Seasoned entrepreneurs bridge the gap from lab to startup
OTD’s Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) engage directly with Harvard research groups to help advance technologies toward the launch of a startup.
Whether through informal conversations over coffee, or more involved discussions that may develop over weeks or months, EIRs are ready to share their experience.
EIRs become familiar with the latest research in Harvard labs, give advice on entrepreneurship and innovation to those who ask, and — when the right opportunity presents itself — help catalyze new startups around Harvard technologies.
To connect with a current EIR, simply introduce yourself via the contact links below. Or, to inquire about becoming an OTD EIR yourself, please contact us.
Harvard researchers may also wish to take advantage of OTD's Expert In Residence (XIR) program. The XIR program is designed to enable one-off conversations with experts in OTD's wider network, to quickly address tough questions in technology commercialization.
Current entrepreneurs in residence
Michael Natan, PhD
Michael has over 25 years of entrepreneurial activity in the life science space. He is currently Principal at 3PoundFlax, LLC, helping seed-stage life science companies with strategy, IP, operations, and financing...
Michael has over 25 years of entrepreneurial activity in the life science space. He is currently Principal at 3PoundFlax, LLC, helping seed-stage life science companies with strategy, IP, operations, and financing. He was previously President, CEO and a Director of Ultivue Inc. Prior to joining Ultivue, he was an Executive Director of New Business Development for Cabot Corporation. In 2010, Cabot acquired Oxonica Materials Inc., for which Michael had served as CEO. Prior to Oxonica, Michael was a co-founder and CEO of Nanoplex Technologies Inc. (acquired by Oxonica), and served as CTO and then as VP of Business Development for SurroMed, the first biomarker discovery company. Michael started his professional career as an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor with tenure, and then Full Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University, from 1991 to 1999. His education comprised a degree in Chemistry with Honors from Yale University (1981), a Ph.D. in Chemistry from MIT (1986), and postdoctoral research at Northwestern University (1987-1991).
OTD’s EIR program is designed to allow experienced entrepreneurs to adapt to the needs and circumstances of the researchers and their innovations.
EIRs can make connections to prospective investors, and provide advice, mentorship and coaching about the startup process. They will offer counsel on business models, fundraising strategies, how to pitch an idea and how to address the inevitable unexpected business challenges.
When you talk about transferring research from the academic to the real world, the transfer is rarely successful without having talented, dedicated individuals to play a major role in that trajectory.
Isaac T. Kohlberg,
Senior Associate Provost and Chief Technology Development Officer
Past entrepreneurs in residence
Marcus Lovell Smith
Most recently CTO at Google Fiber, Marcus has had a long career in start-up companies, both here and the UK...
Most recently CTO at Google Fiber, Marcus has had a long career in start-up companies, both here and the UK, in areas including healthcare, biotech, environmental services, wireless technology, and real estate. Locally, Marcus has been CEO of SensAble Technologies, Microbia, and the non-profit Diagnostics For All, and has consulted on many others. He holds an MA from Oxford in Chemistry.
Karen is the founder/CEO of Marketing Matters, a consulting firm specializing in strategy and new product development...
Karen is the founder/CEO of Marketing Matters, a consulting firm specializing in strategy and new product development through commercialization. She has successfully guided the development and implementation of profitable growth strategies across a wide variety of markets, including industrial, microelectronics, life science, and pharma/biotech. Prior to founding Marketing Matters, Karen spent 20 years as a commercial executive, where she held global leadership roles for Millipore, Thermo Fisher’s Web Gauging business, Brooks Automation, and ALPCO Diagnostics. She is passionate about helping teams cultivate their ideas and turn them into reality. She is a mentor for ‘BUILD’, an organization committed to developing and nurturing entrepreneurship in under-resourced high school communities, as well as MIT’s ‘delta ν’ program, a program for MIT student entrepreneurs to help them build viable, sustainable ventures. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a minor in business from the University of Vermont.
Fred von Gottberg, PhD
For more than 20 years, Fred has led business and technical teams in the specialty chemicals/materials science industry...
For more than 20 years, Fred has led business and technical teams in the specialty chemicals/materials science industry. Most recently Fred served as Senior Vice President of Cabot and President of Purifications Solutions, the world’s second largest and most diversified manufacturer of activated carbon. Prior to this, Fred held the role of Vice President and General Manager of a New Business segment in Cabot. The segment included various new business ventures and early phase scouting activities. He successfully led efforts to take early product concepts and business ideas to commercial reality, ensuring rapid growth, manufacturing scale-up and getting business to cash flow positive. Fred is a chemical engineer by training, having obtained his PhD and Master of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his bachelor’s degree from University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Fred also attended the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.
Paul A. Baier, MBA
As an entrepreneur and software executive, Paul has commercialized technology at four VC-backed startups...
As an entrepreneur and software executive, Paul has commercialized technology at four VC-backed startups. He is passionate about the power of technology and the process of bringing ideas from the white board to revenue generating businesses. His focus is on advanced software (AI, machine learning, blockchain, etc.) across various applications including healthcare, supply chain, and fin tech. Recently, Paul was VP of Products at FirstFuel Software, which used AI/machine learning to assess commercial building energy efficiency at scale (continuous analysis of hundreds of thousands of building energy data). He was also SVP of Products for Authoria (purchased by private equity firm) and CEO of PurchasingCenter.com, a b2b procurement service. During the dot-com boom, he was Director of B2B at Open Market, one of the first e-commerce software companies that went public. Paul started 2 non-profits in response to the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and supports several startups as an investor and advisor. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and earned a BA from Kenyon College.
Gus Simiao, MBA
Gus is a business development and operations executive with experience working with startup companies in sensors/robotics, machine learning, energy and mobility...
Gus is a business development and operations executive with experience working with startup companies in sensors/robotics, machine learning, energy and mobility. After consulting for the Boston Consulting Group, Gus started two startups with licensed technologies from the University of Michigan. The first, Vortex Hydro Energy, was a tidal current turbine. Although the technology did not reach commercial viability this venture resulted in an excellent learning experience. The second, Electric Field Solutions, was an electric field sensor used to monitor electronic equipment. This venture was successful and acquired by Willbros Group (NYSE:WG). Gus is now a Principal at CEVG, a venture investment group that invests in early stage companies. Gus is also a consultant and mentor to startups in robotics and energy.
Raffaella Squilloni, MS, MBA
Raffaella is a Co-Founder at Arbothera. Founded by Harvard scientists in the George Church Lab, Arbothera is developing a vaccine platform that harnesses pathogen-sensing pathways...
Raffaella is a Co-Founder at Arbothera. Founded by Harvard scientists in the George Church Lab, Arbothera is developing a vaccine platform that harnesses pathogen-sensing pathways of the innate immune system. Innate immune sensors such as RIG-I, MDA5, or TLR7/8 recognize and sense the conserved nucleic acid structure of pathogens and trigger host innate and adaptive immune response. Arbothera’s vaccines leverage the power of innate immune sensing pathways by disarming viruses that are able to evade these antiviral sensors, or by activating these sensors in the form of self-adjuvanting mRNA vaccines. Arbothera is initially focusing on the development of a LAV platform for combating arboviral threats (Zika and Dengue) and a novel self-adjuvanting mRNA vaccine platform, which can be applied to multiple infectious diseases as well as cancer.
Previously, Raffaella was a Blavatnik Fellow in Life Sciences Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School (HBS) and worked in molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases. She has had a 7-year career in finance on the buy side as an investor; she spent several years at Goldman Sachs International in London (UK) working for their European Special Situations Group hedge fund and on the trading floor. After graduating from HBS in 2010, she worked for a New York-based private equity fund focused on investing in emerging and frontier markets including Latin America. She holds a BSc from the London School of Economics, an MSc from the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago, and an MBA from HBS.
Shahid Azim, MBA
Shahid is a serial entrepreneur, known for leading health start-ups from breakthrough ideas in the labs to building products that can having a meaningful impact on people’s lives...
Shahid is a serial entrepreneur, known for leading health start-ups from breakthrough ideas in the labs to building products that can having a meaningful impact on people’s lives. He has most recently co-founded Nanogenecs, a company focused on bringing next generation molecular diagnostics directly to the consumers at home. He previously co-founded Quanttus in 2013, a next-generation consumer health company grounded in science, analytics, and advanced sensor technology, with the desire to transform personal health. The company raised over $30M in venture capital from leading investors in Silicon Valley.
Prior to Quanttus, Shahid co-founded Lantos Technologies, a company revolutionizing the audiology industry. Lantos Technologies developed the world’s first intra-aural 3D scanning system that enables a custom-fit earpiece to dramatically improve the way people experience hearing aids and earphones. Shahid built Lantos from inception-phase to an FDA-cleared medical device that’s positioned to impact more than 9 million lives a year around the world.
Shahid holds an MBA from Sloan School of Management at MIT, a postgraduate degree in Management from Harvard University, and a Bachelors in Finance from Seattle University. He is an active advisor to technology commercialization efforts at Harvard, Catalyst at Deshpande Center at MIT, and angel investor with MIT Angels Boston chapter.
Nat Harrison, MBA
Nat is an entrepreneur with experience creating new businesses in the energy and materials, robotics, and healthcare industries...
Nat is an entrepreneur with experience creating new businesses in the energy and materials, robotics, and healthcare industries. As a startup founder and manager, Nat has focused on applying technical innovations to new markets. Currently he is co-founder of a startup that gives human-like visual capabilities to robotic systems. Previously he was an Entrepreneur in Residence for Northwestern University, played a principal role at TetraVitae Bioscience (acquired by Eastman Chemical), and was a co-founder of GreenFuel Technologies. Nat also was a consultant for The Boston Consulting Group, and graduated from the MIT Sloan School of Management and Harvard.
Chris Duke, MPH, MBA
Chris is an accomplished biotech executive with more than 20 years of life sciences experience, having held several leadership roles across both early- and late-stage clinical development...
Chris is an accomplished biotech executive with more than 20 years of life sciences experience, having held several leadership roles across both early- and late-stage clinical development as well as global commercialization. He has worked at both public and private, VC-backed companies with a focus in oncology and rare diseases.
Most recently, Chris served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Advaxis, Inc. Advaxis is a late-stage development company focused on advancing its proprietary Lm Technology for the treatment of a broad range of cancers. The company’s lead product, axalimogene filolisbac, is currently in Phase 3 development for the treatment of cervical cancer. Prior to joining Advaxis, Chris was Vice President, Global Commercial Operations at Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. where he played a lead role in the build out of the international business to support the successful launch of Galafold™ (migalastat), which received full EU approval in 2016 as well as FDA approval in 2018. Chris was one of the first employees at Amicus and held several leadership roles in program/alliance management, medical affairs and commercial planning for 10 years. Chris also served as Executive Director, International Commercial Operations for NPS Pharma where he led several strategic business planning initiatives and helped to establish NPS International to support the ex-US commercialization of Revestive® (teduglutide) and Natpar® (rhPTH[1-84]). In 2015, NPS was acquired by Shire for $5.2B.
Chris received his MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, his MPH from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University.
Be ready to be surprised by what intrigues you and catches your curiosity. I find being open to step out of your comfort zone is going to be important in this kind of opportunity, because inherently you're working on problems that haven't been solved before.
OTD Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 2017-18