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2010 Judges
The 2010 Tech Valley Business Plan Competition is pleased to introduce the judges that will be evaluating the students' applications in the first round and the teams' presentations on April 28. The judges are a mix of representatives from the local energy industry, financial, and legal sectors.
  • Sean Branagan, Communigration
  • Edward (Ted) Eveleth, Ener-G-Rotors 
  • Richard Frederick
  • Allen Goodman, ECG Consulting
  • Bob Kennedy, Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering 
  • John Lemery, Lemery Greisler 
  • J. Peter Lynch, Salem Financial 
  • Eric Minkiewicz, Huff ‘N Puff 
  • Bela Musits, High Peaks Ventures 
  • Les Neumann, Hudson Valley Center for Innovation 
  • Michael Newell, Ener-G-Rotors 
  • Ann Partlow, Earthrise Capital 
  • Walter Robb, Vantage Management
  • Jeff Rothenberg, Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti
  • Jan Woodcock, Wipro Technologies
Sean Branagan
Sean Branagan is founder and president of Communigration (http://www.communigration.com/), a technology marketing firm, as well as CEO and eVangelist of Digital Vertical Marketing (http://www.digitalvertical.com/), a search and social media marketing firm, serving companies in key vertical industries. Sean is also a general partner in C3 Strategic, LLC (c3strategic.com), a boutique management consulting and venture firm that works with early-stage tech companies. He holds board and advisory board positions with four early-stage tech companies, including Brand-Yourself.com.

A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Sean's experience with the Internet and World Wide Web began in 1993 at a national super computing center. Since then, he has engaged in online strategy and interactive marketing for all kinds of organizations. He has served as Senior Director of Marketing for a $125 million Internet services company in Boston's Route 128 technology sector, head of e-commerce strategy and interactive marketing for a New York City public company, and corporate communications manager for a public traded distribution company. For five years, Sean taught a graduate-level course in interactive marketing and advertising at Syracuse University's Newhouse School, and today teaches courses in Interactive Marketing and Entrepreneurship, including "What's the Big Idea" (http://www.whats-the-big-idea.com/) at Syracuse University. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Syracuse's Technology Garden, helping start-up and early stage technology companies in Upstate NY and works with student startups via iVentureUpstate.com and other projects and programs.

Sean has presented at seminars, conferences and trade shows in across the country, including Internet World in San Jose, CA.

Edward (Ted) Eveleth

Edward (Ted) S. Eveleth is Chief Operating Officer of Ener-G-Rotors, Inc. (EGRI). EGRI is a start-up company that builds devices that turn low temperature heat into electricity. Ted has been involved in business development as an entrepreneur for two decades. In addition to working at EGRI, Ted is also the Technology Entrepreneur in Residence at the Small Business Development Center at the University of Albany. He was a founding member of Veratag, LLC and Cyclics Corporation serving originally as COO/CFO and ultimately as CEO for two years. Mr. Eveleth received a BA in Economics Phi Beta Kappa in three years from Union College and an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell University.

Richard Frederick
Richard Frederick is an experience C level executive and serial entrepreneur with over 35 years of experience. He spent the last fifteen years of his career building and growing early stage companies. He's served as a mentor and coach to over 100 companies in the past 5 years.

In 2001, he co-founded Autotask, one of the nation’s first pure play Software-as-a-service companies. He played a major role in raising over $14mm for Autotask from Angel and Seed investors as well as A and B round Venture Funds. In 2008, he co-founded WhatEveryBabyNeeds.com, an Internet based retail and social networking site providing Organic products and content to new moms and infants from birth to age 4. The founders bootstrapped the initial funding and now rely on revenue to fuel the growth. In 2009, he founded TheBestAndTheBrightest.biz a virtual business incubator designed to create and accelerate the growth of early stage companies. This activity was self funded and is pre-revenue.

Mr. Frederick is also involved in teaching at the graduate college level at a number of local business schools in Upstate NY including Union Graduate College's MBA program, RPI's Lally School where he is also and Entrepreneur in Residence, and has recently formed relationships with Hudson Valley Community College and the undergraduate and graduate programs at Empire State College. His main area of concentration is on entrepreneurism and all aspects of developing business plans with a concentration in financial management and marketing.

Allen Goodman
Mr. Allen S. Goodman is President of ECG Consulting Group Inc. and has extensive experience working with U.S. and international clients providing them with strategic market planning, technology commercialization, business strategy & development and business restructuring services to help accelerate the growth and development of their businesses. Mr. Goodman's clients range from Fortune 100 global market leaders to emerging technology growth companies to R&D organizations to investment firms in the energy, environmental, advanced materials, industrial, information technology and electronics industries. He has held senior management and consulting positions at ECG, Booz Allen & Hamilton and Simon & Schuster.

Mr. Goodman has worked with manufacturing, service and technology developer clients in a wide variety of business sectors including power systems (e.g. turbines, engines, fuel cells, renewables), environmental (e.g. filtration, particulate measurement & control), oil & gas (e.g. compression, subsea, fuels), T & D (e.g. cable, substations), energy storage (e.g. batteries, flywheels), instrumentation (e.g. monitoring, diagnostics & control systems, smart grid), specialty materials (e.g. metal matrix composites, glass, silicon carbide), information technology (e.g. telecommunications, computer H/W & S/W), electronics (e.g. consumer, enterprise and industrial EMS) and transportation (electric vehicles).

Mr. Goodman has an A.B. degree, with honors, from Harvard University and an M.B.A. degree from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Goodman is a member of the Clubs and Communications Committees of the Harvard Alumni Board of Directors. From 2004-2008, he served as Regional Director of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) and is a Board Member and past President of the Harvard University Club of Eastern New York. He was Co-Chair of Harvard's 2006 and 2007 Global Alumni Leadership Conferences. He has Chaired panels on "Accelerating Commercialization of New Technologies" at national and international tradeshows, serves on the Technology Council of the Center for Economic Growth and is active in a variety of community organizations.

Bob Kennedy
Bob Kennedy, PE, CEM. LEED® AP joined Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering in June 2007 as its Director of Energy Services to provide its clients with comprehensive energy & sustainability consulting services that save energy, lower costs and improve performance. Bob has been involved with analysis, design & installation of energy conservation and renewable energy systems in a wide range of building types for over 30 years which collectively have saved over $100 million in energy costs. He is a registered Professional Engineer, a Certified Energy Manager and a charter member of the Association of Energy Engineers. Bob received his BSME from Union College in Schenectady NY, with specialties in thermodynamics, fluids and economics.

John Lemery
An AV-rated attorney, John C. Lemery has practiced law in the Capital Region for more than 40 years. He is an economic development specialist, focusing on siting, financing, structuring, and all other aspects related to economic development projects for clients. Together with other members of the firm, he has represented the developers of the 1,350-acre Luther Forest Technology Campus which many consider the largest economic development project in Upstate New York, and which will become home to Advanced Micro Devices' new nanotechnology manufacturing facility, as well as a host of ancillary businesses.

Mr. Lemery serves as counsel to several Capital Region companies and local governmental economic development corporations. More generally, Mr. Lemery's practice focuses on the areas of commercial and corporate law, including industrial development financings. In addition, Mr. Lemery has worked closely with management to structure buyouts from several public companies through structured financings, commercial loans, mezzanine financing, and equity participation. He has also helped companies obtain targeted funding from the State of New York.

J. Peter Lynch

J. Peter Lynch is the president of Salem Financial, Inc. Mr. Lynch has worked for 33 years as a security analyst, an investment banker and a private investor in small emerging technology companies. He has been actively involved in following developments in the renewable energy sector since 1977 and is regarded as an expert in this field, especially the PV segment. During this time he assisted a number of renewable energy companies with private placements and public offerings in the 1980's, 1990's and 2000's and has assisted in raising over $600M for renewable energy companies in the Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal, Wind and Biomass areas.

Mr. Lynch was the contributing editor for 17 years to the Photovoltaic Insider Report, the first publication in Photovoltaics (PV) that was directed at industrial subscribers, such as major energy companies, utilities and governments around the world.

Mr. Lynch is currently a private investor, contributing writer to numerous renewable publications, and has from time to time been a financial/technology consultant to a number of emerging technology and renewable energy companies. He can be reached via e-mail at solarjpl@aol.com or at his website for the promotion of solar, http://www.sunseries.net/.

Eric Minkiewicz
Eric Minkiewicz is the President of Huff ‘N Puff, a leading specialty home improvement company serving customers in the Albany and Hudson Valley markets of New York State. The company is the sole distributor of leading brands like Renewal by Andersen® replacement windows and doors and Gutter Helmet® gutter protection systems. Eric is also a founder of Endai Worldwide, a marketing services and technology firm headquartered in New York City.

His leadership and entrepreneurial expertise has led Huff ‘N Puff to revenue growth of 530% over a 5 year period, resulting in the company being included in Inc. Magazine's 2007 list of fastest growing private companies. He has received numerous awards for achievements in his industry.

Eric received an MBA from the University at Albany and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of Massachusetts Amherst. In addition to several other board positions he has held, he has most recently served as President of Entrepreneurs' Organization (formerly YEO), a non-profit organization. Eric is also a recipient of the Capital District Business Review's prestigious ‘40 Under Forty' award.

Bela Musits

Bela L. Musits is a Founding Managing Director of High Peaks Venture Partners, L.P. High Peaks is an early-stage technology venture fund that focuses on making investments across New York State. Prior to High Peaks, Bela was the Director of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Incubator Program.

He is the founder of two venture-backed companies and has held senior management and technical positions at the corporate research labs of IBM and GE.

Bela also managed the successful technology spin-off from IBM Research, serving as co-founder and president of a computer-guided robotic surgery company. He raised over $17 million in capital and positioned the company for a successful IPO in 1997.

Michael Newell

Michael Newell is CEO of Ener-G-Rotors, Inc. an early stage company commercializing products for converting heat into electricity in industrial processes, solar thermal, geothermal, and biomass installations. He is an experienced entrepreneur and new venture leader with over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, strategic planning, and general management for technology based industrial products in new businesses and new markets. Besides Ener-G-Rotors Inc. he has held key leadership positions in U.S. Analytical Instruments, AT&T Capital Corporation, Inficon, Rheodyne, and IDEX Health and Science Technologies, managing sales, marketing, and business development efforts in North America, Europe, China, and Japan.

Mr. Newell received a BS in Chemistry in three years at Union College, Schenectady, NY. Mr. Newell is a member of the Board of Trustees of Union College, the Board of Trustees of Union Graduate College (and past Chair), an Executive Committee Member of the Union College Alumni Council, Schenectady, NY, and a member of the American Chemical Society. He has served as a Technical Entrepreneur in Residence for the New York State Small Business Development Center, a Severino Fellow for the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer, and is a mentor at the UStart Incubator in Schenectady, NY.

Ann Partlow
Ann founded Earthrise Capital in 2008. Earthrise Capital Fund is a venture capital fund for new energy and environmental technologies. Ann served for more than two and a half decades as financial advisor and portfolio manager to members of the Rockefeller Family. At Rockefeller & Co. in 1978, she created one of the earliest "mission related" investment funds focused on emerging businesses addressing key social, environmental, and alternative energy businesses. For more than two decades, the Fund was a successful pioneer in energy and environmental investing.

Ann has served as director and trustee of many companies, both for-profit and non-profit. She is a director of Nanomas Technologies, Inc., a New York state company with innovative technology for electronic materials. She served as a trustee and Treasurer of the Friends of Women's World Banking (WWB), the global microfinance institution. She is a trustee of Energy Visions, the national non-profit advocating clean transportation fuels. Ann has also served as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Cleantech Venture Forum. She is a member of the Investment Committee of Commons Capital, a private equity fund sponsored by Investors' Circle, a national angel investment group. Ann was a recipient of that group's first Social Venture Pioneer Award.

Walter Robb

Dr. Walter L. Robb, now a management consultant and President of Vantage Mangement, Inc. was the General Electric Company's Senior Vice-President for Corporate Research and Development until December 31, 1992. He directed the GE Research and Development Center, one of the world's largest and most diversified industrial laboratories, and served on the Company's Corporate Executive Council.

Prior to returning to the GE - R & D Center, Walt headed GE Medical Systems for 13 years, during which time the business achieved world leadership in the CT and the MRI medical equipment modalities.

Presently, Walt serves on the Boards of Celgene, and Mechanical Technology, Inc, both public companies, plus being a Director of 6 private start-ups in the local area.

In September 1993, he received the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton for his leadership in the CT and MR imaging industry.
  • BS in ChE ('48), Penn State & PhD ('52), University of Illinois
  • 42-year career in GE, with 13 years as head of Medical Systems Business 
  • Responsibilities included joint ventures in Japan & Korea, overseas plants in England, Denmark, Spain, India, and sales and service offices in most countries 
  • Chief Technical Officer of GE ('86 to '93) 
  • Mentor, Board Member, and Angel Investor in more than 10 start-up businesses 
  • Penn State Distinguished Alumnus, and former member of Alumni Council 
  • Presently on Engineering College Leonhard Center Advisory Council 
  • National Medal of Technology for CT & MRI leadership
Jeff Rothenberg
Jeff Rothenberg is the managing partner of the largest Intellectual Property law firm in upstate New York - Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti PC. He began his career as an examiner in the US Patent Office, and subsequently served as manager of a corporate patent and licensing department. Jeff entered private practice in 1984. In 1996, a patent he procured for the Eastman Kodak Company received the (US) National Inventor of The Year award. Jeff holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a J.D. from George Washington University. His areas of practice include medical technology and cleantech. He also has extensive experience in performing IP due diligence evaluations for venture capital firms.

Jeff is the chair of the Technology Council and an Executive Board Member of the Center for Economic Growth. He co-founded the Tech Valley chapter of the Licensing Executives Society, serves on the steering committee of Bioconnex, and is chairman of the Board of Directors of the the Lighting Cultivator (LINC).

Jan Woodcock
Jan Timothy Woodcock is a Consulting Partner delivering management consulting solutions in strategy, operations, and technology . Mr. Woodcock has more than 20 years of consulting experience with a focus on global Media and Telecommunications clients. He specializes in the areas of strategy and operations, with experience spanning the major players of the media and communications industries. He is a specialist in financial management, operational efficiency, customer and product analytics, and strategy. His industry experience encompasses major media conglomerates, networks, studios, publishers, communications and cable companies.

Mr. Woodcock has recently completed projects in digital transformation of a national network, growth strategy of cable network, and strategic cost management of a media conglomerate. Prior to joining Wipro, Mr. Woodcock was senior partner at Deloitte Consulting, holding key leadership roles while building their Telecom, Media, and Technology practice. Jan has published numerous articles and has spoken extensively.

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