As Slater’s network of world-class scientists, clinicians, investors, and entrepreneurs continues to grow, Rhode Island innovators lean heavily on the Fund’s advisory boards for expertise across a wide variety of industries, including life sciences; software, Internet, and media; and energy and the environment. Click on the board titles below for more.
Dr. Ben Bronstein
Dr. Ben Bronstein has more than a decade of experience as a biotech entrepreneur, corporate executive, and advisor to biomedical and scientific companies. Most recently, he was a managing director at Zero Stage Capital, an early stage venture capital firm based in Cambridge, MA, where he was responsible for life science investing and served as interim CEO of Spherics, a Zero Stage Capital portfolio company developing bioadhesive oral drug delivery systems. Currently, he is also a member of of Echelon Ventures’ advisory board. Dr. Bronstein received an A.B. in biology, an MD degree, and an MBA from Boston University.
John Donoghue, Ph.D.
Professor John Donoghue was the founding chairman of the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University, a position he held for thirteen years. He is currently the director of the Brown Institute for Brain Science, which unites more than one hundred Brown faculty members to support interdisciplinary research on the nervous system. Dr. Donoghue received a Jacob Javits award from the NIH and won Germany’s Zulch Prize in 2007 for his research, and has received a number of awards related to his work on BrainGate. Professor Donoghue is also a co-founder of Cyberkinetics, a startup company developing neurotechnologies for humans with paralysis and nervous system injuries. He has served on panels for the NIH, NSF, NASA and other federal agencies and is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering.
Jason Harry, Ph.D.
Jason D. Harry, Ph.D. has worked in biomedical engineering and medical device entrepreneurial environments for over 20 years. He has served as co-founder and president of Afferent Technologies and vice president of research engineering at NMT Medical, Inc., (NASDAQ:NMTI), a company specializing in minimally invasive cardiovascular implants and for which he built the infrastructure and team responsible for new product development. He received his doctorate from Harvard University and was on the engineering faculty of Brown University for several years, where his research focus was in functional neural stimulation and muscle mechanics.
Peter Snyder, Ph.D.
Peter Snyder, PhD, is the vice president of research for Lifespan and its partners. He currently oversees the research strategy, development and function at Rhode Island, The Miriam and Bradley hospitals, and is a professor of clinical neurosciences (neurology) at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Snyder has an extensive background in both clinical care and research. He comes to Lifespan from Pfizer Global Research and Development, where he held the positions of director and early clinical leader in its central nervous system therapeutic area, and senior associate director of its world-wide clinical technology group in the department of clinical sciences. He was also general manager of Tarkus Neuroscience, LLC in Marlborough, CT, providing scientific and strategic drug development consulting for a variety of biotechnology and pharmaceutical corporations. He served as the director of the division of behavioral neurology in the department of neurology at Allegheny General Hospital, and as an associate professor of neurology at Medical College of Pennsylvania – Hahnemann School of Medicine in Pittsburgh. In addition, he has held numerous teaching positions, including as a tenured professor of clinical neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Connecticut, serving as co-director of the masters of science program in clinical and translational research. Snyder also currently serves as an adjunct professor in the Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, and he is the associate editor of the journal Brain and Cognition.
Thomas Vasicek, Ph.D.
Thomas J. Vasicek, Ph.D. has 25 years experience in the biotechnology field. He has an extensive peer-reviewed scientific publication list, and has maintained premier collaborative research efforts with both academia and industry throughout his career. Before joining Medtronic, Dr. Vasicek was VP of business development at Lynx Therapeutics, Inc. (now Solexa, Inc.), developing and applying next generation DNA sequencing technologies for high speed, economical, whole genome analysis. Prior to Lynx, Dr. Vasicek served in various technology and business development roles at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Corning Advanced Life Science Products, and LabSeek Scientific Collaborative. Through the course of his career, Dr. Vasicek has brokered numerous deals with big pharma, biotechs and academia. He has also served as a business and technology consultant for academic and commercial organizations around the world. Dr. Vasicek received a B.S. degree in chemistry from MIT and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard University, and completed postdoctoral training in developmental biology at Princeton University.
Software, Internet & Media
David Martirano focuses on information technology investing, with a broad focus on software and healthcare IT. He represents Point Judith on the boards of Envista Software, FanIQ, Fidelis Security Systems, and NABsys; is a board observer at MedOptions, GetWellNetwork; and was previously involved with the firm’s investments in Optasite (acquired by SBA Communications) and Taqua (acquired by Tekelec).
Prior to Point Judith Capital, David co-founded Rex Capital, a venture capital firm focused on early and growth-stage technology investments. His previous investments include Co-nect (acquired by Pearson), Yandex, and SnapGear (acuired. by CyberGuard).
Mr. Martirano was previously a member of the Investment Banking Group at Cowen & Company, where he executed public offerings, private placements, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to Cowen, he also worked in equity capital markets at both Josephthal Lyon & Ross and Kidder Peabody.
He holds a BS from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA from the Columbia Business School. Mr. Martirano is currently on the board of Year Up Rhode Island.
Stephen Collins has over twenty-five years of experience developing and bringing to market leading-edge networking and telecom solutions, and has served in senior management positions in fast growing companies such as Sonus Networks and Bay Networks (acquired by Nortel). In 1998, he co-founded Spring Tide Networks, and as vice president of marketing and business development, was instrumental in managing the company through a successful $1.5 billion acquisition by Lucent Technologies. Prior to Spring Tide, he served as vice president of marketing and business development at StarBurst Communications.
As a founding engineer at Wellfeet Communications, Mr. Collins also served in a number of positions over nearly ten years through Wellfeet ‘s merger with Synoptics to form Bay Networks. He has also served as vice president of marketing and business development at ThinkEngine Networks and vice president of marketing at Sonus Networks, and is an independent consultant to startup companies and their investors. Mr. Collins holds an M.S. in Computer, Information, and Control Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.
Jeffrey Vogel is currently a managing director at Waltham, MA-based investment bank Bulger Capital Partners and has worked for over 20 years as an executive, entrepreneur, investor and advisor to high-tech companies. Prior to joining Bulger, Mr. Vogel was managing director at Velocity Equity Partners, an early stage technology fund he founded in 2001. In 1989, he co-founded Electronic Book Technologies (EBT), a pioneer in SGML and XML information systems where he led R&D until 1996 when he helped sell the company to publicly traded Inso. From 1996 to 2000, he was CTO and vice president of R&D at Inso/eBT and very active in the company’s corporate development activities.
Mr. Vogel is an active advisor to many growth-oriented software companies, and is currently chairman of Dynadec and on the boards of ASURE Software (NASDAQ:ASUR), BEZ, and AccuRev. He holds degrees in Computer Science and Economics from Brown University.
David Mayer is the former executive vice president of corporate development for One Communications, one of the nation’s largest competitive local exchange carriers. In his capacity at One Communications, Mr. Mayer was responsible for initiating, reviewing and negotiating acquisitions and divestitures; negotiating strategic partnerships; and overseeing the company’s regulatory affairs function, which included lobbying with federal and state legislators and agencies, and coordinating the company’s involvement in litigation and administrative proceedings.
Mr. Mayer also served as general counsel and executive vice president of business development at FiberNet, LLC and Conversent Communications, which grew from a start-up to one of the largest CLECs in the northeast, with annual revenue in excess of $250 million and industry-leading EBITDA margins.
Previously, Mr. Mayer was a lawyer in private practice devoted primarily to the communications business, representing clients in the finance, cable television, broadcasting, and communications tower businesses in transactions ranging from bank financings and private placements of securities to multi-billion dollar M&A transactions.
Thomas Ohanian is an accomplished strategist, designer, and inventor of digital media products and workflow solutions. Drawing upon his 23 years in the digital media industries, his design and development in product creation have led to the widespread adoption of digital nonlinear video and film editing systems, workflow strategies, and LAN and WAN digital media collaboration.
Mr. Ohanian is an Academy Award® and a two-time Emmy® recipient.
Chris Graham is co-partner-in-charge of the Providence, Rhode Island office of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, where he serves as co-chair to the firm’s business law department. Mr. Grapham spends much of his time on matters involving private equity. He counsels start-up enterprises and assists in their capital formation; represents emerging companies and private equity investors in different rounds of equity financing; and negotiates acquisitions, dispositions and management buyouts for corporate buyers and sellers, private equity funds and management teams. He frequently represents borrowers in financing transactions, including highly-leveraged financings that are integral parts of private equity buyouts. His clients include four private equity funds, a Fortune 500 company, an international conglomerate with US operations, several manufacturing companies and numerous university-based start-ups.
Mr. Graham has been listed in the Corporate, Financial Institutions Law and Banking Law sections of The Best Lawyers in America for more than 10 years and in the Rhode Island Corporate/M&A Section of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Chris has also been named a Rhode Island Super Lawyer since 2007 by Law & Politics, published by Rhode Island Monthly magazine.
James (Ted) E. Long, Jr. is a member of the Business Law Section at law firm Holland & Knight, where he primarily practices corporate law. Mr. Long’s practice includes the representation of young companies and ventures at various stages of maturity, from incorporation to sale. He also has deep experience in representing institutional investors taking positions in early stage ventures as well as funds (venture capital, private equity, and hedge).
Mr. Long has advised investors and companies on legal and regulatory issues surrounding the placement of equity and debt, and has experience with technology transfer and the licensing of intellectual property, including multi-million dollar contracts for the development, licensing, maintenance, and hosting of enterprise software packages. He has also assisted clients in the sale of their businesses via regulated transactions (Hart-Scott-Rodino) to Fortune 500 entities and private equity firms.
Prior to entering private practice with Holland & Knight, Mr. Long was Washington counsel to United States Senator John F. Reed of Rhode Island, responsible for all legal issues before the Senator. He has also represented Fortune 500 corporations before governmental entities in Rhode Island and in 2007, served as the transition chair for Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts.
Nick MacShane is the founder and senior managing director of Progress Partners. As a proven technology marketer and fund-raiser with almost 20 years of experience working with early stage companies in capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, marketing product development, and business and partnership development, he brings an extensive network of senior-level contacts, particularly in the venture community, in New England, New York, Washington, DC, and California.
Mr. MacShane has significant transaction experience and has closed numerous deals within the new media space, most recently Going, Tremor Media, Media6 Degrees, MediaMath, and Worktopia. A government and history graduate of Skidmore College, he serves on the screening committee of Launchpad Venture Group and currently holds investments in five early stage companies. He is also a Registered Representative of Brill Securities.
Fred Engel is the chief operating officer of Andera, the #1 provider of online account opening and funding solutions in the U.S., to which he brings a wealth of engineering and operating experience. Previously, as senior vice president and chief technology officer for Iron Mountain Digital, he was responsible for six product lines and over $230M in revenue. He also served as executive vice president and chief technology officer of Concord Communications, Inc, a provider of software network and systems management solutions. Mr. Engel created the products that grew Concord from pre-revenue to its IPO in 1997, and annual revenues of $150M before its acquisition by Computer Associates for $330M in June of 2005.
Mr. Engel has received six network security and management patents and completed pioneering work on TCP/IP and the ARPAnet. He has served on several high-tech company boards, spoken at numerous conferences, authored dozens of articles, and taught at Boston College and Boston University. Mr. Engel received an M.S.E.E./CS and a BA in Mathematics from the University of Connecticut, where he has been inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Engineers.
Paul Mandeville brings more than 15 years of experience in database marketing technology, and has earned a reputation as an innovator who lends credibility to unproven ventures, attracting both the marquee clients and the talented staff needed to accelerate company growth and shareholder value. Paul is currently vice president of business development for Experian Marketing Services. Prior to Experian Paul served as COO for Conversen, Inc., a start-up success story that was recognized in 2011 by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America (#733 ranking overall, #60 in software). Five years of growth and success at Conversen was followed by an exit through acquisition to Experian in June of 2012. Paul also served as the vice president of alliances for Click2, and as vice president of business development for Elity Systems, where he oversaw company growth and eventual sale to MarketSoft Corporation.
Paul completed is liberal arts education at Providence College earning a degree in English literature and resides with his wife and two boys in Narragansett, RI.
Zackary P. King
Zack King has 18 years experience as a proven technology executive, entrepreneur, and engineer with high-growth companies in Europe and the U.S. He is currently the Founder of Trinity Pharma Solutions, a big data, analytics and mobile solutions company serving the global life sciences industry. There, his focus on business and brand strategy, technology and products has resulted in over 500% growth since founding.
Zack is a frequent contributor to industry trade publications in healthcare and technology. He is an active advisor and investor to a number of early-stage technology companies and assists with strategy, product development, and fundraising. For Slater, Zack lends his expertise in evaluating investment opportunities, providing technical due diligence, and advising portfolio companies.
Prior to founding Trinity, Zack was an early employee at ZEFER, a software services firm that closed $160M in venture funding with clients that included Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Citizens Bank, Siemens, Lucent, and a range of new venture companies.
During the Gulf War, Zack served in the United States Army with the 101st Airborne Division and was awarded the elite Air Assault Badge and the Army Commendation Medal for heroism, meritorious achievement and service. He holds a B.S. degree in computer science from Bentley University.
James L. Van Alen, Jr.
Jimmy Van Alen is a technology executive and advisor specializing in high growth companies in the Internet and software sectors. He has been on both the venture capital and operational sides of the startup arena and has funded, managed and sold entrepreneurial ventures.
Jimmy is a partner at Arb Ventures, LLC., which incubates companies using proprietary core digital marketing technology and through a subsidiary runs customer acquisition campaigns for clients. In addition to he role at Arb, Jimmy acts as an advisor and board member for emerging growth companies both individually and as a member of organizations such as the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, the TechStars affiliate Betaspring, and Fresh Pond Partners.
Previously, Jimmy was President and COO at CourseAdvisor, Inc., an Internet marketing and lead generation company serving higher education. There he was responsible for all aspects of the company’s management, operations and strategy; he also oversaw the sale of the firm to The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO) for several times invested capital. In his previous role as CFO he shepherded the company through its first institutional round of financing, a raise of $12 million.
Prior to joining CourseAdvisor, Jimmy was Executive in Residence at the Slater Technology Fund. Before Slater, Jimmy was VP of Finance and Operations at Incipient, Inc., a venture-backed storage software company, where he raised $19 million in equity and debt financing and was active in strategic planning, corporate marketing and business development.
Jimmy holds a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA (summa cum laude) from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College where he was the Andrew H. Kalnow Venture Capital Fellow, a Ralph Z. and Charlotte R. Sorenson Scholar and winner of the team-based Douglass business plan competition.
Energy & Environment
Jeffrey Weiss is an experienced entrepreneur, technologist, and seed investor, who assists new companies in building management teams, identifying additional private and venture capital resources, and refining business strategy. Currently a board member at Scalable Display Technologies and Andera Software, Mr. Weiss is venture partner at Point Judith Capital in Rhode Island, and a member of the Clean Energy Venture Group in Massachusetts. His current focus is on clean energy startups.
Previously, Mr. Weiss was vice president of engineering of Digital LightCircuits (researchers of photonic switching devices at Brown University), co-founder and CTO of Omnia Communications, vice president of systems architecture at Ciena, managing director/CTO of Magnalink Communications, and vice president of technology for Telco Systems. He has been involved in engineering or management roles at a variety of other companies including Motorola (Codex Corporation), Sphere Technology, Cryptall Communications, and IBM’s TJ Watson Research Laboratory.
Mr. Weiss also owns a number of patents pertaining to data encryption, data compression, switching systems, photonic devices, and parallel computer processing. He holds a B.S.E.E. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S.E.E from Columbia University, and currently serves as an MIT Educational Counselor. He has also served as a member of the Curriculum Advisory Committee for Brown University’s Electrical Engineering program.
A 20-plus year veteran in the field of data communications and wireless data, Bob Heile is a founding member and chair of 802.15 (the IEEE working group on wireless personal-area networks), chairman of the ZigBee Alliance, and chair of 802.15 Task Group 3a looking at UWB and other PHY layer alternatives for 802.15.3.
Mr. Heile was one of the founding members of 802.11 and continues in an active role today. He was previously at BBN, prior to its acquisition by GTE, where he commercialized wireless ad hoc networking and wireless PAN technologies, before the company was acquired by GTE and he became responsible for wireless opportunity business development. He has also served as vice president of engineering and business development for TyLink Corp, a bootstrap start-up in high-speed digital access products and network and circuit management software, and was a co-founder of Windata, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of wireless LANs. At Motorola subsidiary Codex, he served as vice president/general manager of the company’s modem business.
Bob holds a BA from Oberlin College and MA and Ph.D degrees in physics from The Johns Hopkins University.
Paul Raducha is the founder of Soleil Resources LLC, a renewable energy consulting and advisor firm, and the chief financial officer of National Energy Renewable Corp., LLC, a developer of utility scale renewable energy projects of 5 to 20 megawatts, where he is responsible for the corporate financial and accounting functions in addition to project financing and analysis and development.
Most recently, Mr. Raducha was the chief financial officer of Alteris Renewables, where he led the company through four acquisitions and one merger, creating one of the largest renewable energy integrators in the Northeast. During that time, Alteris was recognized for two years in a row by the INC 500 list of Americn’s fastest-growing private companies, growing more than 710% over a three-year period.
Prior to Alteris, Mr. Raducha worked for Lux Research, an international firm that provides strategic advice and on-going intelligence for clean technologies. Mr. Raducha started his career at KPMG Peat Marwick with a BS in Accounting from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and is a Certified Public Accountant and member of the American Institute of CPAs.
Stephen Eaves is currently founder and vice president of technology for Modular Energy Devices (ModEnergy), a lithium-ion battery company. ModEnergy is a former Rhode Island Slater Technology Fund portfolio company and is now a joint venture with EnerSys, the worln’s largest industrial battery company. Mr. Eaves’ redundant array technology has enabled ModEnergy to bring a new level of economy, safety and reliability to the large-format lithium-ion battery industry, and the company is now the leading supplier of lithium-ion batteries to the U.S. telecommunications industry with thousands of installations worldwide.
Prior to ModEnergy, Mr. Eaves founded Eaves Devices, a developer of battery controls and power management systems for the Navy Advanced Seal Delivery Vehicle, the B2 Bomber lithium-ion battery, the Navy Advanced Ship Demonstrator, satellites, the space station, and numerous other demanding energy storage applications.
He has authored or coauthored numerous papers related to battery management, power electronics and energy infrastructure, and his energy infrastructure studies have been cited in hundreds of subsequent studies as guidance to large corporations, the United States and foreign governments, the World Automobile Congress, the World Energy Council, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Mr. Eaves currently has ten patents issued or pending related to energy storage and power management and holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut.
Bill Pratt is a marketing and business development professional with extensive experience in the energy, banking and insurance sectors. He is currently Smart Grid Customer Program Director for National Grid, where he is part of a team responsible for developing and executing a business and regulatory plan to introduce smart metering and grid technology into National Grin’s US footprint, and is a nationally recognized expert on strategies to engage customers on the topic of Smart Grid and energy.
Before assuming his current role, Mr. Pratt held a variety of senior marketing positions at National Grid and was responsible for profitably growing the company’s regulated and non-regulated revenue base both through organic growth and strategic acquisition. He was also in charge of National Grin’s Fleet Services, Facility Maintenance and Security departments. Prior to joining National Grid, he worked in a variety of marketing and strategy positions nationally and internationally at Fleet Financial Group (now Bank of America) and AIG Insurance. He also has extensive merger and acquisition experience in the energy sector and has led all aspects of the M&A process from candidate identification through to transaction closing.
Mr. Pratt holds a BA in Economics from Trinity College and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing and International Business from Columbia University.
Dave Johnson is the senior vice president, Solutions Business, at APC. Appointed to his position in August, 2012, Dave leads the highly strategic $1B global data center products and services division with full P&L responsibility. In this position, he manages overall strategy and development of data center hardware, software, and lifecycle services through R&D teams in USA, Denmark, China, and India. His teams focus on creating next-generation data center offers including prefabricated power, cooling, and IT modules for large data centers.
Dave joined APC in 1989 as the company’s first product manager. From there, he went on to hold senior positions in sales and sales management. In late 1999, Dave left APC for several years to pursue an internet start-up and his own consulting business. He rejoined the company in 2003 to lead the Rack Systems business. In early 2006 he assumed the role of vice president, Americas and became an officer of APC. Later that year Dave became vice president of global sales with all regions reporting into him.
Just prior to taking his current role, Dave spent four years leading the Home and Business Networks division, driving product development and go-to-market strategies for the industrn’s premier single-phase Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) lines and related products.
Dave has a BS in Applied Economics from Cornell University.
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