University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut




Principal Investigator – Hadi Bozorgmanesh

Hadi Bozorgmanesh is Professor of Practice in the School of Engineering at UConn where he developed and teaches Tech Experiential Entrepreneurship for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers interested in converting research into viable businesses. Bozorgmanesh is academic advisor to the Innovation House and actively involved with introducing entrepreneurship to the First Year Learning Communities. Bozorgmanesh also serves as a mentor and advisor to student entrepreneurs, and helps them with funding opportunities through the Third Bridge Grant Program.

Prior to UConn, Bozorgmanesh was a senior executive with Science Application International Corporation (SAIC), where he held leadership positions in Europe and the U.S. He holds a Ph.D in Nuclear Science and Engineering, M.S. in Physics and Nuclear Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Physics from UConn.


Lawrence Silbart on Sept. 19, 2013. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Co-Principal Investigator – Lawrence Silbart

Dr. Lawrence Silbart was appointed Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives in 2013. He is also a Professor of Allied Health Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. Dr. Silbart received his BGS, MPH and Ph.D. In Toxicology and Industrial Hygiene from the University of Michigan. His area of expertise is on mucosal vaccines, adjuvants, mucosal immunology and host-pathogen interactions. As Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives, Dr. Silbart oversees the Next Generation Connecticut Initiative—a 10-year, $1.7 billion dollar initiative spanning FY’15-FY’24. He also leads the development of the Tech Park and its cornerstone building, the Innovation Partnership Building (IPB) which is currently under construction and will become operational in Q3, 2017.


Kathy Rocha on Feb. 18, 2016. (/UConn Photo)

Project Manager – Kathy F. Rocha

Kathy F. Rocha is managing director of UConn’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consortium. She is also entrepreneur-in-residence for the School of Engineering where she leads the Third Bridge Grant board, mentors student entrepreneurs and helps with their funding strategies. She is a managing director with Golden Seeds, a private equity angel investment group that specializes in investing in startups led by women entrepreneurs. Rocha is very involved with mentoring students and entrepreneurs in developing business models that produce positive results.

Previously Rocha was a leader in the computer networking industry and the realization of the internet. She was vice president of business strategy and operations for the network management group at Cisco and general manager of networking product divisions for 3Com. Rocha received a B.A. in political science and MBA degrees from Providence College in Providence, RI.


Board of Directors



Glendowlyn Thames

Glen manages CI’s Small Business Innovation Group, which includes the management of CTNext. In this role, Glen oversees vital programs that support the state’s small technology businesses and encourage innovation, collaboration and commercialization.

Prior to her current role, Glen was special assistant to CEO Claire Leonardi, where she led a wide range of projects spanning board relations, new program development and operations. She has extensive experience managing high-priority projects and major initiatives including nearly 10 years of experience in high-level public administration roles, and served as the special assistant to the superintendent of Hartford Public Schools. Prior to that, she was director of constituent services for the City of Hartford, where she managed citizen relations and worked on a variety of community and economic development projects.


mikeMichael Accorsi

In his capacity as Senior Associate Dean for the School of Engineering, Dr. Accorsi works extensively with federal and state agencies, industry and UConn administration and faculty to assist in management and facilitation of major research projects and industry partnerships within the School. In the past three years, he has been actively involved in the establishment of multiple research centers at UConn. In his role as Director of the DHS National Transportation Security Center of Excellence, Dr. Accorsi was responsible for managing and building the educational, research and engagement activities of the center. Dr. Accorsi’s research expertise is in the area of computational mechanics and he has performed numerous projects with many federal agencies including DHS, ONR, ARO, AFOSR and NASA.


noble-2-150x150David Noble

David Noble is Assistant Professor in Residence in the School of Business at UConn where he researches and teaches entrepreneurship and strategy. David serves as the director of Xcite: the Conference for Women in Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship and also participates as a judge and mentor in the UCONN InnovationQuest program.

Prior to UConn, David was a securities and corporate finance attorney, with experience representing startups from the formation through IPO process. He has extensive non-profit board experience. He holds a Ph.D in Management from the University of Alabama, a J.D. from the University of Miami, a M.B.A. from the Elon University, and B.S. in Political Science from Northeastern University.


suib-e1450280945687Steven Suib

Steven Suib is the Director of the Institute of Materials Science and a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor at the University of Connecticut.  IMS research involves the synthesis by molecular design of environmentally friendly catalysts, surfaces, ceramics, adhesives and other materials as well as characterization of the structural, surface, bulk, optical, magnetic, electronic, morphologic and thermal properties of these materials is also a vital part of this work. Synthesis, characterization, and catalytic studies of porous transition metal oxide materials is being pursued. Redox catalytic cycles can be developed based on changes in oxidation states of these materials. Some of the catalytic reactions include activation of CO2, water splitting, selective oxidation of hydrocarbons, gas oil cracking, Fischer Tropsch, biomass conversion, and others. Microwave heating is being used to make novel nano-size materials as well as to drive catalytic reactions. Other applications include adsorption, sensors, and battery materials. All of this work involves new ways to make materials and carry out applications in an environmentally sound manner.