Our Advisors and Partners

Board of Directors

Ashok headshot

Ashok Rao

Board Chairman

Ashok Rao is a decorated Serial Entrepreneur with five successful high technology start-ups of his own. Currently, he is an Angel Investor, investing in several start-ups, mentoring their founders, and serving on their boards. He has led and contributed to the successful exit of several startups. From 2014-2017, Ashok was the Chairman of Adhesys Medical, Inc. That year, he led the sale and acquisition of Adhesys to Grunenthal in April 2017. He now serves as the Chairman of their Advisory Board. In addition, Rao is the Chairman of BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg, Germany, and Houston, TX and is the Principal Investor & Chairman of SiNode Systems. Rao is a member of the prestigious 20-member GOOSE Society of Texas (The Grand Order of Successful Entrepreneurs), founded by Dr. Jack Gill & Compaq founder Rod Canion. From 2011 to 2014, Ashok served as Chairman of TIE Global. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi.  He received his masters from Marquette University. In addition, he received his diploma in Financial Management from the London.


David Motley, M.B.A.


Mr. Motley is Co-founder and General Partner at BlueTree Venture Fund, a Pittsburgh-based venture capital firm investing in med-tech and IT companies at the Series B stage. He is also Managing Director at Headwaters SC, a mid-cap investment banking firm that provides sell side and buy side transaction support, advisory services and growth capital to business-owning families. Previously, Mr. Motley held the position of Vice President and General Manager at Covidien, Inc. Surgical Devices, where his principal responsibilities were franchise management, portfolio management and strategy for its $2 billion portfoli of surgical products.


Steve Fleck, M.B.A.


Mr. Fleck is the Founder and CEO of Careform, Inc. which provides an innovative software and service platform to the specialty pharmaceutical industry, enhancing the access and availability of specialty therapies to providers and patients. Previously Steven was co-founder of ClearCount Medical Solutions, the world’s first FDA-cleared RFID system for the surgical operating room. He provided business and technology leadership from the formation of the company in 2004 through successful commercialization to hospitals throughout the U.S.

Kesinger -Headshot

Matt Kesinger


Mr. Kesinger was an EMT in Boston, MA for two years where he learned firsthand how hard it can be to diagnose a stroke with just a clinical exam. Upon attending the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he conducted and ultimately published research on the difficulties of pre-hospital providers diagnosing stroke. His years of work on this problem led him to create AlphaStroke. In order to develop and bring it to market, Matt co-founded Forest Devices with Dan and Steve. Matt is on a leave of absence from Medical School, where he developed a deep understanding of the neuroscience behind our stroke detection method, and an understanding of urgent/emergency care in both pre-hospital and emergency room environments.


Larry Miller, M.B.A.

Board Observer

Mr. Miller is as an Executive in Residence at Innovation Works and Chair of Technology Deal Flow at Blue Tree Allied Angels. Larry works with the management teams of early-stage life sciences and medical device companies and other start-ups. He also helps entrepreneurs address their critical business issues including product and business development, fundraising, sales and marketing, and strategic planning. Larry has more than 20 years of experience in leading and managing medical device companies to identified commercializable IP and accelerates product development, raise venture capital, manage cash flow, identify market opportunities, generate sales, sustain profits, and implement productivity and quality improvement practices.

Our Advisors


Medical Devices


Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 11.48.37 AM

Mark Wholey, M.D.

Dr. Wholey is Director of the Center for Vascular and Neurovascular Interventions and Allegheny Health Network. He specializes in peripheral vascular procedures and is considered a pioneer in his field, having founded medical technology companies, developed popular medical devices and treated thousands of patients. He is a co-founder of EndoTex and Embolic Protection, both acquired by Boston Scientific Corp., and of Medrad. He is also the inventor of many medical devices, including the Wholey Wire.


Lawrence Wechsler, M.D.

Dr. Wechsler is a professor of neurology and neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is the founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Stroke Institute and has been very active in the treatment of stroke and its debilitating effects. Dr. Wechsler has served as local principal investigator for national and international clinical trials testing new treatments for acute stroke.

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 11.49.21 AM

Dottie Clower, Ph.D.

Dr. Clower is CSO of Cohera Medical and was instrumental in its early formation dating back to 2003. Leading the product development program, her team has successfully brought the company’s lead product, TissuGlu®, from laboratory prototype through FDA approval. Dr. Clower received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University and has over twenty years of research experience in both industrial and academic environments.



Penn Krause, FACHE

Penn Krause is a healthcare operations and business development leader with management experience in hospitals and startups. As a member of the Community Health Systems' (CHS) senior team, Penn helped lead CHS through rapid growth and IPO. He became a champion of IT while CEO at Mercy Health System, which earned recognition as one of the “Top 100 Most Wired.” Mr. Krause possess an entrepreneurial knowledge of the healthcare industry and delivering new technologies, having developed and grown health IT startups which serve some of the nation's premier health systems.


Wendy Mascio

Ms. Mascio is the co-founder of Medical Equipment Source, a full service laboratory equipment provider focusing on new and remanufactured laboratory equipment. She is also co-founder of VIVO Worldwide, a global life science company with a focus on international placement of remanufactured laboratory equipment to improve access to quality healthcare.




Patrick J Loughlin, Ph.D.

Patrick J. Loughlin, Ph.D. is a Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh, which he joined in 1993. He has made contributions to signal processing and bioengineering, including the development and application of nonstationary signal processing methods. Dr. Loughlin is an industry-leading mind with expertise in signal acquisition and interpretation; analysis and modeling of human postural control; sensorimotor integration and vibrotactile feedback; and development of a physical model of anesthetic uptake, for which he holds two US patents. His research has been supported by a variety of institutions, including NIH, NSF, DoD, Boeing, and the Whitaker Foundation.


Jim Jordan, M.B.A.

Mr. Jordan is an accomplished Fortune 20-level executive with experience in industry, consulting, and academia. He is a recognized expert in market development and guiding the successful formation of entrepreneurial start-up businesses in the life sciences industry. Mr. Jordan has successfully applied his more than 25 years of experience to work with over 100 life science startup companies, with direct investment in 77 of them. He is currently CEO of the Pittsburgh Life Science Greenhouse.



Scott Bednar, M.B.A.

Scott Bednar is the CEO/Founder and Principal Consultant at QA/RA Consulting Group, Inc., a global Life Sciences consulting firm providing domestic and international Quality Management System implementation, regulatory compliance, auditing services, and new product development engineering services. With twenty-six years of experience in Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs, Scott works with cutting edge startups, as well as established Fortune 500 companies.

Our Partners