• John Max Miller John Max Miller

    Bio: John has been a serial entrepreneur for over 23 years. Having started, build and sold 6 businesses he has a passion for startups. His goal is to help other entrepreneurs see their dreams come true and grow jobs in the Tech Valley. For John's full resume visit

  • Christine Tate Christine Tate

    Bio: Christine Tate is an Angel Investor actively involved in early stage and seed investing. She serves on the due diligence committee of the NYC-based ARC Angel Fund and is active in the Upstate New York startup community. She serves as a judge for several pitch events. She is also in the early stages of her own start-up based in the Capital District. Prior to becoming involved in early stage investing, Christine worked for Cargill, Inc. in a variety of executive level positions, including Overseas Business Development based in Asia, Worldwide Audit, Tech and IT Development, and corporate level system and strategic efficiencies. She managed the financial and sales service departments of a $1B telecommunications company and served as Business Development Manger for an Asian manufacturing sourcing company.

  • Harold Grunenwald Harold Grunenwald


    Bio: Waldo is a polyglot Systems Engineer who enjoys providing technical solutions to business problems. A geek at home or the office, he believes in investing effort now (by automating as much as possible) in the hopes of later laziness dividends. He's run and taught the running of classified networks in the Marine Corps, innovated and saved the day at a large corporate research facility, improved the operations of two Heath Insurance companies, and has quickly come to appreciate the idea of DevOps. He has named writing a tool to monitor Exchange 2003 as a "fun" project. Also, he thinks that he probably should include the word "cloud" somewhere in here. When not geeking out, he enjoys wood turning and playing with his kids, and most recently he's writing a bio while he should be coding some Cocoa/Objective-C...

  • Ryan Silva Ryan Silva

    Bio: Ryan Silva joined the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce in February 2004 as Membership Manager and was promoted in 2007 to Membership Director. In August of 2008 he was promoted to his current position of Director of Business Development for the Chamber's newlycreated Economic Development Partnership (EDP). Through the EDP, Silva’s primary goal is to retain businesses in Rensselaer County by reaching out to provide professional direction and resources that answer the needs of the business community. Ryan has worked with over 1,000 businesses looking to start up, expand, or relocate in Rensselaer County. In his position, Ryan assists companies with expansion planning, writing and evaluating business plans, directing them to financing options, and navigating government regulatory assistance. He also administers SmartUp, the Chamber’s entrepreneurial training program. In his membership development role, Ryan was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Gold, Silver and Bronze Level Awards from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). In addition, he also had an instrumental role in the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce qualifying as “One of the Top Three Chambers in the Nation” for Membership Development and Program Excellence for 2006-07. Ryan currently sits on the Board of Associates for the College of Saint Rose. He also sits on the Troy Pride Board of Directors and the Board of Directors for the Troy YMCA as the Board Development Chair and Chair Elect. He is actively involved with the Chamber’s Economic Government and Affairs Committee and the Ambassador Committee. He currently sits on the I90 Corridor Committee for the Town of North Greenbush and the Comprehensive Plan Committee for the Town of Brunswick. He is an active member of the Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Brokers (CIREB) and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Ryan also sat on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Board of Directors as the Communications chair and the Troy City Hall Relocation and Advisory Committee. He graduated from St. Rose in 2003 with a BA in Public Communications, and concentration in History and Political Science.

  • Mitchell Patterson Mitchell Patterson

    Bio: Mitchell Patterson is the Managing Director for the Emerging Business Portfolio at CenterState CEO. In this role Mitchell manages a 4 million dollar IP commercialization fund as well as the investment portfolio of the NY's Creative Core Emerging Business Competition. On top of these efforts Mitchell leads an initiative to attract and develop a network of capital partners from outside of the region to support emerging and existing business growth and attraction. As the Director of Business Retention & Expansion Mitchell provides services focused on business expansion and retention; advancing emerging industry sectors; and maximizing the region’s innovation and technology assets. Mitchell provides support for a multi-county regional growth strategy with a network of business leaders, public officials, economic development organizations, and high education administration. Aggressively seeking to bridge the gap between the downstate capital groups and the upstate business community. Member of the Onondaga County business retention team. Mitchell is the founder of Syracuse Startup Weekend and a Startup Weekend Facilitator throughout New York State. Mitchell is a graduate of Manhattan College.

  • Laura Mann Laura Mann

    Bio: In 2006, Laura formed a partnership as one of three founders of Glenmont Partners LLC and Glenmont Venture Capital Management where she sought limited partner investments for deployment into early-stage technology companies. She previously held a position with the New York State’s Small Business Technology Investment Fund as an Investment Principal and was responsible for sourcing and structuring venture investments in early-stage technology companies throughout New York. From 2009 to March 2011, Laura served in a government relations role at the New York State School Boards Association, advocating on behalf of the school board membership on public education issues related to school finance and management, state aid and real property taxation. Currently as the Program Director for Business Growth Services at the Center for Economic Growth (CEG), Laura oversees the portfolio of services focused on growth and enhancement of early stage manufacturing and technology companies throughout the region. She provides oversight to a number of programs including: SmartStart-UNYTech Venture Forum, Venture BPlan, Pre-Seed Workshop, and Accelerate518; and also serves companies through the Watervliet Innovation Center business accelerator and incubator program. She is active in the regional entrepreneur community and is an Advisory Committee member of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at RPI. A life-long resident of the Capital Region she earned a B.A. in English Literature at the University at Albany and an MBA at RPI’s Lally School of Management and Technology.

  • Brendan Reuss Brendan Reuss

    Bio: Brendan is charged with leading new Sales, Business Development, and Marketing efforts for Gavant Software. He brings over 15 years of high tech sales experience from the Boston, MA area where he was working with clients such as; Calix Networks, Texas Instruments, Motorola, Nokia, and Cisco Systems. He has been managing the lifecycle of customer relationships and brokering multi-faceted large scale contracts to various vertical markets. In the past, Brendan has received many Sales Awards and accolades for new business development including; Top Sales Performer 2007 and 2008. Prior to joining Gavant Software Brendan was working for a local Telecommunications company where he was in charge of Government Sales for the State of New York. Brendan attended Nazareth College of Rochester and Hudson Valley Community College where he earned his degree in Marketing.

  • Annmarie Lanesey Annmarie Lanesey

    Bio: Annmarie Lanesey, co-founder and President of Greane Tree Technology, oversees business operations, project management, creative direction, and strategic development for the custom software development firm located in Troy, NY. Ms. Lanesey holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Art Media and Communication, and a Master of Fine Arts in Integrated Electronic Arts, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to founding Greane Tree Technology, Ms. Lanesey had a successful career as a new media consultant, producing award-winning work for clients such as Deutsche Bank, the Schenectady Museum and Suits-Bueche Planetarium, and Morse Zehnter Associates. Ms. Lanesey's work as a creative new media artist has also received international recognition, winning the 2004 Grand Prix ‘Palm Secateur D’or’ (highest honor) at the Kansk International Video Festival, and screening at over 100 contemporary art venues worldwide, including the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, the Museo de Arte Modern in Buenos Aires, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.

  • Nicole Messier Nicole Messier

    Bio: Nicole has 10+ years in public relations, working in both Silicon Valley and New York for Fortune 1000 companies and start-ups. She has been named by PR News Magazine as a Top 15 PR Professional to Watch and was the Business Review's 40 under 40 in 2011. In 2009, she began her own agency Portfolio PR Group, later acquired by Overit Media. As a part of the Overit family, Nicole leads the public relations division and manages all media relations, content, social media and SEO for our clients. Nicole is instrumental in building national awareness for our clients. You can view the headlines our PR team achieves here. Nicole has managed public relations programs for Palm, Adobe, Citrix, Check Point, Kogeto's Dot, Opposites Connect, Big Frame Media, StarCast, SiGNa Chemistry, Apprenda, Wanova, Adyen, Mendix and many more.

  • Erik Bunaes Erik Bunaes


    Bio: Erik is the Principal, President and driving force behind Endorphin Advisors, a unique management consulting firm and marketing agency. He is a corporate-trained business development professional who thrives on brainstorming new development and marketing strategies with business owners, and is fascinated by the inner workings, operations, finances and marketing of all businesses. Erik gained valuable training and knowledge from many years working for two large corporations - Marsh McLennan and Towers Perrin – in assignments in New York, London, Philadelphia and San Francisco. During this time, he gained significant expertise in business development, operations, marketing, business planning, accounting and financial statements and projections. After completing a comprehensive management training program, Erik spent almost a decade traveling extensively around the US working with existing clients and developing new business. This included work with insurance carriers, agencies, managing general agencies, self-insured funds and risk retention groups, all in various lifecycle stages from start-up ventures to large, publicly-traded entities. During the first dot-com boom, starting in 1995, Erik moved to Silicon Valley to join an Internet start-up. At the insurance portal,, he directed a marketing program for a cutting-edge online marketplace where insurance agents advertised and sold their products. In a six month period, Erik created more than 60 new corporate client relationships for this online marketplace. Erik left the corporate world in 2005 to start Endorphin Advisors, then started Endorphin Business Center LLC in 2011. Complementing his business career, Erik is a dedicated cyclist and an accomplished, veteran alpine ski racer. Erik’s continuing love of alpine ski racing spans more than 25 years. One of Erik’s personal goals is to again coach alpine ski racing. Erik, along with his wife, their two young children and their famous yellow lab, Caper, now enjoy living in the Albany, New York area.

  • Michael Ridley Michael Ridley

    Bio: Michael Ridley, Founder and CEO of Deadmans Productions, LLC, a startup company in Troy, New York that focuses on mobile and social gaming. Deadmans has been producing games for less than a year, and in that time it has produced and released five games that have received numerous acknowledgements including Top 10, App of the Week, Featured, and New and Noteworthy on the Apple iTunes store. Deadmans Productions has had downloads in 27 countries and continues to grow its customer base. In addition to managing Deadmans and his team, Michael also works for the New York State Department of Economic Development (NYSTAR) as the Director of High Performance Computing. Michael was instrumental in building the New York State High Performance Computing Consortium (HPC2) which includes RPI, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Stony Brook and NYSERNET. Michael represents New York State on the FCC Emergency Response and Interoperable Communications (ERIC) technical committee, and has advised angel investors on technology investments and continues to assist small businesses on how to build a winning strategy and products. Michael has a BA from Utica College of Syracuse University in Public Administration and Economics and a MS from the College of Saint Rose in Computer Information Systems.

  • Michael Campion Michael Campion

    Bio: Owner, Northeast Multimedia As a classically trained musician, Michael has worked as an engineer, composer and producer on projects ranging from iPhone game development to orchestration for international symphonic ensembles. In addition to his work in the creative side of the music industry, Michael is an active business consultant who has worked with all levels of talent ranging from regional artists, to working directly with Grammy award winning perofrmers. Leveraging his unique experience and education, Michael brings a fresh approach to corporate marketing, branding and strategy with his company Northeast Multimedia. Northeast Multimedia provides web, video, internet marketing and creative services to clients in the arts, small business, non-profit, educational and corporate sectors. Michael holds multiple degrees and certificates from SUNY Brockport, Schenectady County Community College, Berklee College of Music and the University at Albany.