Our Team

Yogesh Abichandani

Yogesh Abichandani

Innovation Analyst
Yogesh Abichandani

Yogesh conducts technology and market assessments, scouts technology, and oversees voice of customer studies for our nonprofit and commercial clients who want to develop effective market strategies. He has a track record managing and leading diverse teams to conduct opportunity assessments, evaluate emerging markets, and identify global technology trends across the pharmaceutical and medical device market. With his engineering background combined with technology commercialization and market research experience across industries, he’s uniquely positioned to deliver data-driven insights. Yogesh traded India’s heat and rain for Texas’ sun and eventually Massachusetts’ cooler temperatures and abundant snow before settling in North Carolina. Yogesh received his M.S. in Business of Bioscience from Texas A&M University and B.E. in Biotechnology Engineering from the University of Mumbai.

Caroline Ashley

Caroline Ashley

Innovation Analyst
Caroline Ashley

Caroline works on projects that enable technology transfer and open innovation for commercial and federal clients, including technology scouting, sourcing and landscaping and technology-driven market intelligence (TDMI) projects. She supports the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and manages the community of practice that helps MEP staff better understand how small- and medium-sized enterprise clients have benefited from the services. She also coordinates forums, briefings, workshops, webinars, and teacher professional development programs. Passionate about work that involves the Hispanic community, she has performed secondary and primary research in Spanish. Caroline received a B.A. in International Studies and Social Entrepreneurship from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and studied and worked in Beijing, China, and Seville, Spain.

Marjorie Baldi

Marjorie Baldi

Senior Project Management Specialist
Marjorie Baldi

A multi-certified project lead and U.S. Air Force veteran, Marjorie manages the group’s contractual, financial and operational processes while collaborating with project leads, support personnel, systems and vendors. In her free time, Marjorie enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and working on her next DIY project. Marjorie earned her B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and her M.S. in Professional Leadership from St. Bonaventure University.

Lawrence Blume, PhD

Innovation Advisor
Lawrence Blume, PhD

Lawrence brings to the group expertise in conducting scientific, market and partnership/M&A analysis for Fortune 500 life sciences, food & beverage and consumer goods companies and developing external insights, business models, and technical unlocks that yield disruptive innovation in core products and/or new and emerging products/markets. He also plans, identifies and interacts with commercialization and licensing partners for product development efforts, including consumer goods and pre‐clinical drugs. Lawrence received a Ph.D. in Physiology & Pharmacology from Wake Forest School of Medicine and a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Biochemistry from Duquesne University.

Kang Chang

Kang Chang

Innovation Advisor
Kang Chang

Kang assesses technologies for commercial potential, conducts market research, and develops client innovation capabilities. His industry experience with Fortune 500 clients involves developing their innovation capabilities through internal and market assessments, intrapreneurship workshops, and megatrend reporting. When he’s not adding to his list of future inventions, Kang enjoys cooking and hiking, and makes a mean kimchi. He earned his B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kristina Cooley

Kristina Cooley

Project Administrative Specialist
Kristina Cooley

With extensive experience in technology-centric communication, Kristina plays a centtral role in the team's success. She oversees quality control, template and graphic development, training, and document creation. She manages the quality and distribution of project-related communication and is adept at document control, project management, and website support. 

Jeff Cope

Jeff Cope

Director, Business Development
Jeff Cope

As a member of our leadership team, Jeff helps shape the growth and development of the business and identifies new markets and new ways to delight our corporate clients. He leads innovation work focused on technology landscaping and partnership development activities among our Fortune 500 clients. He helps optimize the efficiency of technology transfer practices and economic development activities for universities, and works with different regions and states to help identify innovation assets and build targeted economic development strategies. A frequent speaker, Jeff enjoys sharing his insights related to open innovation, technology scouting, and commercialization. He has a love/hate relationship with a 1937 Chevy. Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S.M. in Business Management from North Carolina State University.

Tom Culver

Tom Culver

Senior Innovation Advisor, Consumer Packaged Goods Sector Lead
Tom Culver

Tom brings nearly two decades of experience delivering technology and innovation management solutions to a wide range of global corporations such as PepsiCo, PPG Industries, and Newell Rubbermaid and federal agencies. An optical engineer by training Tom has developed optical and photonic innovations for both large OEMs and startups, and uses this expertise to assess technologies, author custom market analyses, and develop new technology innovation programs. A prolific speaker, some of the topics about which he is most passionate are building learning teams for innovating, incorporating megatrend analysis into organizations, managing break-through innovations, and developing open innovation as a core organizational capability. Tom has a B.S. in Optical Engineering from the University of Rochester.

Chiraag Devani

Innovation Analyst
Chiraag Devani

Chiraag works with our clients to assess technologies for commercial potential, conduct market research and intellectual property analyses, and create commercialization strategies for high-potential technologies. He brings to the group experience analyzing competitive landscapes and designing implementation strategies; he has also created customer acquisition models, identified new customer segments, researched product development pipelines for optimization and cost reduction purposes, and redesigned the entrepreneurial experience for internal inventors. Chiraag is passionate about the importance of innovation management in developing countries and is fluent in Swahili. He received a master’s degree in Engineering Management from Duke University and a B.S in Mechanical Engineering and Economics from Boston University. 

Molly Dix

Molly Dix

Director, Commercialization
Molly Dix

Molly advises and supports clients in technology-driven market intelligence, commercialization, and partnerships, and manages work for Fortune 100 companies globally, universities, and government agencies, focusing on understanding client need, building project plans and teams, and delivering results. In addition to her background in commercial opportunity analyses and marketing strategy development, Molly has identified and secured more than 25 licenses and won six awards for exceptional performance in technology commercialization. She speaks on topics including innovation management and commercialization. Molly played college soccer winning back-to-back national titles at the University of Rochester. She still plays today and helps the next generation of players love the game as a volunteer in coaching and management for her local travel soccer club. Molly received a Master of Intellectual Property, Commerce, and Technology from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester.

Zebnit Gaymanov

Zagit Gaymalov, Ph.D.

Senior Innovation Advisor
Zagit Gaymalov, Ph.D.

With extensive experience in commercialization, strategic technology transfer and new product development, Zagit has led projects for multi-campus public universities and helped develop innovation-focused activities for clients in the United States, Saudi Arabia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, United Arab Emirates, and Turkey. He’s championed technology scouting and partnership development activities, identified innovation assets and developed economic development strategies. He speaks worldwide on topics related to open innovation in health care, technology translation, and commercialization. Zagit loves the arts and is a photographer, painter, pianist, and violinist who also speaks several Altaic languages. Originally from Ufa in Russia, Zagit earned his B.S. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Middle East Technical University and his Ph.D. Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Jonas Hall

Jonas Hall

Innovation Advisor
Jonas Hall

Jonas assesses technologies for commercial potential, conducts market research, creates commercialization strategies for high-potential technologies, and directs technology licensing efforts for internal and external clients. Jonas has a passion for learning about new technologies and inventions of all types. He’s presently spinning out a new company -- SWIR Vision Systems, -- resulting from an internal commercialization project for a quantum dot-based infrared detector technology. Jonas is a Bioengineer from Clemson University, with an M.E.M. from Duke University, and loves to work on polymer processing projects when he can.

Andrew Helminger

Andrew Helminger

Innovation Advisor
Andrew Helminger

Andrew helps our clients understand how to best connect technologies to markets – efforts that have led to partnerships that have resulted in commercial products. With experience in technology and industry spaces—from consumer products to aerospace—Andrew’s area of expertise is environmental health and science (water quality, environmental remediation). He has performed innovation-ecosystem support work in the Philippines, leads project teams for sanitation-technology development efforts in India, and manages our technology transfer support contract with NASA Kennedy Space Center. Andrew received his M.E.M. in Environmental Management from Duke University and a B.A. in Biology from St. Olaf College.

Arpit jain

Arpit Jain

Innovation Analyst
Arpit Jain

Arpit is a market research and analytics professional who brings to our clients his experience in forecasting, supply chain analysis and technology assessment. He's worked on projects that involve detailed market study, commodity tracking, competitive landscape analysis, price forecasting model development and strategic procurement planning. Arpit received his bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering from Uttar Pradesh Technical University in India and a post graduate diploma in management from K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research in Mumbai, India.

 

 

Adam Klich

Adam Klich

Innovation Advisor
Adam Klich

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was recognized in 2016 by Military Transition News as a Top 40 under 40 for his achievements post-military, Adam focuses on innovation-led economic growth. He's worked in sectors that range from energy to wearables, software, optics, manufacturing, medical, and consumer goods. A certified human-centered design practitioner through Luma Institute, Adam’s also co-founded and led a startup with technology licensed from the Air Force Research Laboratory, worked as a building analyst, and researched fuel cell water management properties of earthen composite membranes. While on active duty, Adam spent time in Australia, Japan, Thailand, and is fluent in Portuguese. He received an M.S. in Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

Susan Mayer

Susan Mayer

Innovation Advisor, Food Industry Sector Lead
Susan Mayer

Susan is our technical food industry leader, with great problem-solving, strategic, and communication skills. Our clients rely on her experience in product development, product lifecycle management, and public-private food industry partnerships to understand how technology, research, and the right suppliers can create innovation opportunities. How does her work with us benefit food companies? Susan believes that our human-centered design perspective makes all the difference. ‘Product developers always believe they are thinking about the consumer, but our human-centered design approach to considering technology brings an entirely different perspective.’ Susan applies her love of food science to her hobbies; she and her husband formulate and brew beer, much to the delight of their friends and neighbors. Susan has an M.S. in Food Science and a B.S. in Foods from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is a Certified Food Scientist.

Steve McManus

Steve McManus

Innovation Advisor
Steve McManus

Steve works primarily with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers by scoping, proposing, and managing technology scouting and technology-driven market intelligence (TDMI) projects and providing training in TDMI and Technology Scouting. He also supports technology commercialization, scouting and landscaping projects for other clients. His experience includes medical device manufacturing, business development in fabrics and fibers, and commercialization of composites and magnetorheological fluids. He has an M.S. in Management and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Matt Mecray

Matt Mecray

Senior Innovation Advisor
Matt Mecray

With expertise in advanced materials and their use across consumer and industry sectors, Matt provides innovation consulting to corporate clients, universities and government agencies. He’s assessed commercial opportunities for new innovations, identified and evaluated market adjacencies for existing commercial technologies, scouted for new technologies for client product and market development efforts, provided broad technology/market landscapes, developed commercialization strategies for new technologies and identified licensing and other partnership opportunities. Matt has also organized several techno-market conferences on topics at the intersection of emerging technology and business opportunity. Matt has a B.S and M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Brad Mooring

Bradley Mooring

Innovation Advisor
Bradley Mooring

Bradley works with our government and commercial clients to help inform their technology commercialization strategies; he provides insights on the potential commercial value of client technologies and identifies partners interested in adopting these technologies. In addition, Bradley has supported many technology-driven market assessments and technology scouting projects. His area of expertise - and passion - is understanding disruptive technologies (e.g. unmanned aerial systems, additive manufacturing, and the Internet of Things) and the market forces that enable them. Bradley received an MBA and a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Michael Osbourne

Michael Osbourne

Innovation Advisor
Michael Osbourne

Michael supports technology acceleration and growth work with small and medium-sized businesses as part of our work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership program. A recent addition our group, he spent 12 years as CEO at Sedona International, an engineering services and product development company he co-founded. He has also worked in a variety of R&D, manufacturing and management roles for large and mid-sized technology-driven companies. Michael has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maine.

Moline Pandiyan

Moline Pandiyan

Innovation Advisor
Moline Pandiyan

Moline’s role speaks to her practical nature and her desire to transform great ideas and inventions into impactful, real-life applications. She works with individuals and organizations who want to bring their valuable inventions and capabilities to market. As a dot connector, she matches user needs with emerging and established technology solutions and enjoys helping clients identify the right partners, expertise, and innovations to successfully move their ideas forward. Moline is passionate about healthcare, medical innovation, and prematurity prevention causes, and has worked across various industries and markets for government, commercial, and university clients worldwide. Moline received an M.E.M. in Engineering Management from Duke University, and a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Akron

Jamie Pero Parker

Jamie Pero Parker, Ph.D.

Innovation Advisor
Jamie Pero Parker, Ph.D.

Jamie focuses on open innovation and technology commercialization and has experience in green, bioanalytical, and biophysical chemistry. She leads technology and business intelligence scouting initiatives, strategic technology and market analysis, commercialization assessments, partnership identification and development, and technology scouting training. Jamie also works with clients to create, augment, and manage new product ideas from various technology platforms. She is most interested in using open innovation to create more sustainable technologies and products, and strives to incorporate a green element into her work. Jamie has a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.S in Chemistry of the University of Utah.

Jeffrey Phillips

Jeffrey Phillips

Director, Strategy and Innovation
Jeffrey Phillips

Jeffrey focuses on the front end of innovation, specifically trendspotting and scenario planning, customer insight research, idea generation and open innovation. He also has experience in linking innovation to corporate strategy, developing a culture of innovation and in innovation training. Jeffrey leads our thought leadership programs and writes regularly in several blogs, on LinkedIn, and for Inc.com. He is the author of four books (OutManeuver, Relentless Innovation, 20 Mistakes Innovators Make and Make Us More Innovative). He received an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Virginia.

James Redden

Jim Redden

Innovation Advisor
Jim Redden

Jim advises our corporate and government clients that want to improve their innovation processes and outcomes. An expert at facilitating innovation, he understands the complexities of organizational innovation initiatives and enjoys applying innovation best practices to help teams solve new challenges. Jim has helped establish innovation programs in the Philippines and Saudi Arabia, and in companies across the United States. He brings a diverse set of industry perspectives to his work, as result of having worked as an engineer in oil and gas and as a teacher in a non-profit. A podcast connoisseur, whitewater rafting enthusiast, and Cincinnati native, Jim has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Deborah Retzlaff

Deborah Retzlaff

Senior Administrative Assistant
Deborah Retzlaff

Deborah is the glue that holds our group together, the force that keeps our wheels turning. She coordinates our travel, organizes our meetings and conferences, coordinates our catering, manages our expense reports, schedules interviews, and many other responsibilities that keep our advisory group humming along. When we arrive safely at our client meetings, host well-run client workshops and meetings, have functioning equipment for our seminars and conferences and rooms for our meetings, and more we have Deborah to thank. We're fortunate that she's been helping us succeed for over 35 years.

Kirsten Rieth

Kirsten Rieth

Director, Research and Insights
Kirsten Rieth

From developing and rolling out large-scale services and training programs to working with individual technologies to determine value proposition and market opportunity, Kirsten advises federal laboratories and governments, large and small companies, economic development organizations, universities, and nonprofit foundations. She provides technology and market trends analysis, commercialization program evaluation, partnership development, and technology commercialization training. Kirsten also conducts strategic planning and technology cluster analysis and implementation services for economic development organizations and develops and delivers training programs that build organizational capacity in technology transfer, technology scouting, and market intelligence. She received an MBA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Amanda Rose headshot

Amanda Rose

Innovation Advisor
Amanda Rose

Amanda supports our innovation efforts for the Sanitation Technology Platform (STeP), a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation initiative to bring to market new technologies in the sanitation sector. She brings to our group significant international innovation experience with a focus on agricultural technologies in emerging markets, innovation systems support, and innovation capacity building. Amanda received a B.S. in Chemistry and in Interdisciplinary Studies from North Carolina State University, and an M.S. in International Science and Technology Policy from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University.

Rebecca Shute

Rebecca Shute

Innovation Analyst
Rebecca Shute

With a background in laboratory research in domestic and international universities, and transitioning biotechnology to market via startups, Rebecca focuses on technology commercialization and innovation insights for federal and commercial clients, and her role involves developing innovation capacity-building programs for university researchers. She supports the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, where she develops forensic product landscapes and facilitates the transition of technologies into practice by the forensic community. She enjoys playing tennis, attending concerts, and completing puzzles in her free time. Rebecca has a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a master’s degree in Technology Entrepreneurship, both from the University of Notre Dame.

Andrea Stowell

Andrea Stowell

Innovation Advisor
Andrea Stowell

Andrea works with our clients to identify and evaluate new technologies and markets. With a focus on emerging economies, she supports a range of sectors, including water and sanitation, solid waste and agriculture. Andrea leads innovation-based efforts for the Sanitation Technology Platform, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation initiative to bring to market new technologies in the sanitation sector. Andrea received a B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University and was previously a professional ballet dancer with American Ballet Theater.

Cary Strickland

Cary Strickland

Innovation Advisor
Cary Strickland

Cary leads our consumer packaged goods work and brings to our clients his extensive experience helping product development teams find the right partners, assess technology options, or evaluate their competition for developed and emerging markets. He has expertise in technology scouting, landscaping and evaluation, market opportunity analysis, and technology-inspired ideation and human-centered design. He has also managed projects in infrastructure and construction, industrial coatings and chemicals, food, and packaging; his international experience includes Japan, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines. When not musing on innovation excellence he plays guitar and bass. Cary has an M.E.M. in Engineering Management from Duke University, a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, and a B.S. in Paper Science Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Allison Sykes

Alison Sykes, Ph.D.

Innovation Advisor
Alison Sykes, Ph.D.

Alison assesses technologies for commercial potential, performs market research, and creates commercialization strategies for high-potential technologies, and has experience in technology areas including antimicrobials/pesticides, controlled-release technologies, new and emerging coatings and materials. Her background includes organometallic chemistry from her work as a research associate while completing her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry and water disinfection from her postdoctoral associate position, both from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has a B.S. in Chemistry from Washington and Lee University.

Leslie Wainwright

Leslie Wainwright, Ph.D.

Innovation Advisor, Health Sector Lead
Leslie Wainwright, Ph.D.

Leslie leads our health practice, is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation, and has experience that spans academic research, pharma/biotechnology, and healthcare delivery. She has worked with executive teams from multi-national organizations and startups alike to design growth strategies, create alternative business models and evaluate emerging clinical and care delivery technologies. Additionally, she spent several years addressing innovation and how healthcare organizations build their own sustainable innovation competencies. Leslie is a speaker and facilitator on the future of healthcare, enabling technologies, disruptive innovation, and emerging business models, domestically and abroad. She is passionate about STEM education and is on the Women’s Board of the Field Museum in Chicago where she works to expand opportunities for girls in science. Leslie received her Ph.D. in microbiology at Northwestern University, completed postdoctoral research training at the University of Maryland’s Center for Vaccine Development and received a B.A. in Biology from DePauw University.

Amy Witsil

Amy Witsil

Innovation Advisor
Amy Witsil

A former aerospace engineer at NASA’s Langley Research Center, today Amy’s work centers on forming joint partnerships around new technology. She leads our community of practice for commercialization, and helps field new offerings for our clients; provides strategic IP management; assesses new technologies for commercial potential. She runs focused marketing campaigns that bring licensing deals for clients and performs patent valuations to support them. A natural collaborator, Amy develops and implements training to ensure clients have the skills and tools they need to perform their own scouting, assessing, and market research. Amy has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia.