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, Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Maine & Company, 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 | Investment Officer
As an Investment Officer, 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 | Director of Innovation Infrastructure
Martha Bentley has worked with the Maine Technology Institute in a variety of capacities since 2002 including managing the Cluster Initiative Program and the Maine Technology Asset Fund Program, as well as well as Maine Accelerates Growth. Martha joined the MTI staff in 2016 as Director of Innovation Infrastructure, coordinating MTI’s funding programs and partnerships that support the innovation and entrepreneurial environment in Maine.
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 | Director of Investment Operations
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.
Kim Doughty | Lending and Grant Associate
Kim joined MTI in October 2016, and is responsible for working with potential applicants in search of funding and assisting them with the TechStart Grant, Seed Grant and SBIR/STTR application process. She is committed to connecting entrepreneurs with the resources necessary to develop and grow their business. Her background includes over twenty years of experience in various capacities within commercial lending and credit administration in community banking and economic development.
A native of Maine, Kim comes from a family of small business owners. She earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University and serves on various nonprofit boards and committees.
April Finkenhoefer | Lending and Grant Associate
April joined MTI as Office Manager in July of 2014 and was promoted to Lending and Grant Associate in October, 2016. 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.
Brian Jones | Investment Officer
Brian joined MTI in 2017 after working for Fluid Imaging Technologies in Scarborough, ME. Before moving to Maine from New York City in 2015, Brian worked for LinkIt! Software, an educational software company based in Manhattan, that he also helped start. He worked in various roles over the years but his expertise is in business and product development, client relationships, market research and sales. It was at LinkIt! that Brian cut his teeth in the start-up world and learned the ins and outs of growing a business.
Brian earned his B.A. from St. John’s University, majoring in Economics. Born and raised in Manhasset, New York, he is glad to now call Maine his home. He currently lives in Brunswick with his fiancée, April and his dog, Ozzie.
Greg Lee | Director of Finance and Administration
As Director of Finance and Administration, Greg oversees most of the day-to-day back office functions at MTI, and serves a senior management role as the head of the finance team. Greg has a background in public accounting and spent several years in finance leadership roles in local Maine companies.
Greg graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a B.S. in Accounting and maintains his CPA license. Greg and his family reside in Yarmouth.
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 was part of the startup team at MTI in 2000. He is well-connected in Maine’s entrepreneurial community, and serves on the Maine 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 | Investment Officer
Lou joined MTI in 2015 after finishing his Master’s Program 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. Lou has extensive experience working with small businesses as an early employee at for-profits and non-profits in Portland, ranging from rocking bowling alleys to financial literacy counseling. Lou earned his B.S. from the University of Southern Maine in International Studies, with a focus on Economics.
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.
John Eldredge (2018 - Present)
John has significant experience in general strategy, marketing strategy, brand building, new product development, licensing, and sales and distribution channel management. He is a founding partner of Innovative Natural Products Group, a boutique consultancy providing support to early stage natural products companies.
John began his career in consumer foods marketing at General Mills—working on Betty Crocker dessert and Big G cereal brands—before moving into senior management positions at leading natural products companies. John served as VP of marketing at Tom’s of Maine and acting VP of marketing at Earth’s Best organic baby food.
Most recently, John was a senior leader at Guiding Stars Licensing Company (a subsidiary of global food retailer Hannaford/Delhaize Group) where he was responsible for licensing the proprietary Guiding Stars in-store nutrition guidance program to grocery chains, college dining halls, hospital cafeterias, and a major regional health plan.
John received his AB degree in psychology from Dartmouth College and an MBA with a concentration in marketing from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. In the community, he is an assistant coach for local high school and college Nordic ski teams, and does volunteer work with Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program. John enjoys running, cycling, Nordic skiing, vegetable gardening, and film.
Matthew Hoffner (2017 - Present)
Matt currently serves part time as an ER with MTI working with their portfolio companies and applicants to develop success strategies for their individual companies. He also serves on a number of other civic boards and is a part time math instructor in Portland.
Matt graduated as an engineer started his career with Exxon where he was a field engineer and eventually a senior manager with their industrial and chemical divisions throughout the US. He has been involved with a number of start-up companies and organizations since coming to ME in 1987. For 10 years, he was one of the original senior managers for WEX in South Portland. He later started a B2B marketing and sales outsourcing company that had over 100 professionals at client locations throughout the US. He was the President and CEO of JobsInTheUS, the parent company of JobsInME that realized exceptional growth before a successful sale in 2006. In 2008, he joined with a partner in the UK to start an international job board marketplace called Jobg8 which has grown to be a major trading platform within that industry. He was appointed to the board of the Maine Venture Fund for 6 years and was the chairman of that fund from 2014 through 2016. Upon leaving that board he became chairman and managing director for one of its portfolio company that needed assistance. That turnaround was successful and the company returned to profitability and growth and was successfully sold in 2017.
Matt has expertise in developing and implementing growth strategies, especially for businesses in the B2B marketplace. He has experience in the funding of start-up companies and developing growth strategies that address the challenges of high growth companies.
Matt lives at Diamond Cove on Great Diamond Island in the Casco Bay and enjoys all the benefits of island living in Maine.
John Karp (2016 - present)
John Karp is a Mechanical Engineer by training. He has broad experience in many aspects of business growth and has worked in business management since 1987. Since 2005, John has consulted in business management with a focus on strategy formation and implementation for growing his client companies. Additionally he served as CEO to turn around Bourgeois Guitars, a legendary brand of acoustic guitar distributed worldwide.
As a serial entrepreneur, John has served many functions including positioning for funding, new product feasibility analysis, investment due diligence, strategic planning, program management, marketing and sales programs. With several startups and a major turnaround to his credit ranging from a truck accessory business in his garage to a major technology spinout from Harvard Medical School, John brings unique national and international experience to clients. Most recently John doubled the revenues of a client company which was already in 7 figure revenues in 16 months by planning and implementing a structured growth strategy.
John works primarily with companies up to $10 million in revenues, keeping a sharp focus on client’s bottom line growth. As a member of Maine Angels, John is familiar with funding growth from both the investor and solicitation sides of deals.
Please see more detail at www.karpstrategic.com.
John Pavan (2017 - Present)
John works with entrepreneurial endeavors at growth stage or inflection points that are developing a unique approach or product. He is active in several market sectors, all of which are niche or limited-entry and address a societal, sustainability or environmental challenge.
He serves as advisor, co-investor, non-executive director and/or in C-level roles, all in collaborative support of the entrepreneur. He creates value through capital, market and operational strategies with the goal of multiple bottom-line success.
John’s “first career” was in capitalizing and managing operating entities, primarily in institutional quality real estate development and integrated operating ventures. Within this space he specialized in the then-emerging service-enriched senior housing sector. He was the CEO/COO of a $30 million vertically-integrated development company, and as an entrepreneur co-founded and ran the development function of 2 companies that developed, owned and operated multi-site, service-enriched senior housing portfolios of over $125 million each. He has had performance responsibility for dozens of initiatives as well as several vertically-integrated operating companies.
John also assists institutional owners, investors and lenders in designing and implementing asset turnaround and workout plans, having recovered over $100 million in capital for his clients.
In addition his E-Resident role at MTI, he volunteers his expertise supporting small and scaling businesses as a mentor at the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs and as a certified counselor at SCORE.
John is also a registered professional civil and environmental engineer and a licensed real estate broker.
Carl Spang (2014 - Present)
Carl Spang has thirty four years of experience in the management and development of companies within the Computer Hardware, Manufacturing Information Systems, Materials Handling, and Footwear industries.
Currently, Carl provides independent consulting services and serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Maine Technology Institute. From 2007 to 2014, Carl was an owner and President of Falcon Performance Footwear in Auburn, Maine, which he purchased with a partner in 2007. Carl helped transition Falcon from bankruptcy into a profitable manufacturer of highly-engineered safety footwear for the North American firefighter market and international industrial markets. While Carl was President, Falcon was the 2011 recipient of the Maine MEP Manufacturing Excellence Award, the 2012 Maine International Trade Center’s Innovator of the Year award, and received the 2013 Governor’s Award for Business Excellence.
From 1994 to 2007, Carl owned and served as President of the Kestrel Group, Inc., a consulting company specializing in Enterprise-wide software implementations and Lean Manufacturing. Early clients included Sun Microsystems, Kodak, and EMC. In 2003, Carl shifted Kestrel’s focus to manufacturing companies with $50M – $200M annual revenue that were experiencing growth but eroding margins. During this period, Carl also served as interim CEO for two companies undergoing ownership transition.
From 1980 – 1994, Carl worked for Digital Equipment Company (DEC) of Maynard, MA, in a variety of management positions including Materials Manager for North American Field Service, Group Operations for Global Disk Drive Manufacturing, and Demand Manager for Personal Computing Manufacturing. Founded in 1957, the company employed more than 120,000 people worldwide at its peak in 1990 and earned more than $14 billion in revenue. Digital also pioneered peer-to-peer networked computer systems and maintained, in the 1980’s, the largest corporate computer network in the world.
Carl holds a B.S. degree from Boston University, and an M.A and M.B.A. from the University of New Hampshire.