Brian Whitney | President
Brian Whitney is President of the Maine Technology Institute, a publicly financed, private, nonprofit organization established to stimulate research and development activity leading to the commercialization of new products, processes and services in the state’s seven targeted technology sectors.
He has extensive experience in economic development and legislative matters at both the state and federal level and has worked with innumerable companies, private and public sector research organizations, and entrepreneurial leaders throughout the State of Maine during his professional career. He served previously as a private sector manager and in the public sector as Maine’s Director of Business Development & Innovation, the Director of Outreach and Economic Development for U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), a Business Development Specialist for the State of Maine, and as Chief of Staff to Maine’s Senate President.
He has served on, or staffed, a number of statewide boards including the Maine State Workforce Investment Board, the Maine Economic Growth Council, Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board, and the Maine Rural Development Authority. He is currently a board member of the Maine Venture Fund and the Economic Development Council of Maine.
Brian is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine (USM) and lives in Augusta with his wife and two daughters.
Shane Beckim | Portfolio Manager
As a Business Ventures Group Portfolio Manager, Shane oversees multiple early stage funding components including the TechStart Grant, Seed Grant and SBIR/STTR related programs. Shane has been with MTI since 2004 in various capacities. His focus is to work with potential applicants who are in search of funding to help add valuable resources needed to conduct market research, develop business plans, and to conduct early stage research and development of new and innovative technologies.
Since taking over the administration of the Seed Grant Program in 2009, through the creation and administration of both the TechStart Grant and Business Accelerator Grant in 2011 and 2012 respectively, Shane has assisted hundreds of entrepreneurs and companies in various stages of development to formulate strategies and concentrate on efforts that both fit the need of the company and fit to the programs that MTI offers. He conducts regularly scheduled Webinars and you can see him around the state participating in MTI and partner sponsored workshops to help connect Maine’s growing entrepreneurial community to the resources and funding they need to succeed and grow.
Martha Bentley | CIP & MTAF Program Consultant, BxG Operations Director
Martha Bentley has worked with the Maine Technology Institute in a variety of capacities since 2002, currently as the Cluster Initiative Program and the Maine Technology Asset Fund Program management contractor, as well as operations director for Blackstone Accelerates Growth.
In addition to her work with MTI, Martha manages the Big White Barn, LLC.
Martha has a bachelor of arts in history from Davidson College and a master of arts in applied history from the University of South Carolina. She has held a variety of positions relating to non-profit management and philanthropy, including grants manager for the Public Welfare Foundation in Washington, DC, and director of programs at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She lives in a big white barn in Readfield, Maine with her two daughters and a variety of pets.
Scott Bursey | Portfolio Manager
Scott joined MTI in February of 2015, and is responsible for working with MTI portfolio companies with Development Loans. Scott has over 21 years of high risk lending experience, and has spent 17 years in commercial lending and economic development. He has an MBA from New Hampshire College and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Maine at Machias. Scott lives with his wife and children in the Brunswick area.
Emily Ernst Cordray | Director of Finance and Administration
Emily began working with MTI in January 2015, overseeing the financial, accounting, HR, and general administrative functions. A native of Wyoming, Emily earned a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Wyoming. She began her career as a staff accountant with Ernst & Young in Denver, Colorado. A former C.P.A. certified in 1992, Emily worked with a number of nonprofit organizations during her time in public accounting.
After relocating to Maine in 2001, Emily held board positions with a number of local nonprofit groups including the Maine Academy of Modern Music, the Wescustago Youth Chorale, and the Maine School Administrative District 51 Parent Teacher Organization.
Prior to joining the MTI team, Emily served as the Finance Director at Biodiversity Research Institute in Portland; the Principal Financial Officer of the Portland, Maine Police Department; and the Communications and Volunteer Coordinator for MSAD 51. She lives in North Yarmouth with her husband, children, and three large dogs.
April Finkenhoefer | Office Manager
April joined MTI as Office Manager in June of 2014. She had worked in similar capacities for the University of Western Ontario and the University of New Mexico prior to moving to Maine in 2012.
April earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from the University of Phoenix in 2004. She resides in Brunswick with her husband and two children.
Suzanne Hamlin | Director of Special Projects
Suzanne has worked with MTI since 2004 as a member of the SBIR/STTR Technical Assistance Program team that has helped Maine businesses secure over $85 million in SBIR/STTR funding from the Small Business Administration.
Suzanne brings extensive experience in business planning and analysis in a wide variety of industries. Her direct industry experience includes retail, direct marketing, medical products, manufacturing, banking, and insurance, as well as a broad range of non-profits, and she has consulted heavily in all seven of Maine’s target technology sectors. She holds a BSE in Computer Science from Princeton University, with honors, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Nick Mesires, Portfolio Manager
Nick joined MTI in June of 2015 and is responsible for working with MTI portfolio companies on Development Loans. Prior to joining the team at MTI, Nick worked at a Maine-based medical device company focusing on customer-facing product development. Nick has experience writing and managing SBIR grants, and also experience working at start-up biotechnology companies. Nick has a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from Tufts University School of Medicine, a MS degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Michigan State University, and a BS in Animal Science from Cornell University. Nick lives in Gorham with his wife, children, and dog.
Joseph Migliaccio | Director of Business Development
Joe is MTI’s Director of Business Development. Joe leads MTI’s targeted effort to expand MTI’s funding opportunities for technology development with early and late-stage ventures. Joe has been with MTI since 2000 and served as the Director of the Business Ventures Group. He is well-connected in Maine’s entrepreneurial community, and serves on the Blackstone Accelerates Growth leadership team.
Joe has been involved with small business throughout his life, including ownership in specialty foods and retail service. He has formal and practical training in immunology, bioassays, product development and business leadership. During 10 years at IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook, Maine, he worked as an assay development project leader in R&D, a supervisor of global technical support and managed a multi-million dollar line of tests and equipment. He has had primary responsibility for product-line strategy, product launch, customer satisfaction and achievement of revenue goals.
Joe initially studied engineering at the University of Maine and graduated with an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Southern Maine. He holds an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, NH and serves on various business boards and committees.
Lou Simms | Portfolio Associate
Lou joins us having recently received his Masters in Resource Administration and Management from the University of New Hampshire, where he focused on research and analysis at UNH’s Sustainability Institute and Organic Dairy Research Farm. A serial entrepreneur, Lou has started or been an early employee at several companies and non-profits, and has significant experience working with small businesses, including his most recent stint as Events Manager and jack-of-all-trades at the Bayside Bowl. He has served as a financial literacy counselor, and has also served as a sternman on a lobster boat. Originally from Kentucky, Lou has put down roots in Maine, and he and his girlfriend recently bought a house in Portland.
Patti Sutter | Web Communications Manager
Patti joined MTI as the administration assistant for the Maine Technology Asset Fund and other bond funds in February 2008. She had worked in similar capacities for the Maine Nutrition Network, Muskie School of Public Service (USM) and the University of Maine at Augusta.
Patti earned an associate of arts degree in liberal studies from the University of Maine at Augusta and is currently enrolled in its baccalaureate program for liberal studies. She resides in West Gardiner with her family and their wonder dog, Rudy.
Entrepreneurs in Residence
Kerem Durdag (2016 - present)
Kerem is an executive leader of people and companies bringing out the best of their talents and aspirations, and has over 20 years of experience directing world-class teams in the manufacturing and technology sectors delivering exceptional value to all stakeholders. Kerem is currently CEO of Biovation II LLC, a mid-stage medical device and advanced materials company. Previously, he was the CEO of BiODE, a sensors company and eventually led the company to an acquisition event by Dover Corporation. He was the past CTO for STEAG HamaTech, Inc., and Engineering Manager at Conceptronic; both public companies and world leaders in their respective markets.
He is on the Board of Directors for several private companies and non-profit organizations, is a member of the Maine Angels investor community, involved in the business community of Maine and is mentor to many entrepreneurs. He is also a published poet and essayist (www.ireakt.com).
He received his Bachelor of Science from St. John’s University (MN) and a Master in Mechanical Engineering from University of New Hampshire.
Jim Fecteau (2015 - present)
Jim was formerly Director of Finance and Administration with MTI and now serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence. He has an extensive background in finance and operations management, across a multitude of industries, from startup ventures to a Fortune 500 company. He has played a key role in both private and public financing rounds, as well as corporate mergers and acquisitions. Formerly qualified as a CPA, his major strength lies in financial planning and reporting, however the role he enjoyed the most was serving as the Chief Operating Officer of a New England building products distributor, managing all but the Sales and Marketing functions.
Jim serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and resides in Portland. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College (Mathematics and Economics) and a Master of Science degree from Northeastern University (Accounting).
Paul Myer (2014-present)
In addition to being an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at MTI, Paul J. Myer is the Executive-in-Residence at the University of Maine Business School. His career spans politics and government policy, global business and academia. At the University of Maine Business School, he presents courses in marketing strategy, marketing communications, sales and retail management, and international business.
He also consults with a broad range of Maine businesses and community organizations. Paul has served as a mentor and presenter in the Top Gun Program and was a principle of UMaine’s Knowledge Transfer Alliance.
Paul and his wife Keiko arrived in Portland from Tokyo Japan in December 2002 and have maintained a residence on Crystal Lake in Gray, Maine.