Entrepreneurship Workshop

Building Dreams: An Entrepreneurship Workshop
Thursday, October 26, 9:00am – 12 noon
Bill Moore Student Success Center
President’s Suites A & B

Join a panel of entrepreneurs who have built large scale ventures, restructured existing companies, and some who are just getting started. Learn from our experiences as we contribute to your success and provide guidance along the way. Receive insights on getting through early stage confusion, and learn how to focus on the right things at the right times. 

If you are already engaged in building a company, or seriously contemplating getting started, be it in the areas of materials, information technology, or other field, we offer you our counsel, mentorship, and collegial interactions with other like-minded people.



9:00 - 10:20

GT to GT: Entrepreneurship with Georgia Tech

J. Kurt Jacobus, President and CEO, MedShape

Jonathan Goldman, Principal, VentureLab
Kate Havey, Associate, GT Office of Technology Licensing
Chris Oberste, Co-founder  and CEO, WEAV3D, LLC
Bryan Swarn, Founder, Phenetix Urban Athletic Wear Co.


10:40 - Noon

Different Approaches, Scales, and Monies

Yancy Riddle, COO, NearShore Technology


Gabe Apodaca, President and CEO, NearShore Technology
Andrea Arena, Founder and CEO, TimeSquared Concierge
Shawn Gregory, Ph.D. Student Entrepreneur
Keith Hearon, CEO, Poly6 Technologies
J. Kurt Jacobus, President and CEO, MedShape
Yancy Riddle, COO, NearShore Technology


Gabe Apodaca
President and CEO
NearShore Technology

Andrea Arena
Founder and CEO, TimeSquared Concierge, LLC

Andrea Arena, started her first corporate-sponsored concierge company in 1991. Her company accomplished Inc. 500 status two years in a row and this wealth of knowledge and commitment to work-life integration place TimeSquared at the forefront of today’s corporate concierge industry. TimeSquared is the leading concierge company for the technology industry. Other enterprise experience spans insurance, legal, accounting, banking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, retail, advertising, healthcare, bio-tech, defense and much more. In 24 years, one philosophy hasn’t changed — superior service and exceptional technology combine to pattern the best foundation for success.

Andrea graduate with a degree in Management from Georgia Tech in 1989.

Jonathan Goldman

Jon recently returned to VentureLab, after helping cultivate the program just after its inception (2002-2007). During his 5-year tenure at VentureLab, he assisted more than 10 companies that, collectively, attracted more than $300M in funding. In 2007 he was instrumental in forming solar firm Suniva, and left to become its Director of Business Development. He most recently served as CTO & VP of Engineering for Hydro Phi Technologies, where he has two patents pending.

Jon has been active in the Atlanta entrepreneurial community since 1996, serving on the management teams of several telecom and Internet start-ups. He helped co-found the MIT Enterprise Forum of Atlanta in 2000. Jon began his career as an engineer with Rockwell International working on NASA prograHe received his B.S. Degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT in 1983, and an M.S. degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the School of Materials Engineering at Georgia Tech in 1989.

Shawn Gregory
Ph.D. Student Entrepreneur

Shawn received his BS MSE from Georgia Tech in Spring 2017.  He is currently a 1st Year Graduate student and has two companies in start-up phase.

Kate Havey
Office of Industry Engagement
Georgia Tech Research Corporation

Kate is a Licensing Associate in the Office of Industry Engagement at GTRC. She holds BS and MS degrees in MSE and served in the US Air Force at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, as well as a position on the Research Faculty at Penn State as the Associate Director of a NSF IUCRC

In her Licensing role, Kate manages a diverse portfolio of GTRC inventions. She assesses incoming intellectual property for commercialization potential, including intellectual property protection and marketing. An important part of her job also includes negotiation of intellectual property-related contracts, maintaining current knowledge of licensing practices, patent law, business and technology trends, and advising those interested in forming new companies related to GTRC intellectual property. She also serves as a liaison to outside companies that have any interest in Georgia Tech intellectual property.

Keith Hearon
Chief Executive Officer
Poly6 Technologies

Keith Hearon is co-founder and CEO of Poly6, an MIT born startup that uses 3D printing to enable advanced manufacturing in aerospace and biotechnology industries. He was a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Robert Langer’s group at MIT until 2016, when he joined Poly6 full time. Keith’s invention Citrene®, a high-performance plastic made from citrus peels, received international recognition in 2014 and was selected as a finalist invention at the 2014 U.S. Collegiate Inventors Competition. He has 15+ patents pending or issued in materials science and biotechnology, and serves on the external advisory board of the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech.

J. Kurt Jacobus
President and CEO

Kurt received his BS in ME from Georgia Tech in ’93 and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois. He spent five years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, focusing on the development of growth businesses from start-up to Fortune 500 clients. He has more than 10 years of early stage company experience, leading or supporting the start of over a dozen new businesses. Kurt sits on the Advisory Board for Georgia Tech's Center for Advanced Bioengineering for Soldier Survivability and the Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber of Commerce's Bioscience Industry Leadership Council, and is an Emeritus member of the External Advisory Board for the Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering/  He has served as MedShape's Chairman, President and CEO since 2006.

Chris Oberste
Co-founder and CEO,WEAV3D, LLC

Christopher Oberste holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Bachelor of Polymer and Fiber Engineering from Auburn University. Christopher spent 1.5 years as a process engineer at GKN Aerospace North America as part of the Auburn University co-op program, gaining hand-on experience with state-of-the art composite manufacturing techniques.  As a result of his experiences, Christopher chose to focus his PhD thesis on developing novel, low-cost composite forming technologies, including the WEAV3D composite forming machine. He is named as the lead inventor on three patent applications related to his Ph.D. research. While completing his Ph.D., he participated in the Georgia Tech TI:GER program, receiving a doctoral minor in technology commercialization. He is currently working to commercialize the WEAV3D technology as the CEO of WEAV3D LLC.

Yancy Riddle
Chief Operating Officer
NearShore Technology

Yancy Riddle was previously the President and CEO of Sixth Sense, a medical technology integration provider. He has built his career on rigorous educational training and 20 years of manufacturing experience in the U.S., North America, Europe, Asia, India, the Middle East and parts of Latin America. He started at the product and process design level, followed by technical sales, then progressed to R&D, product, quality control, technology, and operations management roles, all with P&L responsibility. He brings to NearShore both a breadth and depth of experience from medical device, aerospace, electrical components, automotive, primary materials, military, oil and gas, coating services, and the solar/LED fields.

He received his MS MSE in ’98 and his PhD MSE in ’01.

Bryan Swarn  
Phenetix Urban Athletic Wear Co.

Bryan was the 2010 recipient of the AATCC Young Entrepreneur Award (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists). 

Bryan Swarn started Phenetix while a student at Georgia Tech. He was an All-American on the Georgia Tech track and field team so he understood and appreciated the importance of durable, light-weight uniforms with great wicking capabilities, range of motion, and quality design. Georgia Tech's uniforms were not of this caliber, and Swarn told his coach that he could design a uniform with better quality and “fashion-forward designs.” 

Phenetix's first uniforms went to Howard University in the spring of 2004, followed by Florida State and Georgia Tech in 2005. Since its inception, Phenetix has grown nationally with several college, high school, and club clients; it has also grown internationally as Phenetix International, “a team of world-class, Olympic caliber track and field athletes, running in our uniforms around the globe.”