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Mentors

 
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Eric Bertrand

 

Eric is Managing Director and Partner with Loud Advisory, a provider of financial consulting, strategy and M&A advisory services for advertising and media companies.  Loud Advisory clients include advertising agencies, creative design, post production, visual effects, video and film production companies.

An experienced entrepreneur and private equity professional, Eric’s background combines diverse investment and operational advertising and media experience. Eric has operated and managed a number of companies, including start-ups, growth stage and publicly traded companies.  Those companies include a Creative Design Firm, 20-store optical chain, a Post Production Company, an Ecofriendly Cleaning Franchisor, a UPS & LTL Shipping Reseller and a high-end print company.

Eric holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Studies from New York University. Eric graduated from Bryant University with a BS in Business Administration concentrating on Finance and Applied Actuarial Mathematics.

Eric is a board member of several privately held companies as well as Unite For Sight, an international eye care related charity. Eric currently sits on the Bryant University Business School Board of Advisors, as well as the National Alumni Counsel. In addition, Eric is a mentor and judge for the annual New York University, Springboard, Junior Achievement and Bryant University Business Plan Competitions.

 

 


 

Colby Butler

 

Colby Butler (Class of '09) graduated with a degree in Communications and has spent over four years in the Insurance Consulting industry.  He has consulted with midsize companies and global organizations on their corporate insurance benefits strategies. Colby also joined the Bryant Venture Competition in January 2012 as a sponsor and business plan mentor.  He uses his strong consulting skill set to help students and alumni refine, articulate and execute their business strategies and ideas.  Colby has most recently joined the Board of Directors of Fashion-Force Corp., an online business to business social community and trade show alternative founded by Melissa Ellard (Class of '13). 

 

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Brian Cowley

 

Brian joined CompareNetworks in 2011 with an extensive 25 years of experience in database marketing, media, digital media, business & corporate development and executive management. Before CompareNetworks, he served as General Manager, North America for Velti who acquired AdInfuse in 2009, where he was President and CEO. Prior to AdInfuse, Brian was Vice President of Mobile Advertising at InfoSpace.

Previous to this he ran the sponsorship & services group at eBay, a $140M business unit. Brian spent over ten years in the internet search and advertising business, primarily as co-founder and Senior Vice President of Sales & Business Development at LookSmart, a business he helped grow from a start up to a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company.

He began working in digital media in 1995, working at Netscape. He championed the “destinations” service which later became the foundation to Netscape’s NetCenter. The first ten years of his career was focused in database & direct marketing working for Dun & Bradstreet & Equifax. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bryant University in Rhode Island. 

 

Barry Desilets

 

Barry is a Senior Account Manager with Unisource Worldwide, one of North America’s largest distributors of packaging materials, facility supplies, fine paper, and logistics.  With over 25 years of account management experience Barry has assisted Fortune 100, global enterprises, and startup companies.

Unisources's Engineering Solutions group is an industry leader in world-class packaging innovation. Unisource takes an unbiased approach to packaging material except for what works best for your product, your environmental goals, and the packaging performance your product requires.  Some of the renewable materials currently used at Unisource are bamboo, bagasse, cloth, molded pulp, mushrooms, and wood.

Barry is also an avid cyclist and has taken part in many charity rides in the area raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for causes like Multiple Sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, and cancer.

 

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Sergio Ferreira

 

Sergio has run a small family concrete subcontractor business for over 20 years.  It is now one of the leading concrete companies in the New England Construction Industry.  Serg is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.  After presenting and winning at a Boston Start-up Weekend with a solution that assists subcontractors in running their business, he decided to organize a Start-up Weekend Providence event.  This event's objective is to give someone else the opportunity to do the same, start a company in 54 hours!

Other start-up events in which Sergio is involved include Angelhack, Hasbroathon, and Lean Startup Challenge. Sergio is also an advisor for a new non-profit entrepreneurial center in Providence called Hatch (hatchri.com).  This center will help anyone take their start-up efforts to the next level of success.

 

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Ted Howell

 

Ted is Chair of the Business Group at Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP--a RI and MA business law firm with an active Emerging Growth practice serving the entrepreneur community. 

He counsels small to medium-sized, privately held businesses, and concentrates on technology start-up companies. He advises clients on business formation, equity financing, securities, debt financing, mergers and acquisitions, employment and consulting arrangements, buy/sell arrangements and business succession, technology transfer and licensing, and general contract negotiation.

He represents lending institutions with respect to debt financing. He frequently serves as outside counsel to several large, public and privately held companies in the region. Prior to attending law school, Ted received his Bachelors of Science and Engineering in the field of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Subsequently, he was a technical consultant at the Gillette Company in its South Boston, Massachusetts manufacturing facility.

 

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Alan Litwin

 

Alan has over 30 years of experience in public accounting and is Managing Director at Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co. He currently provides advisory services to some of firm's larger clients. In addition, he provides litigation support services to several attorneys and law firms throughout Southeastern New England. Alan is chair of KLR's Healthcare services group and works with many emerging businesses in life sciences, healthcare, and technology.

To learn more about Alan's distinguished career and ongoing startup involvement visit his profile here

 

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Anthony Mangiarelli

 

Anthony has more than 12 years of experience in public accounting and is currently Chair of Emerging and Startup Business Services Group at Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co. His experience leading up to this included auditing and consulting with clients in a variety of industries including manufacturing, professional services, distribution, employee benefits plans, as well as emerging and startup businesses.

He received his Accounting degree and Masters of Science in taxation from Bryant University. To find out more about Anthony's ongoing involvement in the startup community visit his full profile here.

 

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Tyler Ray

 

Armed with an MBA and five years of business law experience including serving as in-house counsel at Cookson Group PLC, Tyler advises Duffy & Sweeney clients ranging from emerging entrepreneurs and start-ups to mid-market companies on all areas of business law. From deal structure to branding to employment matters, Tyler’s experience in the fields of corporate, intellectual property, technology and employment law offer value solutions to clients with legal needs that span the corporate spectrum.

Tyler has experience in a wide array of business transactions including equity investments and acquisitions ranging in value from $1 to $100 million, venture capital financings ranging in value from $250,000 to $10 million, and revolving credit and term loan facilities ranging in size from $1 to $50 million.

Known for his high-energy personal style, Tyler manages the firm’s extensive trademark and copyright practice and works closely with clients on the development, protection, enforcement and licensing of intellectual property on a worldwide basis.

 

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Joe Santarlasci

 

Joe has 40 years of experience in the investment banking, private equity, merger and acquisition, and interim management fields. After more than 10 years on Wall Street, Joe founded Whitby, Santarlasci & Co., a niche investment bank focusing on the financial restructuring of troubled companies.

He has worked with many private equity firms in the recapitalization and refinancing of their portfolio companies. In this capacity, he often assumes the role of Interim CEO/CFO. Joe is Senior Advisor to Lake Rudd Capital Partners and a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Bryant, teaching Entrepreneurial Finance.

Joe graduated from Brown University, served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, and has an MBA from the Colgate Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

 

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Jennifer Schwall

Jenn is the Executive Director of Cherrystone Angel Group. At Cherrystone, she manages the angel group's operations as well as serves on the Steering, Screening and Due Diligence Committees.

She has experience in screening deals, determining valuation models and conducting market research for several verticals including pharmaceutical, medical devices, software, hardware and internet/mobile applications. She advises portfolio companies on fundraising strategies and works with the CEOs to keep investors updated. Jenn also serves as a representative of Cherrystone in the Boston and New York markets at various fundraising and networking events.

Jenn graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bryant University with a B.S. in Finance and a minor in Legal Studies. She received the Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key, awarded to the graduating senior with the highest cumulative academic average, as well as the Jack H. Rubens Leadership in Finance Award.

 

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Allan Tear

 

Allan is co-founder and managing partner of Betaspring, a startup accelerator based in Providence, Rhode Island. Through Betaspring, Allan has worked with more than 70 high-growth startups and managed a portfolio of companies that has raised more than $30M in follow-on funding.  As a technology entrepreneur, Allan has founded three venture-funded startups.  He has served as an advisor and in board leadership roles for more than a dozen startups across the U.S.  Allan is an active angel investor in early stage technology companies and advises national, state, and local government on nurturing high-growth startup ecosystems.

He is a lead partner in the Founders League, one of New England's premier co-working community and entrepreneurial support platforms. In 2012, he was named an inaugural Rhode Island Innovation Fellow by the Rhode Island Foundation.  For his Fellowship, Allan launched RallyRI, a project to launch a startup revolution in economic sectors where Rhode Island has untapped potential.   Allan is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, with B.S. degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Public Policy. 

 

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Jay Weinberg

 

Jay Weinberg is President of The JAY Group, a loyalty marketing company in Chicago.  Jay has been involved in marketing and technology for over 25 years.  His expertise is in developing strong customer acquisition and retention programs for clients.  He has developed and managed successful marketing programs for Walt Disney World, LensCrafters, Preferred Hotel Group, Carpet One, Bath and Body Works, The Yankee Candle Company, and many others.

At The JAY Group, he focuses on strategic planning for clients, as well as leading the development and management of sophisticated loyalty marketing programs.  This includes CRM strategic planning, loyalty program design and systems development/integration, program management and optimization, and program analytics.  Jay develops loyalty marketing programs for major retail and hospitality clients.  Many include rewards-based incentives, and others simply enable clients to track and measure customer performance and allow one-to-one customer marketing.

Jay is originally from Albany, NY, and is a graduate of Bryant University in Rhode Island.  He is a Board Member of the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing and a Member of the Bryant University National Alumni Council.

 

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Melissa Withers

 

Betaspring Chief of Staff and nerd whisperer Melissa Withers  manages Betaspring's Mentor network and coordinates programming for each Betaspring session. In her advisory capacity to Betaspring teams, her skills are primarily in PR & media relations, customer experience design, and get-to-market communications.

In 2011, Melissa served as communications director for the then newly-elected Mayor of the City of Providence. Prior, she was co-founder and Executive Director of the Business Innovation Factory, an organization that creates platforms to enable the design and testing of new business models in areas of high social impact. 

Melissa started her career in life science and previously served as Assistant Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, were she managed community relations and public communications, as well as Whitehead's pioneering science policy and advocacy program.