Our Team

Our Network of more than 100 staff and consultants spans across generations, regions and backgrounds. We are energetic, diverse and fully committed to the success of our clients. Get to know our leadership staff or visit our location page to view more about our staff who range from current or former business owners to practicing attorneys, angel investors, procurement experts, former bankers, marketers, web designers, CPAs, student interns and more.

We speak: Arabic, Farsi, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, and Spanish

Directors

LaunchPad SBDC Consultants and Staff

SBDC @ UCI Beall Applied Innovation Consultants and Staff

EPIC SBDC Consultants and Staff

BillWaldo (1)

Bill Waldo

Director, SBDC @ UCI Beall Applied Innovation

Areas of Expertise

  • Sales and Marketing
  • Food Service
  • Go-to-Market Strategies
  • Funding

 

Experience

Bill was the founder of a food service, sales, and marketing company that grew to over 85 employees with offices throughout Southern Nevada and Southern California. After more than 25 years, he decided on an exit strategy. Once he completed the sale of his company, he joined TechCoast Angels and has been an active investor, Membership Chairman, and Board Member for 14 years. Bill joined the SBDC as a Senior Consultant in 2008, and has counseled over 900 different clients and assisted them in raising over $120 million.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is: 

Maintain passion and enthusiasm, and nothing will stop you.

 

Make an Appointment!

 
MikeHill (1)

Michael Hill

Director

Areas of Expertise

  • Financial Analysis
  • Business and Sales Strategy
  • Equity Capital
  • Brand Development
  • Prototype Design 

 

Experience

Michael is a 25-year entrepreneur and angel investor. As an entrepreneur, he created, launched, and exited two software companies and one professional service firm serving the dental industry. As an angel investor, he has worked alongside startup entrepreneurs to build operational and development teams, raise capital, and execute sales plans.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is:

Customer before concept.

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Scott Brovsky

Director

Areas of Expertise 

  • Angel and Venture Capital
  • Fundraising and Go-To Market Strategy
  • Deep tech startups
  • Cleantech
  • Agtech
  • Biotech


Experience
Scott has been a Founding Executive of five tech startups including Mobile Games Studio, Muti Labs, and the Temecula-based sports tech company, NZN Labs/LIT Pro. As a brand marketing executive, Scott has a successful track record in launching and driving global product revenue for leading entertainment companies like Disney and Marvel. Scott has a Humanities honors degree from The University of Texas, Austin where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

The best advice I have ever been given is: 
Immunity from what other people think can lead to outsized results. Don’t spend too much time tranquilized by the trivial.

DavidFriedman-min

David Friedman

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Marketing & Sales
  • Strategic & Product Planning
  • Operations
  • Technology 
  • Management

     

Experience

David is a former tech executive with a couple of engineering degrees and an MBA in Econometrics. He has been a small business consultant for about 10 years and has experience working in smaller technology and service companies. 

 

The best advice I have ever been given is: 

Focus and PODFU (plan, organize, delegate and follow-up).

 

Make an Appointment!

 

Elsa Kondri - Elsa Kondri Headshot-min

Elsa Kondri

Administrative Assistant

Areas of Expertise

  • Pitch Decks

 

Experience

Elsa is an experienced technology analyst and small business development professional with expertise in technology evaluation and entrepreneur development in the life sciences and high-tech industries. She is skilled in building partnerships with academic institutions, commercial enterprises, nonprofit sectors, and investors. Elsa received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is:

The greatest mistake is to be afraid of making one

 

Languages

Farsi


Joseph Wyno Headshot (1)

Joseph Wyno

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Planning
  • International Trade
  • Supply Chain Retail
  • Sales & Distribution
  • Financial Analysis 

 

Experience

As a former small business owner, Joseph prides himself on giving expert advice on strategy, problem-solving, and developing skills to SBDC clients. Whether a client is a startup or a seasoned business, he will spot challenges, implement solutions, and achieve goals. Joseph has worked as a business consultant in 8 countries ranging from Europe to Asia. 

 

The best advice I have ever been given is: 

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” – In other words, plan, plan more, and execute.

 

 

Languages

Japanese 

 

Make an Appointment!

 

 

Kenneth Stanigar - Kenneth Stanigar Headshot-min

Kenneth Stanigar

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Finance
  • M&A
  • Sales
  • Operations

 

Experience

Kenneth’s experience is primarily in corporate strategy and finance in large telecom, where he had years of experience doing M&A and business development. He was a key player in the company’s strategy to acquire relatively new companies in non-traditional areas of telecom and to internally develop a portfolio of startup entities to explore opportunities beyond its core telecommunications business.  He spent several years as CFO of one such entity operating in the video gaming industry.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is: 

If you haven’t failed, then you haven’t tried hard enough.

 

Make an Appointment!

 
 

Kevin Nicusanti

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Marketing 
  • Product Development
  • Channel Management
  • Sales and Account Planning Management
  • eCommerce
 

Experience
Kevin has 30 years of experience as a corporate marketing and sales leader in several Fortune 500 companies. He now owns and operates a branded and patented automotive parts manufacturing and eCommerce company called Vent Tabs. He is heavily engaged with Amazon, eBay, Etsy, CARiD, and his company’s website. Some of his top achievements are earning patents in 2020 and building a successful eCommerce business. 

The best advice I have ever been given is:
Sit in the consumer’s seat and understand the full set of requirements to elate the end-user. This will make most brands successful in the long term.


Make an Appointment!

 

 

Marc Bellotti - 203810012-min

Marc Bellotti

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Life-Sustaining Systems
  • Drug and Device Systems
  • Intellectual Property
  • Biomedical Development

 

Experience
Marc is highly regarded as the product of a medical system development executive, experienced at leading organizations to innovate, develop and deliver patient-based medical and therapeutic systems and associated ancillaries. He is known for bridging the gaps between business needs, customer needs, and technology. He is also renowned for solving complex technical and organizational problems. Marc offers a track record of successfully growing organizations via process-driven product and pipeline development. 

The best advice I have ever been given is: 
If someone offers unsolicited advice, ask if they have ever done what they are telling you about. If they say yes, take notes- if they say no, walk away.

Make an Appointment!

 
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Paul Symczak

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Business development
  • Operations management
  • Board of Directors management

 

Experience

Paul has been advising start-up tech and med-tech companies for over 10 years at several SBDCs in the Southern California region. He uses the LaunchPad process to assist them in refining their investment presentations. His background is in high tech, including working with large telecom companies in new ventures and new business development.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is: 

“A long illness is always fatal.”  Don’t continue to pursue something that is a lost cause.  Move on.

 

Make an Appointment!

 

R J Teno - RJ Headshot 3-21-2018 (1)-min

RJ Teno

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Management
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Finance
  • Operations

 

Experience

RJ has over 35 years in real estate and mortgage and has consulted for oil supply, hospitality, construction, and auto repair companies. With over 20 years C-Suite, RJ has extensive expertise in management. 

 

The best advice I have ever been given is:

It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get up. Failure is a blessing.

 

Make an Appointment!

 

 

Shaun Sanders

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Marketing and Branding
  • Commercialization
  • Pitch Decks
  • Investor Presentations
  • Operations

 

Experience

Shaun works with companies of all sizes but is particularly passionate about startups and small businesses. In 2014, he managed the creation of an angel syndication network that tied together resources and members from more than a dozen investment groups throughout the country. Later, Shaun joined other local investors in building out the startup-focused Innovation Institute at the University of California, Irvine. Currently, in addition to advising and working with numerous startups, which has included Reddit, Hipmunk, and several Y Combinator portfolio companies, he invests much of his time into further developing the Southern California startup ecosystem.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is:

In the end, the “A Students” work for the “B Students,” the “B Students” lease their buildings from the “C Students,” and the “D Students” show up on a red carpet to dedicate the building.

 

Make an Appointment!

 

 

 
tom mattoon - tommattoon-min

Tom Mattoon

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • General Management
  • Finance
  • Operations

     

Experience

Tom has scaled businesses from startups to over $1B. He has experience working with companies in a range of fields including Medtech, computing, communications, and software.

 

Make an Appointment!

 
HanahKhaled

Hanah Khaled

Marketing Manger

Areas of Expertise

  • Digital and Social Media Marketing
  • Marketing Strategy and Brand Management
  • Website Development
  • PPC Management
  • Operations

 

Experience

Hanah manages the marketing for the entire network by maintaining brand identity and advertising. She is typically curating content, analyzing post-performance, and developing promotional campaigns. She has worked on state-wide initiatives that have helped small businesses. She has her Master’s in Business from the University of California, Irvine, a dual Bachelor’s in Business Administration Marketing and Business Administration Entrepreneurship from California State University, San Bernardino, and her Associates in Baking and Pastry from The Art Institute of the Inland Empire.


The best advice I have ever been given is:
Don’t take criticism from people you wouldn’t take advice from

Languages
Arabic

 

 

Isabelle Bart

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Business Planning
  • Marketing/Digital Marketing
  • Communications/PR
  • Market Research
 

Experience
Isabelle currently leads a social enterprise incubator and accelerator, helping impact start-ups build scalable and sustainable businesses. Isabelle has been an Innovation Advisor/Expert-in-Residence at the UCI Wayfinder incubator since 2015. Her first job out of business school was CRM consultant. She has led digital transformation and medtech teams in her previous position, resulting in unprecedented growth in annual membership for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses in 2017.

The best advice I have ever been given is:
Just go for it

Languages
French and Spanish

Make an Appointment!

 

Laura Beken - Laura.Beken-min

Laura Beken

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software
  • Pitch Decks
  • Go-to-Market Strategy

     

Experience

Laura Beken specializes in working with startups in the tech and healthcare space (life science and medical device/apps). Equity funding, strategy, and SBIR/STTR government funding are her specialties. She has degrees in Psychology, Visual Arts/Media, and a Healthcare MBA.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is: 

Life begins on the edge of your comfort zone. 

 

Make an Appointment!

 
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Molly Schmid

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • SBIR, STTR
  • Biotech startups

 

Experience

Molly Schmid has had distinguished careers in both academia and in the biotechnology industry.  In the Molecular Biology department at Princeton University, she raised over $1.2MM in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and American Cancer Society.  Research findings from her laboratory led her to the biotech industry, she was part of executive teams that raised over $100MM in funding through venture capital, corporate partnerships, public markets, and US and Canadian federal research grants. Molly has been part of the Southern California entrepreneurial community since 2005.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is: 

Go Long!

 

Make an Appointment!

 
 
Philip Topham-min

Philip Topham

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Pitch Decks
  • Strategic Marketing and Operations
  • Software
  • Healthcare 

 

Experience

Philip Topham is a renaissance man with a wide breadth of interests and accomplishments. As part of the executive team, Philip has experienced the wild ride when a traditional company gets a $20M venture capital infusion to become the next big thing. He has also built a company without venture backing from zero to profitability selling more than $5M to big pharma and changed the way the pharmaceutical industry operates. Since joining the SBDC, Philip focuses on helping founders build their capacity and skills so they can see their dreams come true.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is: 

Ideas are worthless. Revenues are priceless. Surround yourself with smart people. Walk around to the other side of the Elephant.

 

Make an Appointment!

 
SteveMednick-min

Steve Mednick

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise 

  • Corporate Law
  • Venture Capital
  • Global Business Development

 

Experience

Steven has launched and been a part of a number of early-stage businesses in technology and health care. He has also been a part of the corporate counsel to a number of small businesses.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is: 

Listen to your customer. 

 

Make an Appointment!

 

Arthur Salyer

Arthur Salyer

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Startups
  • Operations
  • Manufacturing
  • Overseas Operations

 

Experience

Arthur has helped start several startups in the technology, medical, media, and renewable energy industries.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is:

Network. Friends are important in business.

 

Languages

Spanish 

 

Make an Appointment!

 
Christos Kritikos - ChristosKritikos-min

Christos Kritikos

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Product Strategy, Design, and Launch
  • Funding
  • Leadership

 

Experience

Christos Kritikos is a startup coach/mentor, product expert, and the founder of EmergingHumanity.com that helps entrepreneurs tackle startup chaos, gain market traction, and become fundable. His education includes a Master of Science in Computer Science from UCLA and certifications in Design Thinking, Product Management, Brand Management, and Product Marketing. He focuses on consumer-facing products in health & wellness, education, travel and hospitality, economic development, and social impact.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is:

The treasure you seek is found in the work you are avoiding. 

 

Make an Appointment!

 
David Pearson - IMG_0105 headshot (1)

David Pearson

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Marketing
  • Planning

 

Experience

David worked for twenty years in the international pharmaceutical industry before starting his career leading smaller life sciences companies in medical devices, medicinal chemistry services, biotech drug discovery, and biopharma commercialization.  His experience includes winning approval at the FDA for a novel ophthalmology medication and building the commercial organization to launch the product.  David has worked closely with scientific founders to bring new technologies forward and continues to do so in his role as Managing Director of Entrepreneurial Programs at UC Riverside.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is:

“Segment, Segment, Segment – reduce the problem you face to its simplest elements.” – Arnoldo Hax, MIT Sloan

 

Languages

French, German

 

Make an Appointment!

 

 

 
DougKollmyer-min

Doug Kollmyer

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Biotechnology and Biology
  • Technology Research and Development
  • Fundraising
  • Business Formation
  • Patent Strategies


Experience

Doug has a background in marketing, sales management, and business operations. He worked at startups along with small and large companies. Working as the Director of Sales in these companies, he grew revenues from $700 million to $1.3 billion in three years.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is:

Understand your customers’ wants and needs, and your competitors’ weaknesses.

 

Make an Appointment!

 
 
Eric Gosink - Eric Gosink-min

Eric Gosink

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • Biomedical Technology & Cellular Biology Research
  • Intellectual Property
  • Grant & Investor Funding
  • Licensing

 

Experience

Eric has supported the development of early-stage technologies, both in licensing to established enterprises and assisting the creation of many inventor-led startup companies.  He assesses the intellectual property position of many new technologies, evaluates their market potential, and negotiates different types of contracts and licenses not only for commercialization but to support funding and investment in further development. Eric comes from a biotechnology background and has been involved in commercializing many research technologies as well as medical products and hardware, in addition to data, software, agricultural, and manufacturing processes. 

 

The best advice I have ever been given is:

You don’t have to start this company yourself, so tell me why you want to do this.

 

Make an Appointment!

 
 
MartinKlecknerIII-min

Martin Kleckner III

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • SBIR/STTR
  • Equity Capitalization
  • Strategic Planning and Management
  • Finance and Operations
  • Research Translation and Commercialization
  • Healthcare Economics
  • Public Policy, Legislative Advocacy, and Regulatory Affairs

 

Experience

Martin has 29 years of experience in operations and business development in the life sciences, healthcare, and sustainability. He has advised over 115 emerging and Fortune 100 companies with corporate planning and strategy, commercialization, economics, and public policy throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. He founded five venture start-ups with two exits. His SpyFinder, a hidden camera locator, was showcased in an episode of CSI Miami. He is a nationally trained instructor for the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps™ having taught Lean LaunchPad® business model discovery and validation principles at universities throughout the U. S., the University of California, Riverside (an I-Corps site), and at research universities throughout Chile.

 

The best advice I have ever been given is:

Don’t do that! You’ll poke your eyes out!

 

Make an Appointment!

 

 
 
 
Steve Sharp - Steve Photo-min

Stephen Sharp

Business Consultant

Areas of Expertise

  • B2B and B2C Marketing
  • Operations and Related Best Practices
  • Consumer Goods

 

Experience

Stephen has over 39 years’ experience as an executive, board member, and business consultant, spanning startups to F500 companies as a Sr. VP of Corporate Marketing, COO, and General Manager. He has run businesses with a collective value of > $800M. He is currently in his 4th year as an EIR at UCR, with particular depth in marketing, operations, and organizational excellence. Stephen’s background is primarily in manufacturing businesses, though he has mentored teams in medical, Agtech, diagnostics, education, and consumer goods industries. 

 

The best advice I have ever been given is:

The first person speaking in a negotiation loses

 

Make an Appointment!

 
 

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