Stony Brook University
Stony Brook Innovation Center Mentors
These mentors are serial entrepreneurs who want to help startups. Contact a mentor directly only if there is an email provided. Otherwise contact Gerrit.Wolf@stonybrook.edu. Learn more about specialized mentors in Technology Startups, Sustainable Business, and Social Innovation.

Bernie BrennerBernie Brenner
Bernie Brenner specializes in securing and expanding strategic partnerships and is a frequent speaker about business development (BD) to entrepreneurs and venture investors. Bernie is the Co-founder and EVP of Business Development of TrueCar Inc., a company focused on changing how cars are sold. Under Bernie’s direction, True Car secured more than 100 BD deals, including partnerships with USAA, American Express, Geico, Nationwide Insurance, Consumer Reports, and AAA. Bernie is also a partner at the Capital Factory, an accelerator in Austin, Texas, where he is a mentor to early stage entrepreneurs. Previously, Bernie ran business development at Carfax, Inc., where he secured partnerships with Toyota Motor Sales, AutoTrader.com, Cars.com, and many other giants in the auto industry. Bernie lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and three children.
David CraneDavid Crane
(dcrane@mdchat.com)
David B. Crane is CEO and Board member, Mobile Health One, Inc.. David is a successful technology entrepreneur and business operator with 25 years management experience. He is a proven CEO with a strong background in technology, strategy development, marketing, business and product development, and finance and fundraising. David has participated in two corporate turn-around efforts as a senior management team member (one public company and one privately held company). David also founded and managed five companies and raised several million dollars in funding for new ventures primarily in the Internet/e-commerce, Software as a Service (SaaS), healthcare IT, and business process outsourcing industries. David has been a volunteer business consultant with the Citizen’s Development Corps based in Washington, D.C. serving as a consultant to companies in Guatemala and Ukraine. He has also been a regular speaker and “in-class” volunteer with Junior Achievement for over 30 years. .David earned his Bachelor of Science in Business degree and his MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. David can be reached at dcrane@mdchat.com.
Burke LiburtBurke Liburt
(Burke Liburt@me.com)
(631-379-1627)
Burke Liburt is the co-founder and CMO of SynchroPET, a biomedical device company that has licensed patented nuclear imaging technologies from Brookhaven National Laboratories; the company is now entering the preclinical research market with innovative devices. He has developed marketing strategies at television groups (Dun & Bradstreet/ ABC Television) and at his own multi-media company; he understands the challenges-financial, psychological and emotional—of overcoming the hurdles of building a successful commercial enterprise. Because of his wide experience and contacts, he has recruited many clients for MBA projects at the Innovation Center. 
Philip PalmedoPhilip F. Palmedo
(pfpalmedo@gmail.com)
Philip Palmedo has had careers in physics, entrepreneurship, corporate management and finance. After working at Brookhaven Lab , Mr. Palmedo founded and was Chairman of the International Resources Group (IRG), an international consultancy in energy, natural resources and economic development, until its sale in 2008. Mr. Palmedo designed and was the first President of the Long Island Research Institute formed by Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and Stony Brook University to facilitate the commercialization of technologies. In 1988 Mr. Palmedo joined in the formation of Kepler Financial Management, Ltd., a quantitative financial research and trading company. He was President and Managing Director until 1991 when Renaissance Technologies Corporation acquired the company. He has a PhD from MIT.
Yun ZhangYun Zhang
Yun Zhang, CEO and Founder of Mobileware Inc., has more than 18 years of experience in application development, and has successfully developed products from idea stage to commercialization. Recognizing the mobile computing revolution in 2007, Yun published one of the first 800 apps when the iTunes App Store launched in 2008. His companies have sold millions of copies of apps worldwide, got featured in TV commercials and received awards. Prior to becoming a serial entrepreneur, Yun has worked for major financial companies for over 12 years and helped create and manage in house application systems. Yun holds a Master of Science degree in Management of Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. In his spare time, Yun is an avid investor.
Jake SchmigelskiJake Schmigelski
Jake Schmigelski,19, is a serial entrepreneur and student at Stony Brook University. Mr. Schmigelski began working on his first company, an investment group for young adults, at the age of sixteen. By the age of seventeen, he had founded Gale International Trading LLC, a wholesale food and beverage brokerage that currently works with numerous national and regional accounts. When not in class or studying, Mr. Schmigelski works to build his existing holdings and promote growth his new ventures. He has previously done work as an independent agent for CRC Logistics, a 3PLP located in Rockville Center, NY, along with acting as an intermediary Chief Executive for an Israeli tech-startup. One of his latest initiatives is Private Equity consulting, where he sources real estate and corporate assets for private institutional and personal buyers.
Douglas WhitcombDouglas Whitcomb
Douglas Whitcomb is President of Whitsons Culinary Group, which provides a wide range of highly customized dining services to corporations, public schools and residential facilities, and manufacturing of prepared meals for customers across the country.Doug plays a leadership ll areas of the company’s operations, with a concentration on managing the support services teams of purchasing and marketing, as well as corporate and residential dining operations. Mr. Whitcomb started Whitsons in 1979, along with his father and several other family members. Over the years, he has played an instrumental role in growing Whitsons from a small local business to a successful multi- million dollar corporation. Doug earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama and is also a Food Management Professional (FMP). He is a member of the Society for Foodservice Management (SFM) and World Presidents Organization (WPO), for whom Mr. Whitcomb established the first Long Island WPO chapter.
Amal ChaudhuriAmal Chaudhuri
Amal Chaudhuri is a co-founder and Executive Chairman of TraqFast, a software startup which automates the collection and delivery of operating and financial metrics to entrepreneurs and the leaders of small to mid-size businesses. Enabling these businesses to have access to the same insights available at much higher costs to Fortune 50 leaders. He is also the Chief Technology Officer for BondFactor, a municipal bond insurance startup, using a patented financial capital structure to radically change the risk and return profile of the bond insurance market.
Joseph PufahlJoseph Pufahl
(jpufahl@adchem.com)
Son of Adchem founder, Joseph A. Pufahl, Joe leads Adchem branding, public relations and web development, as well as, business development efforts for market-based products including strategy, market research, product development, channel management, collateral and web support, and sales and distributor training.
Connie ClearyConnie M. Cleary, DPM CLP
Cleary was Interim Manager of Industry Partnership Development and a Business Development Executive at Argonne National Laboratory where in addition to overseeing a portfolio, she provided direction and supervision to a team of licensing executives. Prior to her service at ANL, she was the Associate Director of the technology transfer offices at Rush University Medical Center and the University of Illinois, Chicago(UIC), where she created a strategy for licensing technologies with start-ups, small and large companies and interacted with VC’s and other external entities.As a licensing professional, Cleary has handled various portfolios spanning the life and physical sciences including: therapeutics; drug delivery and devices; research tools and reagents; dental devices; software; educational and copy-written materials; energy storage technologies including lithium ion batteries; and imaging technologies. Connie has served on several committees of the Licensing Executives Society (LES) including LES membership and as the Local Chapter Chair of the Chicago Chapter.Dr. Cleary is currently serving on the advisory board of CEBIP at SBU and has also served on the Advisory Board of The Center for Advanced Design, Research, and Exploration (CADRE) which promotes successful multidisciplinary research at UIC by providing proposal development and project management expertise for complex research initiatives.
Marc AlessiMarc Alessi
(marc@synchropet.com)
Marc Alessi, CEO and Co-Founder of SynchroPET, an innovative Biomedical Device Company, heralding revolutionary advances in Positron Emission Tomography (PET). He has initiated three investment programs with the Angel Network and has helped add to the revitalization of the organization. A former New York State Legislator, Marc spear-headed legislation for entrepreneurial development & technology innovation.
Gadi CapelaGadi Capela
Following military officer training and business education, Gadi Capela became an experienced project manager. He started his professional career as a Business Analyst for Société Générale Investment Bank in Manhattan. Between 2000-2004 he helped save millions of dollars through creating a global Contract Management department and streamlining other banking processes. He moved on to Management Consulting where he managed projects for clients in various private industries and government agencies, using technology to build strategic relationships. During that time Gadi also completed a Masters degree in Jewish Philosophy and began teaching a Jewish-Christian adult education program--Project Genesis Interfaith, now an incorporated non-for-profit organization. In 2008 Gadi decided to “take his passion and make it happen” and traded his corporate job for rabbinical school. Since his ordination in 2012 from the Jewish Theological Seminary, Gadi Capela has been serving as the rabbi of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Greenport, NY. He is also the current President of the East End Jewish Community Council.


Stony Brook University College of Business, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3775

Phone: 631.632.7171
Fax: 631.632.8181