Since then, we’ve supported the launch of hundreds of startups which, combined, have raised over $1.5B in investments. A recent study ranked VentureLab #2 worldwide among university startup incubation and support programs.
The VentureLab team is comprised of engineers, entrepreneurs, and educators with decades of experience in a wide range of industries and startups. We’d be happy to meet you, learn more about your work and interests, and explore ways we can help. If you’ve got questions, and would like to learn more about commercializing research at Georgia Tech, please email any of us to get the conversation started.
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Keith McGreggor, VentureLab’s director, also serves as the lead instructor for the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program for Georgia Tech, a founding node in the I-Corps network. He is also a member of the NSF I-Corps curriculum committee, and gives frequent invited talks on the foundations of evidence-based-entrepreneurship philosophy.
Keith has been an entrepreneur for the last three decades. His first company, Artificial Intelligence Atlanta, was the first AI company in the southeast, which led to a gig in robotics for Lockheed. He has been a founder or co-founder of six software companies.
Keith wrote and shipped the first 3D program and first color paint program for the Macintosh. He developed the color architecture for the Macintosh, wrote substantial portions of the graphics system, and managed the graphics group at Apple Computer in Cupertino. A stint as co-founder of an internet company in the mid 1990s led to Keith becoming a director of engineering at Yahoo! in 1999.
Keith holds a BS, MS, and PhD in computer science from Georgia Tech, and is an instructor of Georgia Tech’s new StartupLab for undergraduates in the College of Engineering. In addition to his role at VentureLab, Keith holds an appointment as Professor of the Practice in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech and is the Associate Director of Georgia Tech’s GVU.
Roberto Casas joined Georgia Tech in 2005 and focuses on accelerating the formation of new startups around the university’s research activity. Roberto works primarily with CoC, ECE and ME and has provided strategic advice to more than 50 start-ups on how to start and grow their businesses; 16 of these companies have already emerged from the program, securing more than $100 million in private and public funding and creating more than 150 jobs in the state. He also supports the EDA University Center Program at Georgia Tech and has assisted other universities in building their own faculty start-up programs.
Prior to VentureLab, he had over 15 years of business development and marketing experience in corporate and start-up environments. His career includes roles at Procter & Gamble, Philips Electronics, and MeadWestvaco, prior to co-founding a virtual entertainment venture. He is a co-founder of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Atlanta and is actively engaged with the MIT admission office in the interviewing and recruitment of applicants for each year’s freshman class. Roberto has an MBA degree from MIT (Sloan) and a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Los Andes University.
Jeff comes to VentureLab after 35 years in the personal computing industry, focusing on communications, mobility, Internet services, and usability. As a software developer and architect from the earliest days of the PC, Jeff has been instrumental in creating applications and co-founding companies that led their markets and were highly regarded by customers and the industry. He co-founded his first startup with his Georgia Tech graduate advisor in 1982, and sold his most recent company, Rover Apps, in 2013.
Jeff earned an AB in Mathematics from Wabash College, and his MS in Information and Computer Science from Georgia Tech. His personal passions include FIRST Robotics and STEM education for young people.
Jon recently returned to VentureLab, after helping cultivate the program just after its inception (2002-2007). During his 5-year tenure at VentureLab, he assisted more than 10 companies that, collectively, attracted more than $300M in funding. In 2007 he was instrumental in forming solar firm Suniva, and left to become its Director of Business Development. He most recently served as CTO & VP of Engineering for Hydro Phi Technologies, where he has two patents pending.
Jon has been active in the Atlanta entrepreneurial community since 1996, serving on the management teams of several telecom and Internet start-ups. He helped co-found the MIT Enterprise Forum of Atlanta in 2000. Jon began his career as an engineer with Rockwell International working on NASA programs. He received his B.S. Degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT in 1983, and an M.S. degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the School of Materials Engineering at Georgia Tech in 1989.
Melissa Heffner creates, modifies, and implements programs centered around evidence-based entrepreneurship and the Lean Startup methodology. The vast majority of her time is spent executing the I-Corps South Node award, which is housed at VentureLab, and on internal commercialization programs. Melissa merges her education and classroom experience with strong writing and editing skills to develop custom curriculum for various clients, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In addition, she teaches customer discovery and business model development at Georgia Tech (Scheller College of Business and GT1000 Startup), Institut Lafayette Georgia Tech (Metz, France), and Grupo Guayacán (Puerto Rico).
Prior to joining VentureLab, Melissa spent her time in curriculum development and manuscript editing with organizations such as Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, CDC, and Georgia State University Department of Biology.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Birmingham-Southern College, and a Master of Arts in Teaching English from Agnes Scott College.
Sara Martin Henderson
Sara joined VentureLab and I-Corps South after pursuing professional opportunities focused on human-centered innovation and experience design. She has consulted a variety of Fortune 500 businesses on cultivating intrapreneurial behaviors and has trained teams on Design Thinking and Service Design. She has also worked on a number of corporate innovation projects that applied customer-centric practices and iterative prototyping techniques. In addition, Sara got a feel for entrepreneurial life while spending time managing a car-sharing start-up in New York.
She holds a BS in Business Administration with areas of focus in Business Economics and Entrepreneurship from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, and a MA in Design Management (Design Thinking) from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Nakia helps researchers commercialize their Biotechnology, Energy, Defense, Military Technology, Education, Government Technology, and Aerospace technology. He also helps them secure investments from a network of federally funded laboratories, universities, and corporations. Throughout his career, he has worked with industry, academia, and government. As a result, Nakia has a unique and deep understanding of the early-stage innovation ecosystem and technology transfer, proven scientific and technical expertise, and decades of operational experience in technology-driven, high-growth companies. He has successfully helped startups and develop businesses worldwide in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria, and Ghana.
Nakia’s passion as a business advisor, deep-tech, deep-science mentor, and startup coach inspires and helps entrepreneurs and startups spun out of university research. A seasoned entrepreneur, Nakia allows entrepreneurs to execute their ideas while guiding them in the total startup journey — from product development and selling to the government, to their go-to-market strategy and customer discovery to scaling a company and getting capital. He has worked with more than 700 startups worldwide, with more than 15,000 hours of classroom time working with entrepreneurs.
Harold started as a software developer for IBM at NASA for Space Shuttle operating systems. After leaving IBM, he became an entrepreneur and investor in companies in telecommunications, financial services, mobile and medical imaging.
Harold has deep experience in fund raising with angels and VC investors, as well as exit experience with public companies. He is enthusiastic to meet all students interested in entrepreneurship and researchers excited to commercialize their work.
Harold studied Information and Computer Science at Georgia Tech, and earned a BBA in Computer and Information Systems from Georgia State University.
Cynthia Sundell, Ph.D.
Cindi has been with Georgia Tech since 2011 where she has provided support in developing strategies for expansion of Georgia Tech’s innovation collaboration efforts with life science industries. In her current role with VentureLab, she scouts the Georgia Tech research enterprise for life science commercialization opportunities, connects researchers with resources and funding opportunities and coaches them through the commercialization process.
Cindi is the former Vice President of Pharmacology for AtheroGenics, Inc, an Emory startup that went public in 2001 and Vice President for Drug Development for Cerenis Therapeutics located in Toulouse, France. Her areas of expertise include discovery, pre-clinical and clinical development strategies for novel drug products. Cindi received her BA in Biology from Rutgers University and PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania.