Fairfield University event to feature successful entrepreneurs discussing proven technology ventures


Image: McAuliffe HallWhat makes a technology venture successful?

A Fairfield University School of Engineering event will feature a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs offering their insights and advice on that topic, on Monday, March 12 at 4 p.m. in Alumni House. The event will feature six entrepreneurs sharing how they built multiple companies from the ground up and developed profitable products.  

"They are repeatedly successful technology entrepreneurs," said moderator management consultant and entrepreneur Manny Ratafia, a member of the School of Engineering's Advisory Board who will moderate the event. "This event will provide an opportunity for making connections among entrepreneurs and others in the entrepreneur community. It will also serve to help engineers and other technical people learn about entrepreneurship while introducing them to Fairfield's School of Engineering."

A wine reception and networking opportunities will follow the panel discussion. The fee is $20 if you let organizers know in advance that you will be attending, and 
$30 if not pre-registered. Payment (cash or check) is paid at the door for both those who are pre-registered and those who are not. For further information, e-mail manny@ratafias.com or call (203) 387-7348.

The panelists are:

Robert A. Lerman, chief executive officer of Thermodynetics. Over the years, he co-founded a number of venture capital companies of which he has been the principal investing officer and director. Lerman was recently named CEO of Mystic Technology Partners, an advanced materials nanotechnology venture, established in 2010.

Robert Molloy, president and founder of CyberResearch, which has built advanced industrial computers and display systems used by Fortune 500 companies, universities, government, and military worldwide. He has built four successful start-up companies each utilizing different breakthrough technologies as a key component in their business strategies.

Scott C. Nevins '80, a Fairfield University graduate, now a senior investment advisor in Bernstein Global Wealth Management's New York office. He received Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1999 and 2000 and Deloitte and Touche's Fast 50 award in 2000. He is the former CEO of both E-Tran, a financial services firm, and of Protegrity, a database security company.  

Richard J. Resch founded Motiv Technology to develop control technology for electric assisted bicycles, among other products. He was vice-president for technology at Cannondale Corporation, a leading producer of high-end bicycles, and was interim president of EMPower, a MIT-based startup to develop lightweight electric scooters.  In 1999, he founded DeltaGlide to develop a power-assisted wheelchair.

Nikolay Shkolnik, Ph.D., is the co-inventor of the LiquidPiston engine, and is a co-founder of LiquidPiston, Inc., a venture capital backed startup working to bring a breakthrough high-speed diesel engine design from concept to production. Prior to LiquidPiston, he was the program manager for the Clean Energy Group at GEN3 Partners, in Boston.

Matthew Barry Smith is a Harvard and MIT-educated entrepreneur who co-founded CompreMedx Cancer Centers (the first publicly traded firm to build freestanding cancer centers in partnership with oncologists and radiologists). He co-owned Kramex, a portable and mobile radiology manufacturing company, and New World Healthcare Solutions, an executive recruiting and online medical education company. Smith co-founded Health Excel Management, a managed care firm specializing in disease state management, and turned around and sold venture-backed HelpMate Robotics, a publicly traded medical transport firm. Joe Engelberger, the founder of the industrial robot industry, also founded that company.

Moderator Manny Ratafia founded and run ventures in a variety of technology areas, organized numerous conferences and meetings, and has consulted to owners and senior executives of companies on a range of management, market, and technology issues. His educational background includes a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from The Cooper Union and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT and in engineering and applied physics from Harvard, and an MBA from Dartmouth. He has served on the boards of directors and advisory boards of several start-up companies and non-profit organizations.

Bookmark and Share

Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 24, 2012

Vol. 44, No. 206