Lyla Perrodin: TechAccel Strategy and Operations. Lyla is an independent consultant specializing in corporate strategy and operational excellence. Perrodin has worked in industries from agriculture to telecommunications and in functions from accounting to information technology to strategy. She served as VP and Chief Information Officer for MRIGlobal with responsibility for information technology, corporate communications and strategy. She also served as Director of Strategic Alliances at Sprint, and was a Manager in the consulting practices of KPMG and PriceWaterhouse. Lyla lives in Kansas City and is active on the boards of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Mid-America Chapter and the Folly Theater and actively supports the Girl Scouts in STEM initiatives.
Erika Sweeney: TechAccel Administrative Operations. Erika is the owner of Brookside Administrative Operations Services (BAOS), a consulting company specializing in Human Resources/Benefits, Corporate Operations and Administrative support for start-up companies and non-profit organizations. She previously was Administrative Operations Manager for AVAX Technologies, a biotech startup, and later formed The Pareto Group, a firm specializing in Corporate Operations, Human Resources and Benefits. She also was a founder and Chief Administration Officer of Evogen Inc., a biosafety company. (More)
Brett Morris: Principal; Manager, Investments. Brett has over 5 years’ experience working in M&A, private equity, and financial services, mostly in the agriculture and energy industries. Prior to TechAccel, he worked in corporate development for Lansing Trade Group, LLC, a physical trader of agriculture and energy commodities, and one of Kansas City's largest and fastest growing private companies. At Lansing, Brett evaluated 150+ deals and helped successfully deploy over $200 million in capital towards M&A, investment, joint venture, and organic growth opportunities. Brett led financial modeling and valuation efforts, assisted with strategy development, and helped manage the due diligence, deal structuring, and implementation processes. Prior to Lansing, Brett worked for a small strategic advisory firm building financial models and performing industry research for M&A and PE transactions in the oil/gas, healthcare, and technology sectors. He also spent time in the credit and fundamental equity departments at a local bank. Brett graduated from The University of Kansas and is currently a CFA Level III candidate.
Nancy Shawver: TechAccel Communications. Nancy is the principal of Nancy Shawver Consulting, a firm providing integrated communications solutions for clients focused in the application of new technology. She is a former journalist and science writer with experience in product marketing, strategy, and digital content. She served as director of corporate communications for MRIGlobal, as an assistant vice president at Sprint Corp., and as vice president at The Kansas City Star. Nancy is active in the Kansas City chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators and is an advocate for STEM education. She lives in Kansas City.
Brad Fabbri, Ph.D.: Chief Science Officer. Dr. Fabbri has more than 20 years of leadership, strategic, and business experience in plant biotechnology and agribusiness. While employed at Monsanto Company, Brad evolved from a scientific leader and Science Fellow to focus on business needs assessment, business and partnerships development & negotiations, and strategy processes to identify and explore new areas for the company to grow. Brad blends diverse scientific expertise and knowledge with strong business development and analytic skills. He is skilled at bringing a creative and pragmatic approach to addressing complex problems, and for delivering valuable insights and ideas. Brad values the contributions from team members of diverse backgrounds, and has had great success leveraging these to excellent outcomes. (More)
Bill Boschma: TechAccel Project Manager, Partner Management and Business Development. Bill started his career with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as a programmer and systems analyst. At Andersen, Price Waterhouse, IBM and Ernst & Young, he continued to develop his skills as an analyst and project manager, specializing in the implementation of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software for large enterprise customers such as Shell, Lyondell Petrochemicals, Solvay, and Farmland Industries. He later joined Sprint, working in Mobility Consulting. Bill also served as a program manager at MRIGlobal and Cisco Systems.
Ken Williams: TechAccel Food & Post Harvest Sector Business Development Lead. Ken grew up in agriculture, initially traveling and working with his family’s custom harvesting crew throughout the western United States and Canada, then transitioning into a member-owner of his family’s organic and conventional farming interests.
Ken received his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Business and Economics from KSU in 2002 and his MBA, with an emphasis in Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship, from KSU in 2004.
Lindsay Biggs: Agriculture Plant Sector Business Development Lead. Lindsay received her undergraduate degree in Marketing and Management from KSU in 2006 and her MBA, with an emphasis in Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship, from KSU in 2008.
Bret Ford: TechAccel Animal Sector Business Development Lead. Bret has over 8 years experience working in technology assessment, acquisition and licensing, with a focus in the animal health and nutrition industry. He received his undergraduate degree in Life Sciences from KSU in 2004, and his MBA, with an emphasis in Technology Entrepreneurship, from KSU in 2006.
Dr. Michael Helmstetter: Co-Founder, President & CEO. Michael has over 28 years of experience as an industry-leading strategist. He has led all aspects of scientific research enterprise growth, management, process improvement, sales, profitability and communications - most recently leading research institute MRIGlobal from $322 million to $683 million in annual revenue. Prior to his tenure at MRIGlobal, Michael was President and Chairman of a highly recognized Florida start-up, BTR Labs Inc. At BTR Labs, Michael was instrumental in raising >$20 million in capital, as well as structuring the development of a bond-supported campus to house BTR Labs. BTR Labs was sold to MRIGlobal in 1999. [More]
Kent Glasscock: TechAccel Corporate Strategy and Business Development. Kent is currently President of the Kansas State University (KSU) Institute for Commercialization (KSU-IC), Kent Glasscock is focused on making the organization a national leader in knowledge-based economic development. KSU-IC, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, serves as the intellectual property licensing and commercialization entity for KSU and is under contract with TechAccel to provide a variety of business development, licensing, and project management services. As a veteran of private business, Glasscock also serves as Chairman and CEO of successful family retail lumber and construction businesses with locations in Missouri, Iowa and Kansas. [More]
David Forsee: TechAccel Business Development Executive. David is the President and Founder of Brookside Capital LLC, an advisory firm providing business development services, primarily to technology companies in the Midwest, with a focus on renewable energy and agriculture. Forsee’s role in technology development has included advising and evaluating a diverse portfolio of companies, from regional agricultural equipment dealerships and logistics to new technologies for biofuels markets. Forsee was Founder, CEO and Chairman of MachineryLink, Inc. from its incorporation in 2000 until April 2006. [More]
Tony Simpson: TechAccel AgriBusiness Development. Tony Simpson brings more than 23 years of experience leading and investing in companies in agribusiness and animal health. In 2015, Tony founded AgTech Advisors, LLC, a consulting firm focused on supporting entrepreneurs and investors in the agtech sector. Previously, he served as a Managing Director for the Kansas Bioscience Authority where he led the organization’s investment efforts in agtech, animal health and bioenergy, leading investments in companies such as Aratana Therapeutics, Green Dot, SmartVet and Advanced Animal Diagnostics. Before joining the KBA, he spent 9 years with POET Plant Management, where he started 2 major green-field ethanol plants and led equity drives and refinancing and expansion efforts for EXOL and Michigan Ethanol. (More)
Mike DeMaio: TechAccel Chief Financial Officer. Mike is the principal of Crown Consulting Services LLC, a CFO outsourcing firm based in Overland Park, KS. Mike is a CFO who works with owners of small and medium sized businesses. He serves as a trusted adviser to help businesses grow. Prior to founding Crown Consulting Services, Mike was the CFO of M.A. Associates Inc. and M.A. Energy Resources LLC. Both companies are headquartered in Kansas City and operate in the alternative fuel and raw material industry. Before joining M.A., Mike was CFO of Ascend Media, which is an Overland Park, KS-based custom media company specializing in event media.
Kevin Sweeney: Legal Counsel. Kevin is chair of Polsinelli's multidisciplinary Life Sciences industry group and a senior member and Vice-Chair of its Corporate & Transactional practice group. He has more than 35 years experience in handling mergers and acquisitions, public and private securities offerings, venture capital financing, technology transfer, and other complex financial and strategic transactions, with a special emphasis in serving as a strategic advisor to the top management of life science companies of all types. [More]