc., a systems integration firm based in Ithaca, NY. He earned an undergraduate degree in physics and an MBA in finance while at Cornell. Immediately after graduation, he was vice president in the Money Market Division of Bankers Trust Company (now Deutsche Bank.) in their Eurodollar trading operation.

As President and CEO of CBORD, Mr. Alexander led CBORD through 29 years of growth. The CBORD Group, founded in 1975, is the world’s leading provider of campus and cashless card systems, food and nutrition service management software, nationwide student discount and off-campus commerce programs, housing and judicial process management software, and integrated security solutions. CBORD prides itself on being the only provider that can offer such a broad portfolio of solutions designed to improve our clients’ daily operations and help them provide their customers with greater convenience and satisfaction. In 2004, Mr. Alexander sold a portion of his interest in CBORD to a private equity consortium consisting of Sterling Investment Partners and Oak Investment Partners, among others, and stepped down as CEO, maintaining his responsibility as Chairman of the board. In 2008, the firm was sold again to Roper Industries, Inc., a publically held firm (ROP), and Alexander stepped down from the board.

Mr. Alexander was elected to Cornell’s Board of Trustees by the alumni body to a four-year term beginning July 1, 2000, and was reelected in 2004. He has served on numerous committees, and chaired the Audit Committee for 3 years, taking the university through the Sarbanes Oxley process. He currently serves at a Trustee Emeritus and Presidential Councilor. He serves on the advisory councils of the Entrepreneurship@Cornell (E@C) Program, the Johnson School, and is the alumni advisor to the Johnson Board Fellows program and BR Consulting. He also serves on the community advisory board of the Johnson Art Museum. He was the 1987-88 Dorothy M. Proud Lecturer at Cornell’s Division of Nutritional Sciences. He currently chairs the executive committee of the Sphinx Head Society, Cornell’s first undergraduate honor society.

Locally, Mr. Alexander has been involved in numerous activities. He is probably best known for Coyote Loco, an innovative Mexican restaurant located just outside of Cornell’s campus, started in partnership with three other business-minded Mexican food lovers. Community activities include the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, FOODNET, Tompkins County’s elderly home-delivered meal program, the Sciencenter’s Advisory Board, the Boy Scouts of America, the Hangar Theatre, and the Cayuga Venture Fund. Mr. Alexander serves as an independent director of the Tompkins Financial Corporation (TMP), where he has chaired the Audit Committee, and serves on the boards of both the bank and of the holding company, as well as its Compensation Committee and its Pension Investment Committee. He served as a director for real Foods LLC, which was sold in 2012 to Rich Products, and also serves on the board of Sound Reading Systems, Inc. Mr. Alexander volunteers with the United Way of Tompkins County, and chaired its annual campaign for the 2002-2003 year. He served as National Campaign Co-Chair for the Hangar Theatre’s first-ever capital campaign with his wife Elaine, and serves on the board of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, where he chairs the development committee and has had the responsibility of conducting its first-ever capital campaign.

Ernst and Young selected Mr. Alexander as the Upstate New York Technology Entrepreneur of the in 2002. Cornell selected Alexander as its 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year. John and Elaine Alexander were honored in 2014 as recipients of Cornell’s prestigious Frank H. T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award for their service to Cornell.

Richard Curtin
Managing Partner at Silicon Catalyst

Richard Curtin, MS ’78

Committee member for Startup Projects Program

Richard has an entrepreneurial passion for transforming innovative technology teams into successful businesses, bringing to startups extensive, hands-on business management experience in the Asian/Pacific, European and North American markets. He has been actively involved in 11 startups, most recently as a co-founder of Nucleos, an education technology company targeting disconnected learners.
He has over 30 years of semiconductor industry experience, in the areas of marketing, sales, business development and operations management. Richard has held executive management positions with semiconductor, Silicon IP, EDA, design and testing services companies -- ranging from early-stage, pre-revenue startups seeking funding, to a general manager role with P&L responsibility for a $200 million product line at NXP Semiconductors.
Richard started his career as a chip designer in the computer industry and is a holder of two US patents. He holds an MBA from Pepperdine University, an M.S. EE from Cornell University and a B.S. Computer Engineering degree from Boston University.
Yonn K. Rasmussen
Former Vice President of Technology and Development at Xerox Corporation and current Trustee of Cornell University

Yonn K. Rasmussen ’83 MS ’86 PhD ’89

Committee member for:
- Innovation Acceleration
- Startup Projects

Dr. Yonn K. Rasmussen (BS/MS/Ph.D. Engineering College Cornell University; MBA University of Rochester ‘03) is former (retired ‘20) Vice President of Technology and Development Group at Xerox Corporation. Dr. Rasmussen is passionate about innovation and commercialization of technology into products in the marketplace and holds 29 patents. Through her 30+ year career at Xerox, she has held technical and management leadership positions responsible for technology, product development and global manufacturing operations for printing consumables chemicals businesses including photoreceptors and chemical toner technologies. She has led new business initiatives, including materials development for printed electronics and 3D printing to capture new markets leveraging Internet of Things in security enhancement and smart consumables. She has had extensive experience developing and implementing joint technology and manufacturing strategy with Fuji Xerox based in Japan. Her depth of expertise and breath of experience span from leading and managing fundamental research into development of technologies that are geared toward product development to developing and delivering scale-up processes into large-scale manufacturing facilities in global locations.

Dr. Rasmussen is currently serving as an alumni elected trustee of the Cornell University, and has been active in numerous Cornell alumni and student organizations. She has been a member of the Cornell University Council, Materials Science and Engineering Advisory Board, President's Council of Cornell Women where she has served as the Board of Trustee Liaison, the chair of the PCCW's Alumnae/Faculty Engagement and Student Mentoring Committees and vice-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion committee. She is passionate about mentoring students in STEM fields. She has been an advisor for Scientista National Student Organization and Mentoring@Cornell working group. She has a long history of active engagement with Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at Cornell, advising and providing leadership development workshops as well as mentoring students and being a guest speaker at SWE events over many years. She is also passionate about mentoring pre-college school students that are interested in STEM fields and was a keynote speaker at Expanding Your Horizons. She has supported United Way through leadership giving with a focus on women and children.

Dr. Rasmussen is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Beta Gamma Sigma, Engineering and Business Academic Honor societies, respectively. She and her husband Dan reside in Pittsford, NY and a part of the year in Copenhagen, Denmark. She speaks fluent Korean and has currently CEFR B1 level proficiency in Danish. Her two adult children are both in STEM fields, in medicine and computer science and physics.

Sean X. Hu
CEO, Rapafusyn Pharmaceuticals

Sean X. Hu, Ph.D., MBA

Committee member for Startup Projects Program

Dr. Hu brings over 25 years of broad experience in life science industries, primarily in building and growing business, developing strategies for drug and diagnostics product development and commercialization, and, the scouting, evaluation & valuation of drug assets.

Dr. Hu is currently the CEO of Rapafusyn Pharmaceuticals, a drug therapeutics R&D stage biotech company that is built on a bi-functional “molecular glue” macrocyclic molecule platform and has a rich and growing drug asset pipeline across multiple therapeutic areas.

Prior to Rapafusyn, Dr. Hu has built / run several companies in the US, including, for example, Avotres Inc., a clinical stage biopharma company developing autoimmune disease and cancer therapies targeting regulatory T cells. Earlier, during his ~14-year management consulting career track for life science industries, Dr. Hu advanced through the career ladder, starting with such firms as AT Kearney and IMS Consulting, later becoming managing partners / heads of consulting firms such as Bionest USA and BioStrat Advisory LLC, and leaving the consulting industry as the head of healthcare consulting business in the Americas for GlobalData PLC, a publicly listed global company headquartered in London.

Dr. Hu is a world class expert in strategic decision-making, and a recognized pioneer & thought leader in precision / personalized medicine strategy, as marked by high profile personalized medicine strategy projects for top pharmaceutical companies, business publications in prestigious journals, conference presentations and membership in industry committees. His experience is supplemented with earlier careers at CuraGen, BMS and Illumina.

Dr. Hu holds a PhD in Genomics from NYU, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business double-majored in Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management.

John Reilly
CEO of Damona Pharmaceuticals

John Reilly, MS ’05, MBA ‘07

Committee member for Startup Projects Program

John Reilly is Chief Executive Officer of Damona Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Reilly brings extensive experience in the biotechnology industry, with deep knowledge and expertise in corporate strategy, business development, and leading teams in preclinical R&D and clinical development. Most recently, he served as CEO, President, and a member of the board of directors of Apic Bio, a gene therapy company focused on rare neurodegenerative and liver diseases. At Apic Bio, Mr. Reilly advanced the company’s ALS program to IND approval and orchestrated a global licensing agreement.

Mr. Reilly previously served as Vice President of Business Development at Tetragenetics, which was acquired by Abcellera (Nasdaq: ABCL). While at Tetragenetics, he led strategic partnering efforts with a number of companies including Amgen, Pfizer, and MedImmune and helped transform the company from a drug discovery platform to a product-focused company. Prior to Tetragenetics, Mr. Reilly co-founded and served as CEO of Gendyne Therapeutics and conducted research in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Mr. Reilly is active in the Massachusetts biotechnology ecosystem, having served as a mentor for the MassBioDrive Program, and he sits on the committee for Cornell Innovation & Venture Advisors (CIVA). He received a B.A. from Hamilton College and M.S. and M.B.A. degrees from Cornell University.

Jessica Baker headshot
Consultant and Former CSO of Genocea Biosciences

Jessica Baker Flechtner BS '93, Ph.D. '00

Committe member for Startup Projects Program

Dr. Jessica Baker Flechtner (BS ’93 A&LS, PhD ’00) is an extraordinary leader and scientist who is passionate about developing therapies that will benefit patients. Jessica led her previous company, Genocea, from a seed-backed startup to a publicly traded biotechnology entity. During her tenure, she raised funds from both private and public firms while expanding the small company pipeline through strategic use of non-dilutive funding and marketed the company to public investors for an IPO. She also led a strategic redirection refocusing the company from infectious disease to immuno-oncology. Dr. Flechtner’s responsibilities have included Research, Translational Sciences, Intellectual Property, Operations, Information Technologies, Process Development and Manufacturing, and Quality Assurance functions. Under her guidance, multiple vaccine or cell therapy candidates went from whiteboard to bedside in under five years each. Among these are a herpes simplex immunotherapy candidate that is ready to enter Phase 3 clinical evaluation, a pneumococcal vaccine candidate that progressed through a Phase 2 challenge trial, a novel personalized cancer immunotherapy candidate that completed a Phase 1/2a clinical trial, and an autologous, non-engineered, neoantigen-specific T cell therapy candidate that entered Phase 1/2a clinical testing.
Jon Greene headshot
Investment Principal at New Climate Ventures

Jon Greene, MBA '02

Committe member for:
- Startup Projects
- Fellow for New Ventures

Jon Greene has been leading, advising, and investing in venture backed startups in the climate tech, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing sectors for nearly two decades. In these roles, he has managed technology-to-product commercialization, provided financial and managerial oversight, and built relationships with investors, strategic partners, and government agencies.

Jon brings a strong intellectual curiosity, analytical ability, and collaborative decision-making process to all the organizations he has worked. A key factor for his success is an ability to be an empathetic communicator that can discuss highly technical information with a range of audiences. Although not an engineer by degree, Jon brings over a decade of experience collaborating with engineers and scientists to commercialization innovations. Through these interactions he has been named on numerous technical patents.

Jon is currently a principal with New Climate Ventures (NCV), a Houston-based, early stage venture capital fund. NCV’s investes in carbon reduction and avoidance technologies across multiple sectors, targeting pre-seed, seed and Series A companies. In this role he sources deal flow, manages due diligence, and represents the fund on company boards. Prior to joining New Climate Ventures, Jon was a partner at New York Ventures, a $100M early-stage fund managed by Empire State Development Corporation for the State of New York. In this role, he invested $15M in 12 early-stage companies in the climate tech, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing sectors and served as a board observer for these companies.

Headshot of Sajay Reddy
Co-founding partner of Unlock Venture Partners

Sanjay Reddy

Committe member for Startup Projects

Sanjay Reddy is a co-founding partner of Unlock Venture Partners. He was previously a co-founder and CEO of Live Matrix (Live Web data), then the CEO of OVGuide (online video guidance) following its acquisition of Live Matrix, and most recently an executive at FOTV Media Networks (Hologram technology and OTT platform) following its acquisition of OVGuide. Prior to these startups, Sanjay served as the head of business development, strategy and M&A for Gemstar-TV Guide International where he oversaw the public auction process that resulted in Gemstar’s sale to Macrovision (now TiVo) in 2008 for $2.8 billion. He joined Gemstar-TV Guide in 2004 with broad media, finance and technology experience, having previously served as a vice president in the M&A group at Salomon Smith Barney in New York; vice president of corporate development for Covad Communications, a publicly traded DSL company (COVD) based in Silicon Valley; and as a principal in startups in the animation and music industries.

Sanjay has advised a range of companies, especially in the video space, including BuddyTV (acquired by Vizio), My Damn Channel, V-NOVA and TVersity, and is a named inventor on four patents. He has also been an early-stage investor in technology companies such as Klout (acquired by Lithium Technologies), NetCracker Technologies (acquired by NEC) and JW Player (the world’s largest open source video player). His diverse background includes having previously served as a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences National Primetime Emmy Awards Committee and on its interactive media peer group’s executive committee, and as a current board member of Swipe Out Hunger, the advisory board for the Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at UCLA Anderson Business School and on the advisory council of Entrepreneurship at Cornell.

Sanjay earned a B.A. in economics (magna cum laude) from Cornell University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School. He has lived in Los Angeles for over 25 years and is a die-hard fan of the Lakers and Manchester United.

Director with Henkel Tech Ventures

Alisa Band

Committee member for Startup Projects Program

Alisa is a Director with Henkel Tech Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Henkel Adhesives. Henkel is a leading global $20B materials and consumer goods corporate. Henkel Adhesives’ main markets are metals, automotive, packaging, manufacturing, construction, electronics, and industrials. Adhesives, sealants, coatings, conductive inks, thermal management materials, UV curable resins for 3D Printing are some of the main product categories. LOCTITE is a leading brand of Henkel Adhesives, along with TEROSON, BONDERITE, TECHNOMELT AND AQUENCE.
Alisa’s professional career includes roles in business development, sales and marketing, in a diverse range of markets and technologies. Before joining Henkel, Alisa led the technology scouting team for Israel Chemicals Group (ICL), a global mining and specialty chemicals company. Earlier on in her career, she was a Business Development Manager at Tel Aviv University’s tech transfer office. She was also an entrepreneur and founder of a healthcare IT platform for the fertility medical domain.
Alisa holds a MSc in Material Sciences from The Weizmann Institute, a BSc in Chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MBA from Tel Aviv University.

Megan MacDonagh

Committee member for Startup Projects Program

Megan is a Vice President at SV Health Investors, focused primarily on early-stage medtech and healthtech investments. Prior to joining SV, Megan worked in multiple operating roles at medtech startups and as a commercial strategy consultant focused on biotech and medtech companies.
co-founder and Managing Partner of AIN Ventures

Sherman Williams

Committee member for Startup Projects Program

Sherman Williams is a co-founder and Managing Partner of AIN Ventures. Sherman has an extensive history investing in dual-use technology subsegments, such as space technology and healthcare technology. Sherman has been the VC-in-Residence to several Techstars programs. Sherman is also a Kauffman Fellow ('26). Prior to becoming an early-stage investor, Sherman gathered six years of financial transaction experience as a Healthcare Technology M&A Investment Banker. Sherman started his career as a Naval Intelligence Officer.
Sherman holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy.

Faculty Committee Members

Faculty Committee Members serve on the Ignite Fellow for New Ventures committee. They are current Cornell faculty with venture background and experience guiding next-generation entrepreneur engineers and scientists.

Alexander J. Travis
Professor of Reproductive Biology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Alexander J. Travis

Dr. Alex Travis’s research explores a diverse set of subjects related to One Health, which is interdisciplinary work that links the health and wellbeing of people, animals, and the environment. His interests include animal and human health and fertility, as well as efforts to help alleviate poverty and hunger in developing countries, work that indirectly benefits local wildlife. Dr. Travis serves as Director of Cornell’s new Master of Public Health program.
Emmanuel Giannelis Headshot
Founding Director, Engineering Innovations in Medicine at Cornell University and the Walter R. Read Professor of Engineering

Emmanuel Giannelis

Emmanuel Giannelis, Ph.D., leads efforts to create a one-of-a-kind Hub at the intersection of Engineering and Medicine that integrates into one platform of Education, Research, Translation, and Commercialization. The partnership, spanning Cornell’s Ithaca and New York City campuses, will support multipronged approaches to accelerate progress in research, teaching, and technology innovation at the intersection of engineering and medicine. Emmanuel Giannelis served as the Vice President for Research and Innovation (2020-2022) & Vice Provost for Research (2017-2020); led Cornell’s Research Portfolio and spearheaded the university's Innovation strategy to increase the volume and velocity of technology commercialization, startup creation, and economic development.

Technology Advisors

Technology Advisors are comprised of Cornell alumni, business experts and investors with specific domain expertise who volunteer and provide feedback on select proposals.

Mar Appel
Orange Grove Bio

Marc Appel

Marc Appel is the CEO of Orange Grove Bio ("OGB"), a biotech platform focused on the investment in and development of preclinical stage assets. He is an experienced investor in the healthcare and biotech spaces. He helped build the structured healthcare and royalty investing strategy at Marathon Asset Management, and prior to that worked across the capital structure in public market healthcare opportunities. Marc serves as an entrepreneur-in-residence to the Blavatnik program at Yale, a mentor to the Weill-Cornell eLab, a member of the external advisory review boards at both the Biotechnology Center at Stonybrook and the Dartmouth Innovations Accelerator for Cancer, and an adviser to the Robertson Fund at Rockefeller University.
Joe Hadzima headshot

Joe Hadzima

Joe is co-founder of IPVision and has been recognized as one of the world’s top 300 IP strategists by Intellectual Asset (IAM) magazine.

Joe is a recognized visionary in technology startups, with a keen eye for commercializing the latest technology advancements. His extensive career has included involvement in entrepreneurship, startup phase companies, business plans, venture capital, corporate governance, and intellectual property strategy. He has been involved in the founding of more than 100 companies as a founder, investor, director, legal counsel, or employee, and has advised entrepreneurs, high-growth businesses, and venture capitalists. These companies have been in a wide range of technology areas including speech recognition, nanotechnology, energy, IT, computer networking, life science, and biotech. As a founding judge for MIT’s $100K Entrepreneurship Competition and a Senior Lecturer at Sloan School of Management at MIT, his passion for cutting edge technology continues to evolve in new directions. Joe received his S.B. and S.M. in Management from M.I.T and a juris doctor cum laude from Harvard Law School. He practiced law for 17 years, first at Ropes & Gray and then at Sullivan & Worcester as director of the High-Tech/New Ventures Group.

Josh Palmer
Kairos Ventures

Josh Palmer

Dr. Palmer began his career in the startup world as Head of R&D at a JPL biotech company called Verrix, a spin-out from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. He holds a Chemistry PhD from Caltech and spent 3 years as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University. His academic publications have been cited nearly 1,000 times, and he holds several issued US patents.

At Kairos Ventures, Dr. Palmer is responsible for leading the Physical Sciences Investment Team in sourcing and due diligence of opportunities across the sciences, broadly defined to include innovations in materials, energy, communications, catalysis, robotics, autonomous vehicles, and medical devices. In addition, he has operational responsibilities for and sits on the Board of Directors of a number of portfolio companies. Dr. Palmer also manages the relationships with several of Kairos Ventures’ university partners.

In his free time, Dr. Palmer goes on long hikes in the mountains with his chihuahuas, Ferrous and Morty.

Xinjian Zhou
Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation (BICI)

Xinjian Zhou, Ph.D. ’07

Dr. Xinjian Zhou, Vice President of Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation (BICI) and President of BICI USA and BICI London.

Dr. Zhou received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Peking University and Cornell University, respectively. Before joining BICI, Dr. Zhou has worked in product development and system engineering as Staff Engineer at ASML, technology scouting and investment as Venture Manager at Technology-To-Business (TTB) center of Siemens, and technology transfer as BD director at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center(PARC).

Dr. Zhou is the recipient of Lockheed Martin’s “Excellent in Research” award and Sandia National Laboratory’s LDRD Award. He has more than 10 peer-reviewed papers and patents.


Emily Aston

Dr. Aston is a veterinarian with business development, venture capital, animal health industry, and academic research experience. She currently serves as Director, Business Development at Zoetis, a leading global animal health company, where she leads matrix teams to execute transactions, such as acquisitions and license agreements. She previously managed the Animal Health & Nutrition portfolio at TechAccel, a technology and venture development organization, where she shaped the investment strategy, sourced and evaluated new investment opportunities, and forged relationships with key academic and industry partners. Dr. Aston holds a B.A. and DVM from Cornell University and a PhD in poultry virology and immunology from the University of Georgia, and she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Davis.
Ajay Rayasam
Technology Associate, OUP

Ajay Rayasam

I’ve held leadership positions at Kubisys, launched accessibility products at IBM, built machine learning models that predict mental illness and studied the intersection of engineering, business and design at MIT.

Through these experiences, I’ve developed a unique point of view. Grit is more important than IQ. Empathy is key to building products that people love. Most importantly, a positive impact can produce outsized returns.

I’m now a technology investment associate at Osage University Partners, a VC firm ($600M AUM) that invests exclusively in startups that are commercializing university research.

Ramesh Jolly headshot
Finial Capital

Ramesh Jolly

Dr. Ramesh Jolly has been a serial entrepreneur for over 35 years. With his extensive experience in taking initiatives and converting them into opportunities in the global markets, Dr. Jolly has learned through achievements and hardships the instrumental key to reach success. Currently, Dr. Jolly is the CEO of Finial Capital that invests in and focuses on strategic food products, cosmetics companies, hospitality and real estate development. Prior to Finial Capital, Dr. Jolly served as the Chairman of Pari Beauty and President and CEO of Faces Group of companies. Both companies involved cosmetics and skin care product manufacturing and retail operations of company-owned and franchisee-owned locations that operated in five different countries. Under Dr. Jolly’s leaderhsip, Faces Cosmetics went public on London’s AIM Stock Exchange.

Dr. Jolly earned his PhD from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and his BSc in Dairy Technology from NDRI, India with a Gold Medal standing. He shares a U.S. Patent with Dr. F. V. Kosikowski specializing in enzyme modification of foods and cheese. His research work at General Foods and Pfizer Pharmaceutical Research where he specialized in modified plant proteins, fermentation derived proteins, enzyme modification of proteins. Dr. Jolly has another patent on Enzyme modified proteins at Pfizer. Dr. Jolly has even owned his own cheese manufacturing operation.

Margalit Haber headshot

Margalit Haber

Maison Leist headshot
S2G Ventures

Mason Leist

Mason Leist is a Senior Analyst on S2G's Food and Agriculture investment team. Her responsibilities include evaluation, research, and execution of investments and support for S2G’s portfolio companies. Mason primarily focuses on upstream agriculture technology investments. Prior to S2G Mason worked as a project consultant for Bluefield Research, leading a report on the future of water management strategies in agriculture.

Mason graduated from Cornell University as an International Agriculture and Rural Development major with a concentration in Economic Development, and minors in Business and Law.

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Ryan Luginbohl

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Mike McCourt

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Fred Barken

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Omar Zahr

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Orange Grove Bio

Hua Liao Job

Accelerate Cornell Innovation.
Ignite Commercialization and Venture