Venture Expert Series Speakers

Elena Cahill - U of Bridgeport


Elena Cahill is an entrepreneur, attorney, author, and business professor. Elena transitioned from the daily practice of commercial law in 2000 to business consultant, creating turn key businesses. Ventures include Karma Tequila, Sunset Towers Spa and Salon, Educated Fitness, Educated Lifestyles and others. She is the author of The Business of Energy, an energy resource guide for the management of commercial and industrial businesses and a full time faculty member at the University of Bridgeport Ernest C. Trefz School of Business, where she created a Student Entrepre-neur Center.

Doug Campbell - The Success Coach


As The Success Coach, Doug has worked with 500+ businesses and non-profits on strategy, business development, team building, and board retreats. He has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal and has been a Global Gurus Top 30 Coach Worldwide for the last 4 years. He has started 5 businesses, was CMO of a $200 million Division of a Fortune 100, taught MBAs and undergraduates for 10 years and has written 2 books on growing and reinventing your business and your career. Doug serves of the Board of Angel Investor Forum, the Crossroads Venture Group Board and as a mentor for Yale Entrepreneurs.  He holds an MBA from The Darden School at UVA and a BA in Spanish/International Relations from the University of New Hampshire. 

Wes Whitmyer - Whitmyer IP


Wes Whitmyer has been lead counsel in numerous patent and trademark litigations at the trial and appellate level. He has prosecuted thousands of patent and trademark applications and has first-hand knowledge of various technologies, including analytical instruments, avionics, computer hardware, vehicle drive and business automation. He is admitted to practice in Connecticut and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Court of Appeals (Federal Circuit) and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member and past president of the CT Patent Law Association and an active member of multiple national and international patent associations.

Venture Expert Series Speakers

Scott Nevins - Alliance Bernstein


As a senior investment advisor at Bernstein Private Wealth Management, Scott Nevins provides asset allocation and wealth planning advice to high net worth individuals, family offices, endowments, foundations and entrepre-neurs. Scott began his career at GE Capital and was the CEO of seven successful early to mid-stage financial service and technology service companies. He serves on a number of boards including Angel Investor Forum, CT Venture Group, Association of Corporate Growth, World Affairs Forum, Men’s Club of Jewish Senior Services of CT, and the advisory board for Dolan Business School at Fairfield University.

Giulia Gouge - Agents of Branding


Giulia Gouge has been giving small and medium sized businesses and non-profits a big voice for the past eight years. She comes from a marketing background and has managed such brands as Yale New Haven Hospital's Smilow Cancer Center, WNBA's Connecticut Sun and Washington Mystics.  She understands the importance of brand consistency and communication and applies the practice to every online platform. Today, Giulia puts the social in social media for a variety of clients, including Progressive Voices, Vespoli Rowing, Stephanie Miller Show, and the international organization, Wakami Global.

Mark Strauss - ToGo Media


Mark Strauss is the founder (masquerading as CMO) of TOGO Media Private Clients Group, an agency specializing in marketing analytics and predictive analysis. He is a regular lecturer at Parsons, The New School of Design in New York City, where he teaches branding and marketing. Mark was the founder, president and CEO of Educational Innovations, Inc., an independent top 20 supplier of science education supplies, which he formed after a decade of consulting to school systems.

Venture Expert Series Speakers

Pat Fisher - Janus Associates


Patricia A.P. Fisher has led JANUS, the oldest information security consulting firm in the U.S., through its entire history, helping major U.S. and global organizations fulfill their information serves as vice-chair of the Connecticut Technology Council, and is the chair of the Cyber Security Seminar series. She also serves on the criminal justice curriculum committee for the University of St. Joseph, previously served on the Cyber Security Curriculum Development Committee of Norwalk Community College, and is a past president of the Southwestern Fairfield County American Heart Association. security needs. Prior to that, Ms. Fisher spent 11 years at IBM, where she managed the Information Security & Business Continuity Programs for IBM's Latin American and Canadian sites. She serves as vice-chair of the Connecticut Technology Council, and is the chair of the Cyber Security Seminar series. She also serves on the criminal justice curriculum committee for the University of St. Joseph, previously served on the Cyber Security Curriculum Development Committee of Norwalk Community College, and is a past president of the Southwestern Fairfield County American Heart Association. 

Gary Felberbaum - Advanced Decisions


Gary Felberbaum consults and strategizes in technology and engineering best practices. His specific areas of specialization are software architecture, mobile technology and real-time mission critical systems. His expertise is in making large, complex systems into smaller manageable entities. In a 35+ year career in product development, Gary has advised both large and emerging company management regarding technical product development. He is a senior member of IEEE and currently serves as secretary of the IEEE Connecticut Section. He is an active member of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce Technical Council and serves as co-president of the not-for-profit Probus Club of Greater Bridgeport.

Ted Stone - TechCXO


Ted Stone has been CFO for companies ranging in size from start-ups to $2 billion global firms, including public, private equity, employee and angel ownership. Ted uses finance and operations/engineering disciplines to increase the value of global technology-intensive companies in a range of markets, including software and information services to multiple industries, energy efficiency, logistics and several manufacturing industries. Ted brings value to his clients by using his engineering education and business experience adapting the disciplined financial processes of large companies to the practicalities of smaller firms, and his acute listening skills to raise the level of play for everyone in his companies. He has extensive experience raising capital and supporting M&A transactions and a multi-decade record of helping his companies increase their equity value faster than their competitors.

Venture Expert Series Speakers

Joe DeMartino - Angel Investor Forum


For the past 8 years Joe DeMartino has been an angel investor and has been active as a mentor, advisor and board member at several early stage companies. Joe is the past President and currently Managing Director of the Angel Investor Forum in Connecticut and an investor with Launchpad Ventures, Lean Launch. Earlier in his career Joe held senior management positions in sales, service, product management and development at Cullinet, Eastman Software, Kronos and at several other small and mid-size software companies. He has led software businesses in both growth and turnaround scenarios using a collaborative style aimed at coaching and mentoring teams to deliver high quality results to stakeholders. Joe’s specialty is advising and mentoring start up and growth-oriented companies that have fast-paced, entrepreneurial cultures. His main areas of focus are helping entrepreneurs deal with issues involving strategy development, funding, deal structure, team building and leadership development.

Adam Silverman - Wiggin Dana


Adam Silverman is an Associate in the Corporate Department at Wiggin Dana where he advises mature and emerging growth companies on commercial agreements, venture capital and debt financings, and mergers and acquisitions. He works with a range of clients across several industries, including technology, life sciences, manufacturing, media and entertainment, food and beverage, and cannabis, with a focus on advising early-stage companies. Adam also counsels clients on federal regulatory clearance of mergers and acquisitions through compliance with the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act. Before joining the firm, Adam was an associate at Greenberg Traurig.

Ed Cesare - Pleaid Capital


With 30 years in the capital markets, Ed Cesare has accumulated experience in a broad spectrum of banking and investment formats. His background includes asset-based lending and mezzanine, equity and venture capital. Ed has served as a line manager and board member in both public and private companies and can provide essential intellectual capital in support of strategic development and fiscal management. Ed is a past president of the Board of Trustees of King School in Stamford. This experience, along with his service as a board member in the for profit sector enables Ed to offer valuable governance consulting services to both non-profit and for profit organizations through PleiadConsulting. Ed is also an avid sailor and ocean racer and is managing director and co-skipper of PleiadRacing, a professional sailboat race team.

Venture Expert Series Speakers

Rich Gee - Rich Gee Group


Rich Gee is the founder of The Rich Gee Group, a high-performance coaching firm. After 20 years as a corporate leader in marketing, sales, and product management, Rich launched his own firm. Today, he has 15 years of coaching experience, gives 25+ workshops a year and serves clients like Dell, Gartner, The Hartford, Verizon, and Morgan Stanley. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsday, and Forbes and on national TV and radio, including The Today Show and John Tesh Radio. He has been a syndi-cated columnist for Hearst publications writing a weekly national column called “Ask Rich Gee.” Rich loves innovation and helping people who are innovators.