Thomas H. Scholl Lecture by Visiting Entrepreneurs
The Thomas H. Scholl Lecture by Visiting Entrepreneurs is supported by a gift from Stevens Board of Trustees member Thomas H. Scholl, a highly successful high-tech entrepreneur and investor. This lecture series features notable visiting entrepreneurs and executives who have started successful businesses or improved the financial performance of existing companies.
Rita Gurevich ’06
CEO and founder of SPHERE
The Truths About the Entrepreneurial Journey (Both the Highs and the Lows)
April 28, 2023
In 2010, at age 25, Rita Gurevich ’06 started her business with a mountain to climb; she was bootstrapped in the middle of a deep recession a target customer base of financial services customers. Fast track to 2023: She runs a high-growth cybersecurity firm that’s redefining how Fortune 500 companies protect their most critical assets from cyberattacks. Her journey has gone through many stages, with each one bigger and bolder than the last. Gurevich will share the incredible tools and strategies that she picked up along the way, which have helped her navigate the challenges she experiences. She will also share the highs and lows and discuss her feeling that she is well on her way to shattering the glass ceiling in her entrepreneurial journey.
Rita Gurevich is the CEO and founder of SPHERE, a leading identity hygiene company redefining how organizations achieve access controls across their environment. Gurevich began her career at Lehman Brothers, where she oversaw the distribution of technology assets after the organization’s bankruptcy in 2008. From this experience, she gained a deep understanding of analyzing identities, data platforms and the overall application and system landscape distributed across buying entities. Concurrently, the enhanced regulatory environment aimed at protecting data from misuse forced large enterprises to proactively manage and control access across their on-premises and cloud environments. With this knowledge, Gurevich founded SPHERE, an organization that provides critical governance, security and compliance solutions centered around the expanding access control issues plaguing organizations. The company has developed a repeatable and effective approach to assessing, remediating and managing access controls across any scope. Gurevich has driven the growth of SPHERE through its evolution into a cutting-edge software company that also provides services to clients with the only end-to-end access management solution available today. Gurevich is the recipient of multiple honors and awards including recognition from Ernst & Young for her entrepreneurial skills, SmartCEO and 40 Under 40.
Ann Fandozzi '93
Innovation and Perseverance: The Secret to Success
APRIL 29, 2022
Ann Fandozzi joined Ritchie Bros. in 2020 as chief executive officer. Prior to joining Ritchie Bros., she was CEO of ABRA Auto Body and Glass from 2016 to 2019, and before that, from 2012 to 2016, she served as CEO of vRide, a carpooling platform that works with private and public employers. Previously, Fandozzi served in executive positions at several units of Whirlpool Corp., including ebusiness, direct-to-consumer and Sears/Kenmore. Fandozzji oined Whirlpool from DaimlerChrysler, where she led the global family vehicle business and is credited with the invention and development of Stow-N-Go fold-flat seats.
Earlier in her career, she gained significant experience in consumer marketing, product development and engineering at Ford Motor Co., McKinsey & Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. She served on the board of Pinnacle Foods, a publicly traded packaged food company that was acquired by ConAgra, and is a board member of Ghost Robotics, a robotics start-up. She is also a frequent speaker on technology, transportation and green/environmental topics. Fandozzi holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Bill Barhydt '90
Where WiFi Meets SciFi: Entrepreneurship in a Future Shaped by AI, Bitcoin and Flying Robots.
MAY 3, 2019
Bill Barhydt ’90 — born in New York City and currently residing near San Francisco — is a serial entrepreneur and has been a pioneer in Internet and media technologies for over 25 years. He is the founder and CEO of Abra, which operates an easy-to-use smartphone app that is democratizing access to financial services in over 100 countries. Abra users can send money globally, invest in different types of assets such as stocks, ETF’s and forex, and hold cryptocurrencies, all in one place. Abra's vision is an open, global financial system that is easily accessible to everyone. Abra is building the WhatsApp of money.
Barhydt started his career working for the U.S. government, first at the CIA in the Office of Scientific and Weapons Research and later at NASA's Ames Research Center. Bill also spent several years working in fixed income trading at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York. As one of the early team members of Netscape, Bill was involved in building some of the core infrastructure that helped grow the consumer Internet we all use today. Today Bill is globally recognized as a technology pioneer and as an avid investor in companies across the broader technology ecosystem.
As a recognized expert in Internet and mobile technologies, Barhydt has presented at over 100 conferences and agencies, including the World Economic Forum, the U.S. State Department, the Mobile World Congress and TED, where he gave the first ever TED Talk on Bitcoin in 2012.
Creating an Enterprise Amidst Opportunity and Uncertainty
MAY 2, 2018
Retired investment banker and venture capital executive John Nehra shares a venture capitalist’s perspective on creating companies and talks about what he learned overseeing medical technology incubators.
For more than 40 years, John worked with entrepreneurs developing new technologies and services in healthcare and technology. A graduate from the University of Michigan, he joined Doyle O'Connor & Company, a leading nationwide NASDAQ trading firm based in Chicago, in 1970 as an associate in its venture group. He went on to expand the company by building a small research and sales department that followed small-to-medium publicly traded growth stocks, complementing the firm's historic trading capabilities.
In 1975, John was hired by Alex Brown & Sons to build a corporate strategy in healthcare, with an expanded approach to investment banking. For decades, Alex Brown was the preeminent national firm in healthcare research, trading and banking. In 1981, after nearly five years of strategy and growth changes, John became a partner. He went on to work with other Alex Brown partners entering into venture capital, merchant banking and capital markets. He expanded his vision into healthcare-related research and investment banking, ultimately managing Alex Brown’s capital markets desk.
From 1989 until his retirement in August 2014, John was affiliated with New Enterprise Associates, a leading venture capital firm. From 1993, he was made general partner for several of its affiliated venture capital limited partnerships and also served as managing general partner of Catalyst Ventures, a venture capital firm. In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, John also served on numerous boards of NEA's portfolio companies in healthcare and technology.
Today, John remains a retired special partner of NEA. Since 1999, he has served on the board of DaVita, one of the largest kidney care companies in the United States. He also advises and serves on the boards of several private companies and has been active with the Baltimore School for the Arts and various charities. John is married and has two daughters.
The Cook and the Chef: What We Can Learn From How Elon Musk Thinks
MAY 3, 2017
Since he started writing the long-form, stick-figure-illustrated blog Wait But Why in 2013, author Tim Urban has produced dozens of viral articles on a wide range of topics, from why we procrastinate, to why artificial intelligence is scary, to why we haven’t seen any signs of aliens. Today, Wait But Why receives more than one million unique visitors each month and the blog has more than 490,000 email subscribers. Before starting Wait But Why, Urban co-founded ArborBridge, a firm dedicated to providing highly effective SAT/ACT prep using the newest advances in technology, pedagogy and neuroscience. He received a bachelor's in government from Harvard University in 2004.
Lowering Cost of Failure to Unleash Innovation
NOVEMBER 16, 2016
Lou Steinberg joined TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation as chief technology officer (CTO) in July 2011. He is responsible for technology platform architecture, engineering, operations, security, advanced technology and enterprise testing in addition to evolving the current operating models, technology and operational risk, and fostering a culture of innovation. Prior to joining TD Ameritrade, Lou founded and served as CEO of several small businesses, including Rev2 (operational risk management software), Cranite Systems (cybersecurity) and NetOps (data analytics and fault prediction). Lou has also held senior positions at several publicly traded firms. He was CTO of Symbol Technologies (now Motorola), driving a company-wide solutions strategy while also serving as the general manager of its software division. He was the senior vice president of marketing and market development at Micromuse (now IBM), a network management and analytics company. He spent over a decade at IBM in various technical and management roles, notably contributing to router development for the NSFNet, the second-generation Internet backbone.Lou’s advisory work included serving as entrepreneur-in-residence at the private equity firm Warburg Pincus and as a strategy advisor to senior management at companies including Comcast, Citigroup and NCR. He has served on various IETF working groups related to network management standards and is the author of Troubleshooting with SNMP and Understanding MIBs (McGraw-Hill, 2000). Lou continues to advise a diverse set of startups and is on the Board of Advisors for the School of Systems Engineering at his alma mater, Stevens Institute of Technology. Lou graduated from Stevens after simultaneously earning his bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in computer science through an accelerated, four-year program.
The History of the Internet Through the Eyes of a Stevens Graduate
APRIL 27, 2016
Sergio Heker is founder and CEO of GLESEC, a cyber security company with headquarters in Princeton, NJ, and operations across Latin America.
Mr. Heker has been involved in Internet security since 1985, when he started and operated the JvNCnet – the largest and fastest Internet network at the time – based at the John von Neumann Supercomputing Center, part of the ARPANET, one of the original six nodes of the NSFNET. JvNCnet became the first backbone-based regional network in the U.S. and the first to offer T1 Internet access. It was also the largest carrier of Internet traffic in the world.
After the infamous Morris worm in 1988 (the first Internet worm), which was contained by the efforts of Mr. Heker, he was called to testify before Congress on the security of the Internet. In 1990, the JvNCnet network becomes a Princeton University department under the management of Mr. Heker. In 1992, he acquired the operation from Princeton, creating Global Enterprise Services (GES), the third commercial Internet service provider in the United States and a network that carried most of the traffic of the global Internet at the time, with services in Asia, Europe and Latin America. GES was also known as the “pharmaceutical” network since most of the largest pharmaceutical companies derived their Internet access from it.
In 1997, he sold most of the assets of GES and created NextGen Internet, one of the first e-business companies operating in the U.S. and Latin America, with primary operations in New Jersey and in Mexico and with a minor emphasis in information security.
Mr. Heker founded GLESEC in 2003 to respond to the need for information security intelligence and protection and to deliver managed operation and intelligence services with emerging technologies to the U.S. and Latin American markets.
Mr. Heker holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Stevens. He is a frequent conference speaker and is widely recognized as an Internet pioneer. He is also a founding member of the Internet Society, a National Science Foundation principal investigator and reviewer, a member of Who’s Who of Global Business Leaders and Who’s Who in the Computer Industry and he belongs to Eta Kappa Nu and Stevens’ Gear and Triangle.
How to Fail Less
November 18, 2015
Simon Nynens joined Wayside in 1998 and held various positions, including executive vice President, chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Prior to joining Wayside Technology Group, he worked for Ernst & Young in Amsterdam. Nynens was appointed president and CEO of Wayside Technology Group in January 2006, and appointed Chairman of the Board in June 2006. He received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 New Jersey Award in the Technology Services category. A graduate of the advanced management Program at Harvard Business School, Nynens also serves as chairman of the New Jersey Technology Council and of the New Jersey Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization. Simon Nynens joined Wayside in 1998 and held various positions, including executive vice President, chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Prior to joining Wayside Technology Group, he worked for Ernst & Young in Amsterdam. Nynens was appointed president and CEO of Wayside Technology Group in January 2006, and appointed Chairman of the Board in June 2006. He received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 New Jersey Award in the Technology Services category. A graduate of the advanced management Program at Harvard Business School, Nynens also serves as chairman of the New Jersey Technology Council and of the New Jersey Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization.
Dr. Winslow Sargeant
Regulations, Innovations and Entrepreneurship
April 29, 2015
Dr. Winslow Sargeant is managing director of S&T, LLC, a firm supporting investment and business development for early-stage growth companies in cybersecurity, energy, communications, capital formation and education. From 2010 to 2015, he served as President Obama's appointee as chief counsel for advocacy in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. Dr. Sargeant served as managing director from 2006 to 2010 for Venture Investors, LLC, an early-stage venturecapital firm in Madison, Wisconsin. From 2001 to 2005, he was program manager at the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Office. Prior to joining NSF, Dr. Sargeant co-founded Aanetcom, a fabless semiconductor chip company. He served as associate adjunct professor in electrical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania from 2000 to 2005. Dr. Sargeant is a member of the board of trustees at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. He is chair of MyQVO, an early-stage educational technology company. Dr. Sargeant received the inaugural 2002 Wisconsin Distinguished Young Alumni Award and was a 2003 Outstanding Alumni awardee at Northeastern University. He was a 2014 Wisconsin Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award winner. He earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. He is a Kauffman Fellow (Class 11).
Jeong H. Kim
What I've Learned from the Entrepreurial Journey
November 19, 2014
Jeong H. Kim is Chairman of Kiswe Mobile Inc., a startup focusing on interactive mobile video. He served as president of Bell Labs from 2005 to 2013. Dr. Kim holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and master’s and bachelor's degrees from The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Kim has sat on numerous corporate, university and non-profit boards and currently serves on the boards of Schneider Electric SA, ARRIS Group, Inc. and the Nuclear Threat Initiative. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a recipient of honorary doctorate from Stevens Institute of Technology. In January 2014, the government of France awarded him membership in the Legion of Honor for his services in global technology.
Thomas H. Scholl
Building Companies from Scratch: There Are Many Paths to Success, But There Is a Super-Highway to Failure
April 30, 2014
Thomas H. Scholl is a successful entrepreneur, technology innovator and investor. He has been directly involved in over 40 start-ups with differing roles including founder, chairman, CEO, board member and investor. He is experienced in both hardware and software products – typically created from deep intellectual property. Most recently, Tom was venture partner at Novak Biddle Venture Partners in Bethesda, Maryland. As a venture capitalist for over 10 years, Tom played a pivotal role identifying, investing in and counseling portfolio companies from early stage/seed investment through successful exit. He sat on the boards of Paratek (acquired by RIM/Blackberry), Command Information (acquired by Salient Federal Solutions), Woodwind Communications (acquired by Vina), Vubiquity, Princeton Optronics, and Fiberzone. In 2011, Tom was recognized as the venture capital “Friend of the Entrepreneur” by the Washington Business Journal.
Prior to joining Novak Biddle, Tom co-founded and was chairman of Cognio, a pioneering developer of software radio, cognitive spectrum management and MIMO antenna technology for wireless applications. Cognio was acquired by Cisco in October 2007. Tom was also a private investor in Broadsoft (IPO) and served as a Director of Torrent Networking (acquired by Ericsson), Integrated Telecom (acquired by PMC Sierra), NEC’s eLuminant and Siemen’s Optisphere.
In 1990, Tom founded Telogy Networks, a leader in providing reference designs and embedded software products for world-class customers including Cisco, Motorola, Samsung, NEC, Nortel, Alcatel, Siemens and many others. In 1998, Motorola acquired Telogy’s digital mobile handset design business, and in 1999 Texas Instruments acquired Telogy as the world leader in embedded VOIP software – licensing over one million VOIP “sockets.” As Telogy’s CEO, Tom was honored as the 1995 Joseph A. Sciulli "Entrepreneur of the Year" by the Maryland High Technology Council.
Prior to Telogy, Tom was senior vice president of engineering at Hughes Network Systems (now a subsidiary of EchoStar and originally a combination of Digital Communications and Linkabit). He began his professional career as a systems programmer at the Central Intelligence Agency.
Tom is a trustee at Stevens Institute of Technology and also serves as the chairman of the Research Enterprise and Technology Commercialization Committee, a member of the board of trustees at the University of Maryland Foundation and chairman of the Board of Visitors at the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Tom is a graduate of Purdue University in philosophy and literature and serves as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the College of Liberal Arts, receiving Purdue's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009. He is a past Trustee at Capitol College.
Tom has six patents relating to software, the Internet, and digital telephone systems, and he is the author of "Packet Switching" in McGraw Hill’s Electronic Communications Handbook. He is a member of IEEE and ACM, and he attended the Executive Management (non-degree) program at MIT Sloan School.
Growing up, Tom was an avid ham radio operator and an Eagle Scout. He is married to Susan Hitz Scholl and has two sons, William and Tommy. He has been writing poetry since he was 16.
Dr. Paul R. Sanberg
From Lab to Market: Academic Innovation and the National Academy of Inventors
November 13, 2013
Dr. Paul R. Sanberg is senior vice president for research and innovation, Distinguished University Professor and executive director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida, and founder and president of the National Academy of Inventors. He trained at York University, the University of British Columbia, the Australian National University and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, among others. He has held academic positions at Ohio University, the University of Cincinnati and Brown University. He is an inventor on approximately 100 health-related patents. His work has been instrumental in translating new pharmaceutical and cellular therapeutics to clinical trials and commercialization for Tourette syndrome, stroke, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease and he has significant biotech and pharmaceutical industry experience in these areas. He is the co-founder of Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, Inc. and Natura Therapeutics, in Tampa, and Stem Cells, Inc., in Palo Alto, California. He is the author of more than 600 scientific publications and is considered a highly cited scientist, with more than 20,000 citations to his published work. He serves on editorial boards for more than 30 scientific journals and has received numerous scientific awards. He is a fellow of the AAAS, a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and serves on the evaluation committee of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
David E. Hershberg
Excelling as an Entrepreneur
April 24, 2013
David Hershberg started his career in 1959 at ITT Defense Communications working on earth stations for the first active communications satellite carrier. He founded ITT Space Communications in 1968; Comtech Systems Division in 1972; and Satellite Transmission Systems (STS) in 1976, where he served for 18 years as president and CEO. STS became the global leader and premier company in the field of satellite communications ground station systems.
Hershberg founded Globecomm Systems (GSI) in 1994 as an integrator of satellite communication systems and networks. It soon became a leading provider of end-to-end solutions. In 1996 he founded NetSat Express which is now known as Globecomm Network Services, as a subsidiary of GSI, to provide Internet service to developing countries. It is now a leading provider of Internetvia- satellite services for international ISPs and end-to-end enterprise solutions with content delivery offerings.
Working to improve United States industry competitiveness, Hershberg has testified before the U.S. Congress, and advised President Bill Clinton on competitive trade issues. He has worked on trade issues with the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Trade representative, AEA, TIA and the Council on Competitiveness.
Hershberg has won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Long Island region in the Emerging Technology category, the Leroy R. Grumman Award at the Cradle of Aviation Museum for technical achievement in satellite communications, and many other awards. In 2008 he was inducted into the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame (LITHF).
Hershberg holds master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University and management science from Stevens Institute of Technology and a B.E.E. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).