Committee & Advisors

External Committee Members

The external committee members are Cornell Alumni recognized in their fields of expertise. They are invited on select Ignite presentations.

President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors

Gregory J. Galvin MS ’82 PhD ’84 MBA ’93

Dr. Galvin has been at the forefront of multidisciplinary technology commercialization since 1993, when he launched Kionix Inc. to commercialize a novel micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) technology platform. Dr. Galvin sold the Kionix telecommunications platform to Calient Networks Inc. in 2000 and purchased the rights to the name and access to certain markets in 2001. Dr. Galvin continued his successful commercialization of Kionix with applications in MEMS technology for semiconductor applications including a highly successful accelerometer product for smartphones. Dr. Galvin spun out Rheonix Inc. from Kionix in 2008 to capitalize on non-MEMS-based microfluidic opportunities in the molecular diagnostics industry and sold the second incarnation of Kionix Inc. to Rohm Co. Ltd.

Dr. Galvin is a member of several scientific societies, has published more than 20 technical papers and holds 58 patents. He is a member of the Advisory Councils of the Cornell Engineering College, Entrepreneurship at Cornell and the Cornell Materials Science Department and has served as a member of the Cornell Board of Trustees. He also serves as a director of the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research and Ithaca Area Economic Development. He was named Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year 2014.

He holds a B.S. from the California Institute of Technology in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in materials science and MBA from Cornell University.

Founder - Accelerate Medicine (Axlmed). Former Global VP of Growth & BD at Siemens Healthineers

Anupendra Sharma MBA ’98

Anupendra Sharma was the Global VP of Growth & Business Development at Siemens Healthineers within Enterprise Services & Solutions where he partners with innovative companies to create new business lines for Siemens.
For eleven years, he was Senior Investment Partner at Siemens Venture Capital / Next47.
Prior to SVC, Anupendra spent eight years in M&A at JPMorgan, Salomon Smith Barney and Siemens. Anupendra also worked in strategy consulting for McKinsey, and Product Development Finance for Ford, where he was a member of the core team that set-up Ford in China and India.
Anupendra Sharma is a passionate Cornellian. He led the creation of the Cornellians in Venture Capital Database. When he was at Cornell, he was recognized with the Johnson 10×2000 award for his efforts to make the Johnson School a top 10 school (it was ranked 8th when he graduated). He also judged the Entrepreneurship competition for two years, and mentored one of the companies to Angel and Series A rounds.
Anupendra holds an MBA from Cornell, Masters in Accounting & Finance from Manchester Business School, and Masters in Economics and Bachelors of Instrumentation Engineering from BITS Pilani.
Principal Alexandria Venture Investments

Blake Stevens ’05

Blake Stevens, PhD, is a Principal at Alexandria Venture Investments and the Head of Alexandria Launchlabs – AgTech, the premier startup platform for agtech companies. Dr. Stevens specializes in assisting early-stage companies accelerate their growth and has worked as both an entrepreneur and a venture investor. Dr. Stevens leads Alexandria’s agtech investment portfolio and venture investment activity in the Research Triangle region. At LaunchLabs, Dr. Stevens works closely with members on company-building activities.

Dr. Stevens formerly served as Vice President at Harris & Harris Group, an early-stage venture capital firm. He also sat on the Board of TARA Biosystems, Inc.; ProMuc, Inc.; Interome, Inc.; and SynGlyco, Inc. Dr. Stevens was an early employee at HZO, Inc., leading its R&D, commercialization, and technical business development efforts.

He holds degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University (BSc) and Northwestern University (PhD) and a Certificate in Management for Scientists and Engineers from the Kellogg Business School.

Partner at Amplifyher Ventures

Meghan Cross Breeden ’08

Meghan has 14 years of asset management and operating experience in New York venture. Prior to joining Amplifyher, Meghan built the Cornell alumni investment network Red Bear Angels, leading the firm's investments into 25+ companies including Datalogue [acq. Nike] and Grokstyle [acq. Facebook] as well as two 'Unicorns' Lyft [NASDAQ: LYFT] and Trumid. She received her venture training from Foundation Capital and StarVest Partners. Meghan was previously a communications specialist, managing public relations for Skype and Foursquare, before becoming a director at the leading post-dot-com media company, StyleCaster Media Group [acq. She Knows Media].

Meghan is a guest writer for TechCrunch and Forbes and lecturer at Columbia University, Cornell University, and Yeshiva University on Venture Capital. She is an active leader on the Young Patrons board at Lincoln Center and co-chairs the nextgen board of Facing History, an education nonprofit that furthers diversity and inclusion.

Meghan received her B.S. in Fiber Science from Cornell University and M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Former CEO of CBORD and Trustee Emeritus of Cornell University

John Alexander ’74, MBA '76,

John is the founder of The CBORD Group Inc., a systems integration firm based in Ithaca, NY. He earned an undergraduate degree in physics and an MBA in finance while at Cornell. Immediately after graduation, he was vice president in the Money Market Division of Bankers Trust Company (now Deutsche Bank.) in their Eurodollar trading operation.

As President and CEO of CBORD, Mr. Alexander led CBORD through 29 years of growth. The CBORD Group, founded in 1975, is the world’s leading provider of campus and cashless card systems, food and nutrition service management software, nationwide student discount and off-campus commerce programs, housing and judicial process management software, and integrated security solutions. CBORD prides itself on being the only provider that can offer such a broad portfolio of solutions designed to improve our clients’ daily operations and help them provide their customers with greater convenience and satisfaction. In 2004, Mr. Alexander sold a portion of his interest in CBORD to a private equity consortium consisting of Sterling Investment Partners and Oak Investment Partners, among others, and stepped down as CEO, maintaining his responsibility as Chairman of the board. In 2008, the firm was sold again to Roper Industries, Inc., a publically held firm (ROP), and Alexander stepped down from the board.

Mr. Alexander was elected to Cornell’s Board of Trustees by the alumni body to a four-year term beginning July 1, 2000, and was reelected in 2004. He has served on numerous committees, and chaired the Audit Committee for 3 years, taking the university through the Sarbanes Oxley process. He currently serves at a Trustee Emeritus and Presidential Councilor. He serves on the advisory councils of the Entrepreneurship@Cornell (E@C) Program, the Johnson School, and is the alumni advisor to the Johnson Board Fellows program and BR Consulting. He also serves on the community advisory board of the Johnson Art Museum. He was the 1987-88 Dorothy M. Proud Lecturer at Cornell’s Division of Nutritional Sciences. He currently chairs the executive committee of the Sphinx Head Society, Cornell’s first undergraduate honor society.

Locally, Mr. Alexander has been involved in numerous activities. He is probably best known for Coyote Loco, an innovative Mexican restaurant located just outside of Cornell’s campus, started in partnership with three other business-minded Mexican food lovers. Community activities include the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, FOODNET, Tompkins County’s elderly home-delivered meal program, the Sciencenter’s Advisory Board, the Boy Scouts of America, the Hangar Theatre, and the Cayuga Venture Fund. Mr. Alexander serves as an independent director of the Tompkins Financial Corporation (TMP), where he has chaired the Audit Committee, and serves on the boards of both the bank and of the holding company, as well as its Compensation Committee and its Pension Investment Committee. He served as a director for real Foods LLC, which was sold in 2012 to Rich Products, and also serves on the board of Sound Reading Systems, Inc. Mr. Alexander volunteers with the United Way of Tompkins County, and chaired its annual campaign for the 2002-2003 year. He served as National Campaign Co-Chair for the Hangar Theatre’s first-ever capital campaign with his wife Elaine, and serves on the board of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, where he chairs the development committee and has had the responsibility of conducting its first-ever capital campaign.

Ernst and Young selected Mr. Alexander as the Upstate New York Technology Entrepreneur of the in 2002. Cornell selected Alexander as its 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year. John and Elaine Alexander were honored in 2014 as recipients of Cornell’s prestigious Frank H. T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award for their service to Cornell.

Managing Partner at Silicon Catalyst

Richard Curtin, MS ’78

Richard has an entrepreneurial passion for transforming innovative technology teams into successful businesses, bringing to startups extensive, hands-on business management experience in the Asian/Pacific, European and North American markets. He has been actively involved in 11 startups, most recently as a co-founder of Nucleos, an education technology company targeting disconnected learners.
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 IP, EDA, design and testing services companies -- ranging from early-stage, pre-revenue startups seeking funding, to a general manager role with P&L responsibility for a $200 million product line at NXP Semiconductors.
Richard started his career as a chip designer in the computer industry and is a holder of two US patents. He holds an MBA from Pepperdine University, an M.S. EE from Cornell University and a B.S. Computer Engineering degree from Boston University.
Former Vice President of Technology and Development at Xerox Corporation and current Trustee of Cornell University

Yonn K. Rasmussen ’83 MS ’86 PhD ’89

Dr. Yonn K. Rasmussen (BS/MS/Ph.D. Engineering College Cornell University; MBA University of Rochester ‘03) is former (retired ‘20) Vice President of Technology and Development Group at Xerox Corporation. Dr. Rasmussen is passionate about innovation and commercialization of technology into products in the marketplace and holds 29 patents. Through her 30+ year career at Xerox, she has held technical and management leadership positions responsible for technology, product development and global manufacturing operations for printing consumables chemicals businesses including photoreceptors and chemical toner technologies. She has led new business initiatives, including materials development for printed electronics and 3D printing to capture new markets leveraging Internet of Things in security enhancement and smart consumables. She has had extensive experience developing and implementing joint technology and manufacturing strategy with Fuji Xerox based in Japan. Her depth of expertise and breath of experience span from leading and managing fundamental research into development of technologies that are geared toward product development to developing and delivering scale-up processes into large-scale manufacturing facilities in global locations.

Dr. Rasmussen is currently serving as an alumni elected trustee of the Cornell University, and has been active in numerous Cornell alumni and student organizations. She has been a member of the Cornell University Council, Materials Science and Engineering Advisory Board, President's Council of Cornell Women where she has served as the Board of Trustee Liaison, the chair of the PCCW's Alumnae/Faculty Engagement and Student Mentoring Committees and vice-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion committee. She is passionate about mentoring students in STEM fields. She has been an advisor for Scientista National Student Organization and Mentoring@Cornell working group. She has a long history of active engagement with Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at Cornell, advising and providing leadership development workshops as well as mentoring students and being a guest speaker at SWE events over many years. She is also passionate about mentoring pre-college school students that are interested in STEM fields and was a keynote speaker at Expanding Your Horizons. She has supported United Way through leadership giving with a focus on women and children.

Dr. Rasmussen is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Beta Gamma Sigma, Engineering and Business Academic Honor societies, respectively. She and her husband Dan reside in Pittsford, NY and a part of the year in Copenhagen, Denmark. She speaks fluent Korean and has currently CEFR B1 level proficiency in Danish. Her two adult children are both in STEM fields, in medicine and computer science and physics.

Technology Advisors

Technology Advisors are experts in specific technology areas who provide feedback on select proposals.

  • Marc Appel, Orange Grove Bio
  • Fred Barken, Investor
  • Sean Hu, RPI and 3E Bioventures Capital
  • Mike Kamarck, Executive
  • Hua Liao, Orange Grove Bio
  • Ryan Luginbuhl, MITRE
  • Mike McCourt, Consultant
  • Louis Villalba, Genea Biomedx
  • Mike Fuerstman, Rhapsody Venture
  • Peter O’Brien, Fluence
  • Matt Olivo, C2 Ventures
  • Josh Palmer, Kairos Ventures
  • Hootan Rashidifard, Canaan Partners
  • Omar Zahr, TandemLaunch
  • Xinjian Zhou, BICI USA

Accelerate Cornell Innovation.

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