Industry Experts

Executives, venture capitalists, and seasoned entrepreneurs continue to find the Weiss Tech House to be a worthy investment of their time and talents. Through participation in our distinguished speaker series, PennVention competition and mentoring programs, industry experts provide guidance and critical feedback that helps our students create, develop and commercialize innovative technologies.

We have many opportunities to get involved of varying time commitments. For more information, contact Anne Stamer at stamer@seas.upenn.edu.

Keri P. Mattox

Keri P. Mattox founded ThreeZero Communications in 2006. The firm’s clients include universities, consulting firms, start-up ventures, specialty pharmaceutical companies and technology-based businesses. Mattox has served in management roles in public relations, investor relations, marketing and economic development. She has also held posts at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was Director of Science Marketing and, later, the university’s Director of Economic Development. Her clients have spoken at some of their industry’s largest events and have appeared on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC and in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Inc. and the Washington Post.


Josh Kopelman

Josh Kopelman is a visionary entrepreneur, inventor, venture capitalist and philanthropist. In 1992, while he was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Kopelman co-founded Infonautics Corporation, an Internet information company. In 1996, Infonautics went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Kopelman founded Half.com in July of 1999, and led it to become one of the largest sellers of used books, movies and music in the world. Half.com was acquired by eBay in July 2000 and Kopelman remained with eBay for three years, running the Half.com business unit. Today he runs First Round Capital, a seed-stage venture fund. Kopelman contributes to the strategic plan of the Weiss Tech House and serves as Board Chair of alumnus, Adnan Aziz’s (SAS/SEAS ’04) FirstFlavor, Inc. Josh Kopelman can be found at www.firstround.com


William Schawbel

William Schawbel is the founder and CEO of The Schawbel Corporation, a business he formed in 1981 through the acquisition of two divisions from The Gillette Company. The company excels in the discovery and identification of technologies that lead to innovative, patented consumer products, which it markets itself or licenses through strategic partnerships. Currently his company markets its patented technology in a variety of product categories including personal care, hardware, mosquito repellents, baby products, and candles.Prior to founding The Schawbel Corporation, Mr. Schawbel held senior management positions with The Gillette Company including President of Gillette Japan and President of Braun North America. Mr. Schawbel is a 1961 graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and has served his alma mater as a Trustee, Chair of the Board of Overseers, School of Veterinary Medicine, and Co-Chair of the James Brister Society, Board member of Wharton’s Entrepreneurial School. William Schawbel can be found at www.schawbelcorporation.com Please see the article on William Schawbel in our MOMENTUM Newsletter.


Roger Schiffman

Roger Schiffman is the President and Chief Executive Officer/founder of Zizzle, LLC. Highly regarded in the toy industry, Shiffman has over twenty-five years of experience in marketing, licensing, manufacturing and sales of toy and toy-related products. Shiffman was the cofounder of Tiger Electronics Company, the company that gave the world some of the most popular toys of all time! Furby, Hitclips, Gigapets, Talkboy and Poo-Chi, among many others, were all a part of Tiger’s portfolio. Tiger was sold to Hasbro in 1998. Shiffman has spoken at and mentored student inventors at the Weiss Tech House at the University of Pennsylvania since 2004. He is a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Science and Engineering Board of Overseers and a Wharton School Entrepreneur in Residence. He also serves as a judge for the annual Wharton Business Plan Competition and is an advisor to Chicago’s Interdisciplinary Product Development Class for the University of Illinois. Roger Schiffman can be found at www.zizzle.com


Michael Aronson

Michael Aronson has 25 years as entrepreneur and investor with significant expertise in company formation around business school concepts, software development, capital raising, strategic alliances and joint ventures, financial reporting and tax issues, executive compensation, employment matters and copyright law. Co-founder, CFO, EVP & Board Member of SMG, Inc., a $28M simulation software company, named three times to “Inc. 500″ fastest growing companies list. He is currently a Managing Partner at MentorTech Ventures, early stage investment firm. He has been a Board, Executive and Investment Committee Member for 15+ years, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Michael Aronson can be found at www.mentortechventures.com


Marilyn Montross

Marilyn Montross was named director of Vendor Relations in December 1996. In this position, Montross is responsible for enhancing the vendor experience at QVC and forging new relationships with companies of all sizes to expand QVC’s product assortment. The Vendor Relations department evaluates over 10,000 new inquiries each year helping to fill QVC’s commitment to air approximately 250 new products each week. In addition, Montross and her team are responsible for the management of the Vendor Advisory Board, vendor website, vendor training, vendor conference and awards and product search events. In conjunction with product search initiatives, Montross’ passion for entrepreneurship has led to strategic alliances with a number of high profile companies and organizations seeking to assist entrepreneurs, particularly woman business owners.

Montross joined QVC in 1994 as director of casual apparel and outerwear. In that position, she was responsible for setting the strategic merchandising direction as well as product and vendor development of the category.
Prior to joining QVC, Montross enjoyed a 15-year career with Bloomingdale’s department store serving in various capacities in the Buying and Merchandising departments – including men’s and women’s designer and bridge apparel, children’s apparel and fashion accessories. Montross received her bachelor of arts degree in Business from Immaculata College, Immaculata, Pa. and her associates degree in Buying and Merchandising from Tobe Coburn, New York, N.Y.


Past Speakers 2003-2006
Michael Aronson, MentorTech Ventures
Alan Cook, Founder of 726 Ventures
Bill Dresselhaus, IDSA
Josh Kopelman, Founder of Half.com
Shawn Marcell, Acting CEO and COO of Linguagen Corp
Jay Minkoff, President and CEO of First Flavor, Inc.
Marilyn Montross, Director Vendor Relations, QVC
Jason Olim, Founder of CDNow
John Osher, Inventor of the Crest Spinbrush
Jeff Smith, Founder and CEO of Lunar Design
Jon Spector, former Director at McKinsey & Company and CEO of two venture-backed corporations
Janet Stites, Founder of AlleyCat News
Ron Wilson, Former Founder of 180’s Inc


Past PennVention Judges & Mentors 2005-2006
2006 PennVention Judges
Joshua Kopelman, Managing Director, First Round Capital
Dean Lewis, Chief Financial Officer, Science Center
Randy Ronning, Executive VP & Chief Merchandising Officer, QVC
William Schawbel, Founder & CEO, Schawbel Corporation

2006 Achievement Round Judges
Martin Bispels, Director, TV Sales and Strategy, QVC
Peter Bressler, Principal, Bresslergroup
Phil Chan, NJTC Venture Fund
Steve Christini, Founder & President, Christini Technologies, Inc.
Alan Cook, Founder & President, Lucky Litter, LLC
Dan Doorley, President, EDGE Product Development
T.O. Epps, President, TO Epps & Associates
David Ganz, Founder & CEO Relationship 1
Lawrence Gelburd, Lecturer, The Wharton School
Mitchell Glass, Senior Vice President & CSO, University City Science Center
Paul Hynek, CEO, Spitfire Ventures
Matt Kressy, Principal, Designturn Inc.
Patrick Lee, Quaker BioVentures
Shawn Marcell, Managing Director, Science Center Capital
Karen Meidlinger, Corporate Office of Science & Technology, Johnson & Johnson
Jay Minkoff, President & CEO, First Flavor, Inc.
Howard Morgan, President, Arca Group, Inc.
Marilyn Montross, Director of Venture Relations, QVC
John Osher, Inventor & Entrepreneur
John Russell, General Manager, QVC ProductWorks
James Sheward, CEO, Co-founder & Director, Fiberlink Communications Corp
Roger Schiffman, President & CEO Zizzle, LLC
Jeff Smith, Co-founder, CEO, Lunar Design
Chris Starr, Managing Director & VP of Investments, Innovation Philadelphia
Brett Topche, NJTC Venture Fund
John Ulrich, Co-Founder & Principal, Foster Chamberlain, LLC
Allyn Vineberg, President & CEO, Access IT
Stephen Wilcox, Founder & Principal, Design Science

2005 PennVention Judges:
Albert Charpentier, CEO, CTO and Founder, Intellifit
Kim Maguire, Executive Vice President & Chief Merchandising Officer, QVC
Shawn Marcell, Managing Director, Science Center Capital
John Nano, President and CEO, Competitive Technologies
John Osher, Chairman, Ridgewood Industries, Inc.

2005 Achievement Round Judges:
Peter Bressler, Founder & CEO, Bresslergroup
Clay Burns, Vice President, Smart Design
Philip P. Chan, MD, PhD, NJTC Venture Fund
Steve Christini, President, Chrisitini Technologies, Inc.
Alan Cook, Principal 728 Ventures
Aris Despo, Vice President Business Development, Competitive Technologies, Inc.
Dan Doorley, President, EDGE Products
Payl Hynek, CEO, Spitfire Ventures
Joshua Kopelman, Managing Director, First Round Capital
Marilyn Montross, Director of Vendor Relations, QVC
David Preuss, Principal psl marketing
John Russell, General Manager, QVC
John Schaffeld, Vice President Product Development & Engineering, Proteus Design
William Schawbell, CEO, The Schawbel Corporation
Marvin Lee Segal, President, Segal Associates, LLC
Roger Schiffman, President & CEO, Zizzle, LLC
Christopher Starr, Managing Director & Vice President of Investments, Innovation Philadelphia
Brett Topche, NJTC Venture Fund
Lisa Tweardy, Director of Research & Development and Business Development, Jerome Medical
John Ulrich, Principal, Foster Chamberlain, LLC
Stephen Wilcox, Principal, Design Science
Ron Wilson, Co-Founder & Chairman, 180’s
Rich Roegel, Merchandising Director, QVC

2005 PennVention Mentors and Workshops:
Claire-Juliette Beale, Director Strategy & Business Development, Bresslergroup
Douglas Bernstein, Counsel, Lowenstein Sandler, PC
Peter Bressler, Founder and CEO, Bresslergroup
Beverly Lubit, Lowenstein Sandler, PC
John Russell, General Manager, QVC Product Works
Raymong Thek, Lowenstein Sandler, PC
Mathieu Turpault, Senior Designer, Bresslergroup
Marvin Weinberger, Managing Partner, MIW Associates

2005 Mini-Mentoring Marathon
Douglas Bernstein, Lowenstein Sandler PC
Peter Bressler, Principal, Bresslergroup
Lawrence Gelburd, Lecturer, The Wharton School of Business
Christopher Joyce, President, PC Support, Incorporated
Daniel Kauffman, MBA Candidate, The Wharton School
Jay Minkoff, President & CEO, First Flavor, Inc.
Marilyn Montross, Director of Vendor Relations, QVC
John S. Ondik, Principal, The Ondik Group
Louis Padulo, President Emeritus, Science Center
Robert Padulo, President, iWorkwell, Inc.
David Pensak, Founder & CTO, VI Laboratories
Allison Rae, Program Development Manager, Paramount Industries, Inc.
Bryan Smith, PhD, Manager, Materials Research, DePuy Orthopaedics
Philip M. Sugar, CEO, Smart Buttons Associates
Fred Zimmerman, Office of the General Counsel, Department of the Navy
Michael D. Zisman, Managing Director, Internet Capital Group