The Praxis Center Mentor program is a volunteer service opportunity for individuals who have had careers as leaders/executives in engineering or physical science ventures or venture capital firms, and who have the training, experience, ability, time and willingness to contribute to the value of Cornell based high technology startups through their Center service.
Praxis Center Mentors help create and grow Cornell engineering, digital and physical sciences startup companies. Mentors help Cornell based startups with technical advice, assist in venture formation, facilitate the Center Application process, advise Center Clients, and report results.
To learn more about the Praxis Center Mentor program, please follow this link: Praxis Mentor Program and Application
Laurence Rogers, Of Counsel @ Haley Guiliano
Larry Rogers retired from Ropes & Gray LLP, where he was a partner in the firm’s intellectual property group. Over the course of his more than 40 year legal career, Larry’s practice focused on patent and trade secret litigation, licensing and patent prosecution involving a wide range of technologies including computer processors and systems, software, linear and digital integrated circuits, semiconductor processing, the internet, cloud computing, cryptography, cellular and wireline telephony, Wi-Fi, security systems, video systems, medical devices, digital imaging, graphics, animation, financial services systems, and trading platforms. In addition to representing established public and private companies, Larry regularly advised start-ups concerning all facets of patent portfolio development for both defensive and offensive purposes, patent clearance investigations and due diligence for new designs and technologies, and strategic licensing. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, New York Super Lawyers, and Managing IP as an “IP Star.” Larry received a B.S. with distinction from Cornell in Electrical Engineering, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Richard R. Curtin, Managing Partner at Silicon Catalyst, Former General Manager System Management Products at NXP Semiconductors
Richard Curtin has an entrepreneurial passion for transforming innovative technology teams into successful businesses – bringing to startups his extensive, hands-on business management experience in the Asian/Pacific, European and North American markets. Over the course of his career, he has been actively involved in 12 startups, most recently as a co-founder of Nucleos, an education technology company targeting disconnected learners. Based in the Silicon Valley area, he has over 30 years of semiconductor industry experience in the areas of marketing, sales, business development and operations management. Richard has held executive management positions with semiconductor, silicon Intellectual Property (IP), Electronic Design Automation (EDA), design and testing services companies — ranging from early-stage, pre-revenue startups seeking funding, to a General Manager (GM) role with Profit and Loss (P&L) responsibility for a $200 million product line at NXP Semiconductors. Richard started his career as an Integrated Circuit (IC) chip designer in the computer industry and is a holder of two US patents. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Pepperdine University, a Master of Science, Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering degree from Boston University.
Adam Benjamin, Research Analyst/Portfolio Manager, Fidelity Investment
Adam Benjamin is a research analyst and portfolio manager in the Equity division at Fidelity Investments. Fidelity Investments is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing, and other financial products and services to institutions, financial intermediaries, and individuals. Mr. Benjamin manages Fidelity Select Technology Portfolio, Fidelity Advisor Technology Fund, Fidelity VIP Technology Portfolio, Fidelity Select Semiconductors Portfolio, Fidelity Advisor Semiconductors Fund and the Information Technology sleeves of the Fidelity Institutional Asset Management (FIAM) Large Cap Core and Global Core sector strategies. He also covers the large cap semiconductors industry. Prior to assuming his current roles, Mr. Benjamin was a research analyst responsible for the coverage of the semiconductor, semiconductor capital equipment, and solar end markets. Most recently he served as global technology sector leader within FIAM. Before joining Fidelity in 2011, Mr. Benjamin served as managing director and head of semiconductor equity research at Jefferies & Company, Inc. Previously, he held various roles at SG Cowen, including senior research associate focused on the semiconductor space and vice president in the Technology M&A group. Mr. Benjamin was also an associate in the Corporate Law department of Sullivan & Worcester. He has been following the technology sector for over 19 years. Mr. Benjamin earned his bachelor of arts degree from Cornell University and his juris doctor degree, cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School.
Sheila Hemami, Senior Director Growth Initiatives – Triple Ring Technologies
Dr. Sheila Hemami is focused on addressing unmet technology needs for the environment (and especially for the oceans) and for medical devices for underserved populations. She has addressed challenges ranging from coral restoration to low-resource neonatal health care, all with very early-stage technology development in which pre-competitive cooperation across sectors was required. She has built and managed cross-sector, interdisciplinary and collaborative teams of engineers, scientists, and end-users to work together from project ideation through implementation and release to ensure that the ultimate solution will be impactful, deployable, and sustainable. She also brings experience in R&D management and technology transfer with universities. Prior to her industrial career, she was a Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Cornell University, where her research focused on robust and perceptual image and video communications, and at Northeastern University where she served as department chair.
She holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. She was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 2008 for “contributions to robust and perceptual image and video communications” and she has authored over 130 peer-reviewed publications.
Sherri Lilienfeld, Business Development Director/Advisor
Sherri Lilienfeld is a driven global business development professional, investment and sales leader, entrepreneur, and chemical engineer with over 35 years of success in the Chemical, Electronics, Petrochemical, Plastics, Pharmaceutical, Medical, Analytical, and Real Estate Development industries. As an entrepreneur and senior executive, Sherri has been recognized for her expertise in strategic business planning, deal making, negotiating, collaborative relationship development, marketing, sales, and project management. In the last 18 years, Sherri became a thought leader in the Commercial & Residential Real Estate industry, building and executing B2B winning long-term strategies, sourcing business investment opportunities, and negotiating global commercial contracts ranging from $6 million to $1.6 billion. Sherri’s engineering and leadership career began at Air Products, where she spent 13 years working in various commercialization, marketing, sales, training, and business planning functional areas. After Air Products, Sherri transitioned to the pharmaceutical industry. She consulted for global organizations, including The Complete Medical Group, HealthAnswers, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (now Pfizer), and held Product Launch, Business Development, Strategic Partnership, Professional Education and Account Management roles. Sherri holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and has been volunteering with CAAAN (Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network) since 2001.
Bruce Fishbein, Former Vice President of Engineering – Marvell Technology
Bruce Fishbein spent over thirty years in the semiconductor industry as an engineering manager and executive overseeing all aspects of product development. The first part of his career was focused on device physics R&D and manufacturing process development. After that, he transitioned to product design for systems on a chip (SoCs) for a wide range of applications including consumer products, enterprise/industrial controllers, and data center processors and switches. He has led technical teams of hundreds of people across multiple geographies at a diverse set of companies including Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Marvell, Cavium, and most recently the startup Innovium, where he was Chief Product Development officer through the company’s acquisition by Marvell. Bruce earned a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.