External Advisory Board

Christian Busch
Christian Busch is the CEO of the German Accelerator New York and a managing partner at Napali Partners, a consulting and advisory firm. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and Head of Marketing at Indiegogo, a global crowdfunding platform. His expertise is in Online Marketing, Growth Marketing, Crowdfunding and Crowd Services, and New Business Development (with an emphasis on creating transatlantic bridges between the German and the US entrepreneurial ecosystems).

Maria Gotsch
Maria Gotsch is the President and CEO at the Partnership Fund for New York City, the investment arm of the Partnership for New York City. She has spearheaded the creation and operation of a number of the Fund’s strategic initiatives, including: FinTech Innovation Lab; New York Digital Health Accelerator; NYCSeed (seed financing for IT/digital media companies); BioAccelerate Prize NYC (proof-of-concept funding for university-based biomedical research); Arts Entrepreneurial Loan Fund (low cost loans for mid-size arts groups); and ReStart Central and Financial Recovery Fund (assistance and funding for small businesses impacted by 9/11/01)

Dr. Joann Halpern
Dr. Joann Halpern is the Director of the Hasso Plattner Institute, New York (HPI) and an adjunct professor in the Department of the Humanities & Social Sciences at New York University. Prior to joining HPI, she was founding director of the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI), which was created as a cornerstone of the German government’s initiative to internationalize science, research, and innovation.

Dr. Barbara Kates-Garnick
Dr. Barbara Kates-Garnick is Professor of Practice at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Most recently, she served as the Undersecretary of Energy for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and as the Co-chair of Massachusetts’ Global Warming Solutions Act Implementation Advisory Committee that oversees the implementation of the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Act. She has had an extensive career in energy, environment, and clean technology that has spanned the private and public sectors and included the creation of a cleantech incubator at NYU Tandon where she also taught courses on energy policy.

Micah Kotch
Micah Kotch is the managing director Urban-X, a smart cities accelerator in Brooklyn. He was previously the director of NY Prize and strategic advisor for innovation at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). He participated in the NSF-funded I-Corps Regional Node NYCRIN and he also spent five years as director of innovation and entrepreneurship at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering where he directed NYC’s first sponsored university-affiliated tech incubator.

Frank Rimalovski
Frank Rimalovski heads the Entrepreneurial Institute at NYU and is the Managing Director of the NYU Innovation Venture Fund which invests in early-stage NYU startups. He is a member of the national teaching team for the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program and an Adjunct Faculty at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. He has been a venture capitalist for over 15 years. Frank also heads the Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurship Lab (eLab) at NYU.

Dr. Paul R. Sanberg
Dr. Paul R. Sanberg is Senior VP for Research, Innovation & Knowledge Enterprise, President of the University of South Florida’s Research Foundation, a Distinguished University Professor of Medicine, Engineering, and Business, and Executive Director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair. Paul is also the President of the National Academy of Inventors, a non-profit organization comprising US and international universities, and governmental and research institutions, whose mission is to promote and recognize innovation in academia.

Robert J. Schneider, PhD
Robert J. Schneider, PhD is the Albert B. Sabin Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Pathogenesis at the NYU School of Medicine and also the Assoc. Dean for Technology Ventures and Alliances. In this role, Dr. Schneider oversees the activities of technology transfer, therapeutics discovery and development and medical device development programs as well as commercialization activities. Dr. Schneider is a founding scientist of six biotechnology/small pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Katepalli Sreenivasan
Dr. Katepalli Sreenivasan (“Sreeni”) holds the Eugene Kleiner Chair for Innovation in Engineering at NYU Tandon, where he is also a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering as well as a University Professor in physics and mathematics at the NYU College of Arts and Science. Until recently, he was the Dean of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Sreeni is a member of the Indian Academy of Sciences and the Indian National Science Academy, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), and, the US National Academy of Sciences, and the US National Academy of Engineering.

Eric Vieira, PhD
Eric Vieira, PhD recently became the Director of Strategic Collaborations at Columbia’s School of Engineering after spending 5 years at the CUNY Research Office as the Director of Special Research Program. Eric brings considerable experience, knowledge and leadership to his new role. In 2003, Dr. Vieira launched the Science Alliance, a career and professional development program for the New York Academy of Sciences. He then went on to a successful career in the finance industry, before moving back to academia to focus on technology commercialization and entrepreneurship


The Institute for Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (IIIE@Tandon) serves as the focal point for all research, educational, and service activities in support of Tandon’s goal to integrate Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship into its academic culture and to advance student and faculty appreciation of and skills in inventiveness, innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurial and design thinking.


Kurt Becker
Vice Dean for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship