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Advisory Board

Paul Hayre

Paul turns early-to-growth stage models into world-class businesses, crisply defining and capturing value, devising go-to-market strategies, designing and driving transformational initiatives, and engaging and influencing myriad stakeholders with entrepreneurial zeal. Most recently, he re-aligned all market facing efforts at a data-driven wound care services firm, including negotiating the most advantageous payer contract in company history. Prior, he founded/was an early employee in two med device start-ups, one conducting trials at a Boston-area teaching hospital and the other sold to Medline Industries. Before healthcare, he pivoted two multinationals from declining legacy businesses into high growth, cleantech (solar) sectors and then was interim President/GM of those new divisions. Before that, he acquired and sold lower mid-market industrial companies with private equity firm KODA and founded one of the first online food service firms in Massachusetts, Vmeals Boston (sold to its largest competitor). Early in his career, Paul spent a decade in technology and strategic advisory firms Accenture, Parthenon Group, and Eastwing Group.

Charlie Hipwood

Vice President, MassVentures

Charlie joined MassVentures in 2017 and is a vice president focused on early-stage and seed investment in Massachusetts high-technology companies.

Charlie is a founder and executive with 20+ years of experience in financial services and technology start-ups (founded Fluent Fintech, STAG Capital Partners and AI Exchange) and established corporations (JP Morgan and Level 3 Communications).  As an entrepreneur, Charlie has deep experience in establishing and managing operations, executing investments, developing products and markets, managing the sales pipeline, raising capital, leading teams, growing revenue, and executing strategy to achieve desired outcomes.

Charlie earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business and a BA from Boston College.

In his free time, Charlie enjoys coaching youth sports, community service, and cooking.

Contact Charlie at: chipwood@mass-ventures.com or 617-306-4512

Rebecca Liebman

CEO, LearnLux

Rebecca co-founded LearnLux, a company that makes online learning tools to teach personal finance skills to millennials. Previously, she founded Take Back the Tap at Clark and raised $20,000+ for environmental water projects in New England. She has lived in Kenya while studying microfinance in an informal economy, and has completed environmental research in Germany, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. She’s passionate about working with people to create a better world through the power of technology. In 2015, she has applied for and won one of the coveted spots at the MassChallenge accelerator program; won $50,000 and $10,000 at the 1776 Challenge Festivals; been recognized as one of the world’s most promising edtech startups; named a top 20 out of 2,500 companies in the Forbes $1M Change the World Competition; won the Student Pitch Contest at Tech Sandbox; pitched at the Piranha Pond Pitch Competition, and participated in the Clinton Global Initiative University and a graduate of Clark University.

Nick Pappas

Director, Philips Ventures

Nick has been working with early-stage technology companies for over 15 years, as a venture investor, board member, investment banker and advisor. Prior to Philips, Nick spent seven years as a venture investor with MassVentures, an early-stage technology venture capital firm aimed at fueling high-growth start-ups in Massachusetts. Prior to MassVentures, Nick was a senior technology investment banker with Oppenheimer & Co., SVB Alliant, and Canaccord Genuity (formerly Adams Harkness) both in Silicon Valley and Boston. He holds an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The University of Richmond.

Dr. Yael Schwartz

Dr. Yael Schwartz is a Life Science Executive with a broad record of achievement amassed during 25 years in pharmaceutical drug discovery and product development. Yael received her Ph.D. in Human Physiology from a joint program between the WPI Biomedical Research-Engineering Department, Worcester, MA and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Physiology, Worcester, MA. She conducted post-doctoral research in the Cell Biology and Immunology Department at the University of Massachusetts Medical School while, concurrently, teaching Human Physiology and Immunology at WPI as a Visiting Associate Professor of Biotechnology.

Scientifically, her background is very diverse in multiple therapeutic areas. She built and led several research and product development areas in women’s health, dermatology, CNS disorders, oncology and respiratory diseases. During the course of her drug development career she worked on teams that delivered 5 new chemical entities into clinical practice; Lunesta® for the treatment of insomnia, Brovana® for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease management, Xopenex® for the treatment of bronchoconstriction in asthma, Carvedilol® for the treatment of mild to severe congestive heart failure, and Valstar® for the treatment of urinary bladder cancer.

In 2013, her first two companies, Hygeia Therapeutics and Canterbury Laboratories, were acquired by RestorGenex (RESX). Dr. Schwartz was appointed Director and Executive VP of Preclinical Development with responsibility for the acne, wet-macular degeneration and oncology programs.

In 2016, she founded Or-Genix Therapeutics, a company addressing both the professional and prescription skincare markets.

For the past 10 years, Dr. Schwartz has served on the Board of Trustees of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives. Eleven years ago she co-founded and is currently Emeritus member of the board of a non-profit organization for executive women in the healthcare sector, the NEWISE Club, Boston, MA.

Five years ago, Yael was nominated by the Town of Holden’s Fire Chief for the Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery. In 2015, she was recognized as a “Trail Blazer” and was featured in the WPI Alumni Magazine in an article entitled, “Skin Deep”. Dr. Schwartz has also been the recipient of The Boston Business Journal Innovation All-Star Award. From 2016-2018, she was the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at WPI’s Foisie School of Business.

George Tetler

Partner, Bowditch & Dewey

George Tetler has extensive experience representing business and real estate entities in a wide range of business planning and transactional matters with emphasis on mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations and restructurings. He represents corporate, non-profit, educational, healthcare and financial institution clients in a variety of financings, including asset-based and mortgage financing, project and construction financing, bond financing, and credit enhancement.

George also represents several financial institutions with respect to general corporate and regulatory compliance issues, formation of bank holding companies, national banking associations, and bank subsidiaries, as well as acquisitions of financial institutions. He also counsels secured and unsecured creditors, creditors' committees and debtors in complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.

Jon Weaver

President & CEO, Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI)

Jon is the President & CEO of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), a private, non-profit economic development organization that promotes the life and health sciences across Massachusetts as an economic development advocate and early stage business incubator. As an economic development advocate, MBI has supported the development of the Worcester Biomanufacturing Park, Gateway Park, and Redstone Center. MBI operates three life and health science business incubators across the City of Worcester that provide cost-effective laboratory space, shared equipment, environmental health and safety support, and business assistance. Founded in 1985, MBI has graduated over 95 life science companies that employ over 800 in the regional economy.

Jon received his Bachelors and MBA from Assumption College. He previously served as Vice President, Real Estate at MassDevelopment and Senior Project Manager at the Worcester Business Development Corporation. Prior to assuming the role of President & CEO, Jon served as the Chief Operating Officer of MBI for three years. Jon is a current Board Member of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau and Alumni Advisor to the Worcester Student Government Association. He actively supports several other organizations and was a former member of the Planning Board and Economic Development Committee in the Town of Auburn.

Paul Wengender

President and CEO of Greater Good Imperials, Worcester, MA

Commercial leader of dynamic teams in a variety of settings, including craft brewing, and most notably the Contract Research (CRO) interface in Life Sciences. Proven experience supporting startup projects or new ventures with a passion for working with great scientists and artists. Proficient in mapping, communicating and deploying a plan that require many hats: finance, sales/marketing, R&D (laboratory) operations, and managing stakeholders toward shared goals. Proven track record of converting a strategic vision into high ROI endpoints. Broad network of industry professional colleagues. More than 20 years of experience bringing people together with positive energy to solve problems, create innovative products, and have fun building a company/community.


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