Our TeamMeet the team of entrepreneurs who instruct and manage the eLab program.
Managing Director, InstructorKen Rother is a senior executive with more than 30 years of experience. He has a deep understanding of technology, business operations, and client management. He has worked in sectors including media, financial services, computer graphics, and telecom. Having successfully been a part of several exits on both the acquired and acquiring side, Ken knows how to grow and manage a company through a successful transition. Currently, Ken is Entrepreneur in Residence at Launch NY, he is a Venture Partner at CVF, works with Wicked Device to expand their business, and is a member of the eLab teaching team at Cornell.
Most recently, Ken was Senior Vice President of technology for digital media at Discovery Communications. There he was responsible for all aspects of design and development for the platforms required to support 17 high traffic websites and several mobile applications. Previously at Discovery, Ken was responsible for the business and content strategy, programming and operations for a number of Discovery’s key web properties, including; Animal Planet, TreeHugger, Investigation Discovery, Planet Green, and Military Channel.
Cook is an active attorney in the greater Ithaca community, and he represents businesses and individuals in connection with a wide array of complex commercial business and real estate transactions. Cook has also served as a visiting lecturer at the Johnson School at Cornell University where he taught a course focused on entrepreneurship and early-stage finance and venture capital transactions. In addition to practicing law and teaching, Cook serves as mentor for the 76West Clean Energy Competition and a judge for Cornell Law School’s Transactional Lawyering Competition.
Cook started his law practice at Ballard Spahr, LLP, a national law firm with more than 650 attorneys in 15 offices accross the country. He’s also been a member of Fox Rothschild, LLP and served as the president of First Excelsior Group from 2012-2016. Prior to joining Rev, Cook was a member of a local law firm in Ithaca. Throughout his career, Cook has represented a diverse group of clients including publicly-traded corporations, middle market companies, and emerging technology startups. Cook regularly counsels companies on corporate governance, fund raising, M&A transactions, and protection of intellectual property.
Cook has served on the board of directors of several private companies and non-profits. He is currently a trustee of the Paleontological Research Institution, which operates the Museum of the Earth, the Cayuga Nature Center, and Smith Woods, and a member of the board of directors of Upstate Capital, a trade association for venture capitalists and other capital providers across upstate New York.
InstructorSteven Gal is a career entrepreneur and professor. He currently teaches entrepreneurship and innovation at Cornell Tech and Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and serves as Vice Chairman at HangIt, an early stage mobile technology company where he was the startup CEO.
Steven has spent more than two decades as a technology entrepreneur and board director, serving as a senior operating executive or CEO at seven venture-backed technology companies, three of which he co-founded, leading to over $100 million in venture financings, five successful sales, and NASDAQ IPO.
Earlier in his career, Steven was an associate professor in the Entrepreneur Program at USC’s Marshall School of Business and a Visiting Associate Professor at the Rady School of Management at UCSD. He is an attorney and a member of the California Bar.
Steven holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from University of Southern California School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, where he serves as Chair of the [email protected] Advisory Council.
InstructorAndrea Ippolito is the executive director of the Engineering Management Program at Cornell University. She is an instructor for eLab, Cornell’s student accelerator, Engineering’s Commercialization Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps.
She recently completed a role as the innovators network director at the Department of Veterans Affairs and she previously served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the VA Center for Innovation based out of the White House Office of Science Technology Policy and General Services Administration.
She previously was a Ph.D. student in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT, cofounder of Smart Scheduling, Innovation Specialist at the Brigham &Women’s Hospital Innovation Hub, and co-leader of MIT’s Hacking Medicine. She also served as a product innovation manager at Athena Health and completed her M.S. in engineering and management at MIT. Prior to MIT, Ippolito worked as a research scientist within the Corporate Technology Development group at Boston Scientific. She obtained both a B.S. in biological engineering in 2006 and Master of Engineering in biomedical engineering in 2007 from Cornell University.
Nick Nickitas is the CEO of Rosie, the industry leading online grocery shopping platform for mobile and web. Rosie launched in 2012 and today enables customers to shop online from their favorite local stores for same-day delivery or in-store pickup. Rosie partners with leading independent retailers and their wholesalers to provide eCommerce, delivery opportunities, omni-channel marketing and deep data services. Rosie serves as the preferred eCommerce partner by a variety of wholesale cooperatives, such as Associated WholesaleGrocers (AWG), Associated Food Stores (AFS), CERTCO, Olean Wholesale Grocers, and Associated Grocers of New England, and powers the online shopping platforms of major local retailers like Niemann Foods Inc., Broulim’s, Macey’s, Clark’s Market, and Buehler’s Fresh Foods. IBM selected Rosie as the Top Startup in North America in its 2014 IBM Smartcamp Competition.
Prior to founding Rosie, Nick was COO of FIX Solutions GmbH, a financial services technology company based in Frankfurt, Germany that helps customers connect and trade more efficiently with exchanges in the DACH+ market. Nick also was Director of Business Development at FIX Flyer, a New York based company pioneering advanced technology for high-volume, multi-asset institutional securities trading using the FIX Protocol. Starting in 2007 as the third employee, Nick expanded Flyer’s presence in the US, Latin America, EMEA, and AsiaPac with growth from 4 to over 160 clients in less than four years.
Nick earned a M.B.A. from Cornell University, where he was a Fried Fellow and Weil Entrepreneurship Fellow. Nick received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Lehigh University.
InstructorTom Schryver is an experienced entrepreneur having served as a startup founder and senior executive of high-growth companies. He currently serves as Executive Director of Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement. In that role, he is responsible for the construction and operation of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot, and Cornell’s participation in Start-UP NY .
Tom has successfully structured new companies and raised capital in the form of private venture capital and venture debt as well as grants and loans from local, state and federal agencies. Previously, he was Director of Finance for the Triad Foundation, where he was responsible for overseeing all financial operations of the Foundation, including accounting, audit, and investing the Foundation’s $250mm portfolio. He has experience working with nonprofits in multiple capacities from advisory roles to serving as Board President for a $2.5mm/year human services organization.
Tom has an AB from Cornell University and an MBA from the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, where he was a recipient of the Albert J. Fried Fellowship for Leadership and Academic Excellence. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
InstructorBrad Treat is an instructor in Practical Entrepreneurship at Cornell University and Ithaca College. He also serves as the Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works.
Brad was most recently the Founding CEO of Mezmeriz, a high-tech company making interactive projectors and reality capture cameras to embed into mobile phones. Mezmeriz’s cutting-edge technology was spun out of Materials Science and MEMS research at Cornell University. Brad was also the co-founder and CEO of SightSpeed, an innovative video, and voice communications company. SightSpeed grew from a university research project at Cornell into the world’s premier video calling software. SightSpeed was profitably acquired by Logitech for $30MM. Earlier in his career, Brad worked for eight years in the automotive industry in both the US and Spain at Bowles Fluidics and GKN Automotive. Brad holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State, and an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell.
Stephen Sauer, Ph. D is a Senior lecturer of Management and Organizations at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Sauer’s research and teaching activities focus on issues of leadership, team processes, and status and diversity in management. His work has been published in a number of academic journals and his research has been featured in a variety of mainstream media outlets.
Dr. Sauer graduated with a PhD in Management and Organizational Behavior from Cornell University, where he also earned an MBA and Master’s in Business and Policy Administration. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to embarking on his academic career, he worked as an organization change consultant and plant manager after serving seven years as an armored cavalry officer in the US Army.