Grant Funding 101 – Gain funding without giving away the store

  • Tuesday, March 10, 2015
  • 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • WPI Rubin Campus Center

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  • Advance registration please.
    College/University ID required at check-in.

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Looking for money to grow your new venture, without having to give up equity? Have you considered grants as a funding source?

Learn more about funding with fewer tradeoffs at The Venture Forum’s March 10 meeting. Come to an interactive session where attendees can learn from people on both sides of the equation – those who have won grants, and those who have chosen winning applicants.

After hearing a brief overview of grant funding basics, participants will break into tables for small group mentoring with one of six speakers (see their bios below). Attendees will change tables every 10 to 15 minutes for new perspectives on the topic. By the end of the evening, meeting attendees will gather insights, define or build their grant strategy and be ready to take the first steps to pursue grant funding.

Introducing Grant Funding 101 will be Natalie Rudolph, PhD and Giacomo Basadonna, MD, PhD, FACS. In addition, Mitchell Sanders, MS, PhD, Al Prescott, Dan Lilly and Art Martin will participate in the small group mentoring sessions.


Dr. Natalie Rudolph is the Principal of Rudolph Biomedical Consulting with 24 years of experience in the biotech and biomedical industries. She held scientific and management positions at two start-up biotechnology companies, where she helped to develop and support three lines of biomedical assay reagents, managed an intellectual property portfolio, and coordinated technology licenses and extramural research collaborations. For the last 17 years, she has worked with small companies and research institutions to develop R&D project strategies and fund them through non-dilutive grants and contracts in excess of $30M.

Dr. Rudolph holds a BS from Cook College of Rutgers University, and an MS and PhD in biochemical genetics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She completed postdoctoral research in cell and molecular genetics at the University of Rochester Medical School and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Giacomo Basadonna is the Director of the Global Medical Affairs Division of CMC Consulting. Dr. Basadonna has 25 years in academic surgery. He is the current chairman of the NIAID/NIH Data Safety Management Board with author of 100+ scientific articles and book chapters and is a reviewer for the major medical journals. He is a tenured professor at University of Massachusetts and Yale University Schools of Medicine; Fellow of the American College of Surgeons; Director, UMass Organ Transplantation Division and Yale University Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Services. Dr. Basadonna received his MD and PhD, University of Milan.

Mitchell Sanders is a Senior Partner of the Global Medical Affairs Division of CMC Consulting. He is serial entrepreneur with 30+ years’ experience in securing capital for medical device, biotech, and life science startups. In the past 15 years, Sanders has secured $22M in non- dilutive financing, including 9 SBIR grants. He is an expert in clinical and translational research and is a reviewer for the Wound Healing Society (WHS), CIMIT, and MassVentures. He has authored over 12 peer-reviewed publications and is lead inventor on 27 worldwide patents in medical device and in vitro diagnostics. Sanders has a BS in Biology/Latin Language and Literature from Boston University, an MS and PhD from WPI in Molecular Biology and Biomedical Sciences, and post-doctoral training at the Whitehead Institute/MIT in biochemistry and pathogen genetics.

Art Martin is a senior business advisor/ technology specialist at the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center at Clark University. He advises nearly 200 small business clients and entrepreneurial ventures annually, providing assistance to technology-related startups, including management advice on best practices, business and product development, business planning, access to capital, marketing, operations and other aspects of running a small technology-based business. He also advises clients in business acquisition and turnaround situations.

Martin has been a founder of multiple start-up companies and has more than 40 years of experience as an entrepreneur. Most recently he held the position as President and Chief Executive Office of incubator company FloDesign, Inc. of Wilbraham, MA during the successful spinout of FloDesign Wind Turbine (Ogin, Inc.). He was subsequently instrumental in the spinout of FloDesign Sonics. Under his leadership, FloDesign, Inc. was the recipient of three Phase I and two Phase II SBIR’s. Of particular interest was the successful DOE Phase II that resulted in the design and development of a 1KW Hydrokinetic Water Turbine with integral rim drive generator. Martin was also Founder and CEO of SFA, Inc. where he spent 16 years leading this instrument company specializing in robotic chemistry workstations for the pharmaceutical industry.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Robotics Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters of Education from Boston College.
Al Prescott, Founder and President of Crescent Innovations since 2001, was the WPI Venture Forum Business Plan Contest winner in 2006. Prior to founding Crescent Innovations, he served in senior engineering positions with Anika Therapeutics, Raytheon and Copley Pharmaceutical. He began his career as a process engineer with W.R. Grace. Prescott, who holds four patents, earned his BS in chemical engineering from WPI and his MS in chemical engineering from UMass Lowell.
Daniel Lilly brings the perspective of government procurement to the evening’s conversations. A Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and government sales advisor for the Procurement Technical Assistance Center within the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network’s Southeast Regional Office in New Bedford, Mass. since 1999, Lilly has experience with program management and technology sales management to the government and to Fortune 500 businesses. State director of the Rhode Island Procurement Technical Assistance Center for seven years, and previously National Legislative Director for the Association of Government Marketing Assistance Specialists (AGMAS), Lilly has also been a member and board member of the Rhode Island Council on Logistics Systems and Engineering Excellence. He is a graduate of Fordham University and received an MBA from the University of Massachusetts.

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