TechSandBox: MetroWest Innovation Hub 


Expert on Site™ Bios

Brief bios are provided however most of these people have depth beyond their obvious area of expertise and have the heart and knowledge to help. Take advantage of their generosity!

Max Berenson:

Max has over 30 years experience working on highly scalable software solutions in varied industries from database engine design and personalized web content delivery to mobile game development.  Focussing on performance and scalability, the solutions Max developed have been used by the Fortune 50 for budgeting and planning, the NYSE and major investment banks and companies like CNET, Disney and the 2004 Summer Olympics to deliver personalized web content to millions of customers.  Most recently Max has used his expertise to ensure that Disruptor Beam delivers highly scalable, highly available games like Game of Thrones Ascent and Star Trek Timelines. He's done this for startups so come get some advice!

Keywords: CTO, technology, scalable software, B2C, digital games

Peter Blacklow:

Peter is a Senior Partner at Boston Seed Capital. Peter was formerly the President of WorldWinner, a subsidiary of GSN (Game Show Network), a joint venture of Sony Pictures Television and DirecTV. In this role, he oversaw the online games businesses of and, as well as its mobile and Facebook applications. Prior to WorldWinner/GSN, Peter served as Senior Vice President of Marketing at Monster, the largest global careers website, where he was responsible for managing a $100+ million budget, including all advertising, promotions, public relations and business-to-business direct marketing.

Peter is a graduate of Harvard University, and has received numerous awards and distinctions, including being named one of the nation's top "Marketers of the Year" by Promo magazine.

Key words: Digital gaming, B2C, Investor

Joe Caruso:

For the last 20 years Joe has served as mentor, coach, and personal advisor to CEO’s and entrepreneurs. In recent years, he has served as investor, advisor and active director with dozens of companies, public and private.

Joe is currently a member of Launchpad Venture Group and was previously a member of Walnut Ventures, Common Angels, eCoast Angels and a principal of Brookwood Partners, all investment groups for early stage companies. He also maintains an active consulting practice dealing with structuring and negotiation of acquisitions, strategic partnerships and financings, and issues related to dispute resolution.

He has served on dozens of boards over the years and is recipient of the Leadership in Private Corporate Governance award from the National Association of Corporate Directors New England Chapter. He is a graduate of Northeastern University (BSEE with honors) and the Harvard Business School (MBA) He has served as advisor to Northeastern’s School of Technological Entrepreneurship.

Steve Casey:

Steve is a partner with TechCXO. He provides part-time, outsourced CFO/COO services at a fraction of the fully burdened cost. He specializes in solving a company’s financial management problems. Steve can help with strategic planning, fund raising, cash flow management, modeling and forecasting, KPI dashboards, and growth plan development among other things and is experienced in helping to take companies on different trajectories. Steve works with early stage and emerging growth technology companies in Boston and New York.

Keywords: CFO, financial models, part-time

Sean Detweiler:

An engineer, a Registered Patent Attorney, a former in-house patent counsel, and a former adjunct professor, Sean is a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property practice, and the leader of its high-tech patent practice.

His work encompasses many areas of intellectual property protection, including utility patent and design patent preparation and prosecution, trademark registration, due diligence, and the provision of patentability and non-infringement opinions. Sean works closely with a wide range of clients to fulfill their intellectual property needs, including portfolio development, strategy, and implementation for startup companies with foundational patent filings, for emerging growth companies with market share they need to protect from competitors, and for international conglomerates with massive patent portfolios.

More info:

Keywords: IP, patent, provisional

Josh French:

A member of the firm’s corporate practice group, Josh serves as outside general counsel to many privately-held emerging and middle-market companies, which span a variety of industries.

He is actively involved with clients in all phases of the business life cycle, from corporate formation to fundraising to liquidity events. While Josh’s practice encompasses a wide range of legal issues, including incorporations, debt and equity finance, and corporate governance, he spends much of his time advising clients involved with or preparing for M&A transactions, counseling clients on both the buy side and the sell side.

Josh is a member of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group and M&A Task Force and also serves as the associate representative on the firm’s Marketing Committee.

 More info:

Keywords: business law, incorporations, equity agreements, term sheets

Jim Geisman:

Jim has been advising software companies of all sizes on pricing and related business model and revenue impact. He helps with go to market and value proposition resonance questions too.

More info:

Keywords: pricing, business models, software, startups

James Geshwiler:

Managing Director of Converge VP (formerly Common Angels) and focusing on early stage capital to software companies in the region. James helps first time entrepreneurs understand what investors need.

More info:

Key words: angel investor, VC, pitching, business models

Ted Gillick:

Vice President, Corporate Development of EMC Corporation and is a senior member of EMC’s global mergers and acquisitions practice and has
executed over $30B worth of M&A transactions. Ted holds a BBA from the College of William and Mary and is a CFA charterholder.

Kewords: M&A, media, software

John Gleason:

John began working in the commercial printing industry during his college years and later co-founded and bootstrapped Bay State Press which went from startup to become a well known 14 million dollar commercial printing concern.

Johnis now owner and Managing Director of the Supporting Strategies office in Boston's North Shore and MetroWest. The company provides outsourced day to day accounting services for small businesses in many verticals and is well known for providing efficient and effective bookkeeping and operational services to growing businesses.

Key words: bookkeeping, QuickBooks, Year end, Payroll

Patricia Gray:

Pat is a corporate lawyer and an investor with Boynton Angels. She is active in the life sciences space and offers feedback on how well an early stage entrepreneur is communicating their idea and value.

More info:

Key words: Law, angel investing, messaging

Paul Hartung:

Paul has been CEO of Cognoptix, licensing technology from a univeristy and growing the company, attracting professional investment - seies A,B,C .... He is an expert in medical device companies and took the company through the FDA IDE process.

More info:

Key words: FDA IDE, medical devices, startup, VC, clinical trials

Lisa Ludwig:

Lisa  is a marketing executive with a 20+ year consistent track record growing technology businesses – from startups to Fortune 500s.  She has served as VP Marketing at Ambient Corporation (acquired by Ericsson) and VP Product Marketing and Business Development at Conservation Services Group (acquired by CleaResult). She was also VP Marketing for startup Animetrics, Inc. where she secured Series A funding.  Prior to Animetrics, she ran worldwide marketing for Swedish telecom giant - Ericsson.  Most recently, Ludwig formed Pollensa Group to share experience from her successes with CEOs and executive teams by providing guidance in the areas of strategy, go-to-market planning, product marketing, product management, and communications.   She is also actively involved with TechSandBox.

Key words: Marketing plans, tactics, business plans, go-to-market

Art Martin:

Art is a business advisor at the MSBDC at Clark University and is especially well-versed in helping tech companies with their business plans and models. Art was President of FloDesign and Kardia and has an engineering (robotics) background so can handle hardware too!

More info:

Keywords: business plans and models, operations, hardware

Randy McDonald:

Randy is the CEO of Tri-Star Design, a product development company focused on medical devices, robotics, consumer electronics, network communications,  and is behind the scenes in many well-known companies and products. He advises on how to create a product roadmap as well as BoMs and sourcing. Randy holds a BSEE from Northeastern University.

More info:

Key words: electro-mechanical product development, FPGA, DSP, sensors

Larry Nannis:

Larry was founder of KNS CPAs until his recent retirement; there, he provided financial management and tax advice to entrepreneurial companies and their owners at all levels of the growth curve. I have worked with companies that receive their Research and Development funding from the government.

Larry was instrumental in the SBIR funding offering, in SBANE's growth, and in helping startups with business and financial sense.

Key words: Business plan, business models, margins, depreciation, accounting

Julie O'Neill:

Julie’s practice focuses largely on startup businesses, helping entrepreneurs in selecting the right legal structures for their businesses, securing debt and equity financing, and handling ongoing operational matters. She has represented many clients from the formation stage through multiple rounds of financings and finally to liquidity events.

Key words: Legal entity, preparing for financing, stock incentives

Kathy Rocha:

Kathy was an executive in the network communications space with a product marketing and operations background. She guides startups on strategy and positioning. She is also an Angel investor with Golden Seeds which invests in women-led companies.

More info:

Key words: angel investing, strategy, operations, business models

Leanne Rodd:

Leanne manages recruiting, business development and training events for FlexProfessionals Boston  and is at TechSandBox to help startups with strategies to hire/contract with people for their team, even when budgets are really tight.  Their pool of talent views flexibility as part of their compensation so often works for budgets affordable by startups. She has a BA from UVM, an MS in Training and Development from Lesley University, and more than 20 years' experience in strategic planning, organizational development, and staffing. 

More info:

Key words: hiing, human capital, contractors, staffing

Jeremie Spitzer:

Jeremie sold his start-up in 2011. He has over 15 years of entrepreneurial experience with software and hardware companies. He focuses on creating the right MVP through lean methodology.  He studied entrepreneurship at Babson where he earn his MBA with honors.

More info:

Key Words: Entrepreneur, MVP, Business Development

Mike St. Lawrence:

Technical background running development for companies such as Rogers Corporation. Successful track record developing and commercializing products from initial concept. He has a deep understanding of the telecommunications, clean energy, automotive, and medical markets. Mike is an early stage angel investor with Boynton Angels. Mike holds an MSCE from MIT.

More info:

Key words: engineering, investment, angel, clean energy, automotive, telecom

Jennifer St. Pierre:

Jennifer is Vice President, Corporate Development, at EMC. Since joining Corporate Development in 2008, Jen has led over $5.7 billion in software and other technology acquisitions. Jen has been responsible for helping accelerate EMC’s growth by investigating and executing on market opportunities that align to the strategies and objectives of the company’s business unit and board.

Jen works closely with and advises EMC’s executive management team and EMC’s business units and associated businesses on strategy execution through mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments, creative business structuring, business plan development, transaction execution, integration and tracking.

Jen holds a MBA from Bentley College and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

Howard Zaharoff:

Howard is a licensing and IP attorney with Morse Barnes-Brown & Pendleton with expertise in copyright and general business guidance. Howard has substantial experience in domestic and international technology development, distribution and licensing; joint ventures and strategic alliances; Internet contracts, including SaaS, SLA, affiliation and co-branding agreements and privacy policies; nondisclosure, noncompetition and proprietary rights agreements; the protection and registration of copyrights, trademarks and domain names; trade secrets protection; print and electronic publishing agreements, advertising, sweepstakes and publicity law; and commercial leases. He has a PhD and receied his JD from Harvard Law.

More info:

Key words: IP law, copyright, licensing, Board