Brian Nejmeh is the President of INSTEP, Inc., a software technology advisory firm where he is an advisor, investor and board member to start-up and advanced stage software companies. Brian’s focus over the past 25 years has been on building and scaling enterprise software companies leveraging his core competencies in software product development, product management and technology leadership.
Brian has held executive leadership or advisory positions at start-up, expansion stage and both privately and publicly held middle and large market enterprise software companies. Brian began his career as a software engineer at AT&T-Bell Labs. Brian then launched a successful startup venture where be developed ProcessMapper, a leading Unix-based workflow product. He was a Technical Product Director at the Software Productivity Consortium, a start-up firm building software engineering tools and technologies for the aerospace industry. He was then at publicly held Legent Corporation, a systems management vendor, involved in product development, product management, development process improvement, corporate architectural product governance and M&A transactions. Legent was acquired by CA for $1.7B. Brian then the VP of Product at Nat Systems (Paris), an enterprise software vendor, that was acquired by Cognicase. Brian was the executive in charge of software product development, support and operations. Subsequently, Brian has held executive or advisory positions with traditional on-premise software companies moving to SaaS and with SaaS pure-play companies in the areas of product development, product management and strategy. This includes Sparta Systems (SaaS-based LIMS) acquired by Thomas Bravo; Fiberlink (SaaS-based mobile security/device management) acquired by IBM; Harmony Information Systems (SaaS-based healthcare solution) acquired by Medicare.
Brian is currently the acting General Manager at CellPort Software, an early-stage SaaS laboratory execution system (LES) focused on the cell and gene therapy market. Brian is also the technology advisory to the Board of Directors at Vertex, a large, privately held enterprise software company.
Brian has published two books and over 40 technical articles in journals such as IEEE Software and Communications of the ACM. He also served as Area Editor for Communications of the ACM, the leading technical referred periodical in the computing industry. His first book, Software Engineering in the Unix/C Environment, was a Unix Review feature book. His widely-cited work on feature vectors and increments (IEEE Software), is used for incremental product planning in agile SaaS companies. Brian is also the co-creator of the SaaS Framework Model (SFM), a leading industry framework used to guide companies in their SaaS journey in the key areas of business model, sales/marketing, product, architecture, operations, process/people.
Brian recently served on the board of Friendship Community, a non-profit organization providing residential and day programs for over 100 adults with intellectual disabilities in central PA. Brian is a member of the IEEE and ACM. He holds an M.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University and a B.S. (Phi Beta Kappa) in Computer Science from Allegheny College.
Ian Thomas, Principal Consultant
Ian Thomas has been consulting to software companies at various stages of maturity, from companies having received initial funding to well-established, well-funded enterprises. The principal focuses of these engagements have been market requirements analysis – combining information from multiple sources into a coherent view of the market, product and service definitions, and development of product road maps.
Recently, Ian Thomas was co-founder, SVP Engineering and CTO of Liquid Software. Liquid built Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and B2B product integration solutions for the HR application market delivering a ready-to-use product and powerful customization techniques rather than a tool set that allowed a customer to develop their own integration solution. Prior to Liquid, Ian worked at specialist consulting companies in the US and France, interspersed with positions at Hewlett-Packard and other software companies. At Hewlett-Packard in the early nineties, he lead technical product definition efforts for next generations of HP’s SoftBench product. He has been a Silicon Valley resident for more than ten years, with strong ties to the high-tech and software community. He began his career as a Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom.
Ian has published more than thirty technical papers, including many on software development and development process, in journals such as IEEE Software and leading specialist ACM and IEEE conferences. He has chaired an ACM specialist conference on Software Development Environments and participated in Program Committees for many specialist conferences. He holds several software patents. He holds a MS degree in Computer Science from London University, and a BSc Degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Wales.
Greg Coticchia, Principal Consultant
Greg Coticchia, MBA, PC, is an award-winning technology executive with over thirty years’ experience in high tech products and services. He currently serves Carnegie Mellon University as its founding Executive Director for its Master’s Program in Product Management (MSPM). He previously served the University of Pittsburgh as both its founding Director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Student Startup Accelerator, ‘The Blast Furnace’, and as its first Executive in Residence (EIR) for software and information technology. Earlier in his career, Mr. Coticchia has led or been a major contributor in two of the largest and most successful software companies in the world, LEGENT (now CA) and AXENT (now Symantec). Greg has been in fourteen start-ups and founded four, and has held executive positions for better than two-thirds of his career, participating in various size organizations, from ‘$0M to over $1B’ in revenue. He has participated in raising over $73M in venture capital in his career, and has actively participated in over seventeen mergers and acquisitions, at both the company or product level. He has served as CEO (four times), President and COO, and has been involved or responsible for the launch of over 100 products and solutions, and several companies. Greg has served on many boards (including NFR/Checkpoint, Four Rivers/Accruent, AXIOM, PDMA and others). A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh in Industrial Engineering, where he also received his MBA, he currently teaches several courses including B2B marketing at the University of Pittsburgh Katz School Of Business. He holds certificates in Entrepreneurial Management from Carnegie Mellon University and Professional Coaching from Duquesne University. Coticchia was named as a finalist three times for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and for the Tech 50 CEO of the Year. He was also named a 2006 Distinguished Graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (Katz).
Jim Sheward, Adviser
Jim Sheward is the Founder and Principal at Shelamandiam LLC, an investment firm where he acts a personal angel investor, advisor, or board member to technology start-ups and later stage companies. Prior to that, Jim spent two decades as the CEO and Cofounder of Fiberlink. Under Jim’s leadership, the company created a vision for Fiberlink’s MaaS360 product to deliver comprehensive mobile security and management capabilities in a cloud-based platform. In December 2013, IBM acquired Fiberlink.
Jim has won various awards including the 2000 Blue Chip Enterprise Award sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Mass Mutual Financial Group, the Greater Philadelphia’s 2001 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Software and Technology Services Category, and the 2004 Information and Technology Innovator Award from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.
John Favaro, Principal Consultant
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, John Favaro has been based in Europe for many years. In Paris, France he worked for an Alcatel telecommunications subsidiary and with the INRIA national research centers. For over ten years in Germany he consulted to major industrial enterprises including Siemens AG. In 1990 he joined Intecs Sistemi in Italy as consortium manager for the unified European Space Software Development Environment project. While at Intecs he launched the IT Value Initiative there for the application of Value Based Management principles to projects in information technology. During this initiative he laid the groundwork for the approach to evaluating the economics of flexibility that has been proposed within the Extreme Programming movement.
John is co-author of a book on robotics programming and several papers on software engineering techniques. He was a member of the Expert Committee on Engineering Environments of the European Commission and the NATO Industrial Advisory Group, and is currently European Co-Chair of the IEEE Subcommittee on Software Reuse. He was General Chair of the Sixth International Conference on Software Reuse in June 2000.
John has many years of teaching and seminar experience in a variety of professional development contexts, both at the technical and managerial level. Recently he was a lecturer within the “Redirecting Software Development” series of the Atlantic Systems Guild, where he presented on advances in the use of option-theoretic techniques in IT project valuation.
John has an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Computer Science from Yale University.
Stephen Ferrell, Life Sciences IT/Compliance
Mr. Ferrell is a recognized expert in Computer System Validation particularly in the Cloud and Emerging Technologies space. Mr. Ferrell was co-founder of CompliancePath Ltd, a Scottish and US Compliance services company that support regulated clients all around the world. Mr. Ferrell has held executive and senior level management positions with a number of technology firms in the Life Sciences, including but not limited to RURO, Promedim, CompliancePath, ThermoFisher, QIAGEN, ByteGrid, Sidus BioData.
Mr. Ferrell represents the Scottish Life Sciences Association in the USA, and was a signatory on the historic ‘Turnpike agreement’ which created collaborative channels for US & Scottish Life Sciences companies to share knowledge and expertise. Mr. Ferrell is a member of the ISPE GAMP Steering committee, Chair’s the Cloud Special Interest Group and was the project lead and main author of the ISPE GAMP IT Infrastructure Control and Compliance Guide published in August of 2018.
Mr. Ferrell is a trusted advisor to the US FDA, having provided CSV, Cloud and Data Integrity training directly to field consumer officers and branch division chiefs. Mr. Ferrell’s relationships with the US FDA led to the ISPE GAMP IT Infrastructure Control and Compliance Guide being endorsed by CBER, CDER and CDRH as well as the MHRA in the UK. Currently Mr. Ferrell is working closely with one of the US FDA Chief Policy Advisors to provide insight to the agency in emerging technologies such as Pharma 4.0, IOT, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
In May of this year Mr. Ferrell brought together an international group of speakers headlined by the US FDA for a ‘Cloud Compliance’ conference in Washington DC. Mr. Ferrell is currently working with the FDA to showcase emerging technologies in the Life Sciences and on programming a conference on the same in March 2019.
Mr. Ferrell’s industry experience includes managing IT compliance processes to ensure adherence to applicable regulatory statutes (Global GxP, FDA, cFDA, Health Canada, HIPAA/HITECH, FISMA, FedRAMP as well as financial and government regulations) and standards (ISO 9001, SSAE 16, EHNAC, ISO 27001, NIST 800:53, HITRUST, ITAR). The implementation, analysis and risk based testing of traditionally architected and virtualized/cloud based systems in the Pharma, Biotech, Medical device CRO and Health IT verticals. Mr. Ferrell is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and is Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control’s (CRISC).
Stephen is a partner in UK and US Compliance Services firm CompliancePath Ltd., is retained as RURO’s Chief Compliance Officer, is a co-owner of Promedim a SaaS based Medical Monitoring solution, and Caledonian Informatics a Life & Health Science contract software developer.