The Judging Process ensures all can clearly communicate, support, and sustain their innovative idea, product or process.
Carried out by highly skilled and well-respected professionals, the Judging Process is of paramount importance: it ensures that all applicant teams, irrespectively of competition category, industry, or product scope, can clearly communicate, support, and sustain their innovative idea, product or process.
The Judges, highly respected professionals in their fields and leaders of innovative practices themselves, undertake the challenging task of identifying the "crème de la crème" of each year's competition entrants.
The competition consists are two (2) Judging Rounds:
The Initial Judging Round takes place between Monday, May 1st, and Friday, May 12th, 2023 Its objective is to select which companies from each track will be named Finalists, and move on to the Second and Final Round of the Competition, The Eddies Showcase (Wednesday, October 4th, 2023, from 4 to 8:30 pm). The number of finalists may fluctuate between 3 and 4 in each competition track.
The Final Judging is completed the night of The Eddies Showcase (Wednesday, October 4th). Judges must submit their ballots upon exiting at the end of the evening. The purpose of this round is to select the (one) Eddie Winner, per track.
All cohort teams are celebrated at the Annual Evening of Innovation (Wednesday, November 8th); Winners for each track are announced at that time (no winner is notified in advance).
Judging Criteria (for both Judging Rounds):
All entries are judged on a 150-point system, which is comprised of the following elements:
Degree of Innovation: how unique and disruptive is the product/technology or process? Is it ground-breaking? Does is improve outcomes or customer experiences? Can it be a “game-changer” in its market? (Max: 70 points).
User Benefits/Problem-Solving: Is the product/technology or process in the market yet? Are consumers engaged? Can they clearly see its benefits? Is the result thoroughly communicated, understood and compelling? Does it seem likely that the product/technology or service will be adopted? Is it obvious that it will improve lives or experiences? (Max: 30 Points)
Future & Sustainability: Does the application/entry suggest that this is a product/technology, process, service or idea that can survey beyond the life cycle of a “fad”? Does it showcase future and sustainable market potential? Does it seem likely that it will continuously succeed in generating enough revenue to cover costs and operation? (Max: 20 Points)
Team Composition: Do team members possess complementary skills and faculties that represents all aspects the company requires to succeed? Are there any experienced commercialization employees, advisors or associates to help the efforts? Does the composition of the team seem likely to bring this project to fruition? (Max: 15 points)
Presentation & Communication Message Clarity: The degree to which an applicant presentation or video (for the First Round) and live presentation and innovation demonstration (for the Second Round) are clear and concise in delivering the nature, benefits and uniqueness of the innovation presented? (Max: 15 points)
2023 Innovation Judges
Associate Director- Alumni Programs Rock Center of Entrepreneurship -
Harvard Business School
Laurie Bishop is a ‘connector and builder’ when it comes to entrepreneurship. She works at the Harvard Business School (HBS) Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship focused on programming for HBS alumni founders, builders, and investors involved with high growth ventures. Previously, she worked at Northeastern University assisting entrepreneurs first by leading the Health Sciences Entrepreneurs program supporting healthcare and life sciences ventures, then in Alumni Relations as the global conduit between alumni and the free resources to help them start, grow and scale their businesses. Laurie has been a Judge for the Massachusetts Innovation Network since 2020 and joined the Board in 2022. She is proud of her education roots, earning a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University and an MBA from Babson College.
Chief Operating Officer, Etiometry
NEIA WINNER, 2018
Evan Butler is an engineer and entrepreneur who co-founded Etiometry in 2010. Previously, he worked at Boston Children's Hospital in the Pediatric Cardiac Bioengineering Laboratory designing, building, and testing novel surgical robots and tools. Evan was also a NASA GSFP Fellow with Dryden Flight Research Center, and created intelligent flight control systems. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Physics and Aerospace Engineering, and his Master's Degree in Dynamics and Control Engineering from Boston University. Evan has published conference papers, journal articles and a book chapter in the fields of medical predictive analytics, concentric tube robots and tools for minimally-invasive beating heart surgery, and intelligent flight control systems. Evan has received multiple awards, including the 2010 IEEE Transactions on Robotics Best Paper Award.
Kelly Crowley - McInnis
Director of Business Development,
AIM HR Solutions
With over 20 years of experience, Kelly is a dynamic and highly regarded HR professional. Kelly has had the longest association with New England Innovation, as the concept of recognizing and supporting innovation was the brainchild of her late father, Robert J. Crowley, Sr. and his long-time associate, Julie Scofield . Having been surrounded by innovative companies her entire life and listening to them pitch their ideas at Babson College and the MIT Forum throughout her childhood, Kelly has seen over 200 companies win this prestigious award since its inception back in 1986. She has served as a Judge for many years; Kelly currently is the Director of Business Development at AIM HR Solutions.
VP Finance & Funding, Board Member & Chair, Capital Raise Committee Targatek
Angel Investor, Member of Launchpad Ventures
H. Shields Day, Jr., CFA has been a professional investor and business advisor for over 25 years. He began his career as an investment banker at JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs in leveraged finance and equities. He then spent the
next 15 years as an activist hedge fund investor working with small companies providing capital and business advise for growing, acquiring, restructuring, recapitalizing, and turning around businesses. Currently he is working as an angel investor with Launchpad Venture Group. He has also served as the co-President and Treasurer for Loon Freestyle, Inc. for the past 7 years.
Associate Vice President
Teknos Associates LLC
Dave DeFronzo is an Associate Vice President in the valuation and advisory services practice at Teknos. He has several years of experience in valuation and capital markets. Prior to joining Teknos, Dave worked at Grant Thornton LP as an Associate in Strategy & Transactions where he performed hundreds of valuation reports of
businesses, assets/liabilities, and complex financial instruments in accordance with ASC 718, IRC 409A, ASC 820, ASC 805, and ASC 350. Dave’s experience also includes positions at Priority Capital, Wolfe Research, Eaton Vance
Management, and State Street Corporation.
Dave received a BS in Management with a Finance Concentration (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Massachusetts. He is a CFA Charterholder, and member of the CFA Society of Boston.
Founder & CEO, Shiki Wrap
THE EDDIES WINNER, 2021
After two decades in senior leadership and consulting for nonprofit organizations across the U.S., Meagan founded Shiki Wrap, a sustainable alternative to paper gift wrap and bags made from recycled plastic. Meagan has an MBA from Champlain College and a BA in Psychology from DePaul University. She lives in Vermont where she serves as Governor Phil Scott’s Appointee to the Vermont Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Founder & CEO, Cleo Robotics
NEIA WINNER, 2020
Omar Eleryan is an inventor and entrepreneur with a deep passion for hard tech and all flying things. He is the founder and CEO of Cleo Robotics, a Boston company on a mission to revolutionize drones through their Dronut technology. Unlike traditional drones, Cleo's ultra compact Dronuts can safely operate near people and indoors, thus unlocking several markets that traditional drones haven't been able to address.
Genesis Labs Program Lead - Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
Alicia is a scientist turned innovation supporter and connector. Since her PhD training in molecular medicine, Alicia has worked in various roles to bring innovations from the lab to the market, including as a tech transfer associate at the NIH, an innovation consultant for various Fortune 500 companies and NASA and as Head of Innovation at the Swiss science and technology consulate (Swissnex) in Boston. Currently, Alicia manages Novartis' Genesis Labs, an innovative environment that supports multidisciplinary teams to validate disruptive concepts which may revolutionize drug discovery and development.
Director, Diversity Equity & Inclusion,
Town of Acton
Maternal Health Advocate
Wanjiku has extensive experience in international development and public health. Wanjiku has worked for non-profit organizations, the federal government, and currently for a municipality. She has had a variety of roles creating partnerships, programs and policies that affect diverse spaces including government agencies and academic institutions. Wanjiku is passionate about women’s maternal health and was a volunteer birth doula for over 20 years.
Marketing Manager, Metalenz
THE EDDIES WINNER, 2022
With a unique background in Fine Arts, and Creative Branding for B2B tech startups along with 12+ years of experience, Carly is skilled at translating highly technical concepts to impactful messaging and visuals that get companies seen and heard. After spending her early career on the agency side, she was most recently Director of Marketing at Sheaumann Laser, and is currently Marketing Manager at Metalenz, a 2022 Eddie Award winner. In addition, she is a mentor for MFA candidates at MassArt and Lesley University.
Co-Founder & CTO, invisaWear
NEIA WINNER, 2020
Ray graduated from UMass Lowell with a degree in electrical engineering. His background mainly consists of hardware design, system applications and mobile app development. Currently, Rayis the CTO & Co-founder of invisaWear which creates discreet devices disguised as jewelry and stylish accessories that are equipped with advance safety technology. Ray is passionate about helping others and committing with the best effort to make a difference in society.
Director of Technology Ventures and Talent Network at Northeastern University's Center for Research Innovation (CRI)
As Director of Technology Ventures and Talent Network at Northeastern University's Center for Research Innovation (CRI), Katie leads the development of a pipeline that encourages the discovery, formation, launch and growth of new ventures. In addition to managing the various venture programs at CRI, she continues to cultivate a team of executive talent who mentor and support spinouts as they launch and scale. Katie plays a pivotal role in enhancing Northeastern’s thriving entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem by partnering with existing internal and external stakeholders. In her free time, Katie helps organize operations at SamScribbler, a charitable corporation.
Dr. George Kachen
Technical and leadership expert - lasers, non-linear optics, materials and nanotechnology
Dr. George Kachen has a strong technical and leadership background in lasers, non-linear optics, materials and nanotechnology. He has leveraged this with his prior position as Intellectual Property Director at UMass Lowell to develop the ability to evaluate any technology from the standpoint of the value it can provide to potential customers. This capability has proven to be invaluable for helping multiple high-tech companies become successful over the years. Furthermore, his far ranging expertise has enabled him to be a valuable contributor to Proposal Team Reviews and review panels for non-profits such as the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and MassVentures with their SBIR Targeted Technologies (START) Program.
President & Managing Director,
GET Group North America
Board Member, Document Security Alliance
Alex is an Identity Solutions expert and for over 15 years has enabled Governments around the world implement new technologies around secure Government Credentials (National IDs, Driver’s Licenses and Passports). Alex is President & Managing Director of GET Group North America, which was recently awarded a contract by the US Department of State for the implementation of the Next Generation US Passport. Alex believes that mobile identity is the foundation of any effective digital security strategy and has recently directed the company’s efforts towards the development of its new globally interoperable mobile drivers’ licenses technology. Alex serves on the Board of the Document Security Alliance, an association of government, industry and academia dedicated to securing the production, issuance, and authentication of identity, credentials, and currency.
CEO 4Immune Therapeutics,
NEIA WINNER, 2012
Pamela Layton is a founder and CEO of 4Immune Therapeutics, a biotech company developing a CAR T cell therapy for autoimmune disorders. Prior to 4Immune, Pamela was the CEO and a member of the Board of XenoTherapeutics Foundation (that brought the first live cell pig graft into the clinic) through a 3-phase clinical trial with severe burns patients. She has served as President and Board Member of Bioarray Genetics, a breast cancer molecular diagnostics company. Mrs. Layton was the Founder and CEO of Parcell Laboratories, and responsible for taking the first pure stem cell product from bench to bedside for spinal fusion surgery. She holds multiple U.S. and European patents for the ELA® cell, and is a Certified Tissue Bank Specialist (AATB). Mrs. Layton is a longstanding member of SkyVentures, as well as an individual Angel Investor.
COO, Office of Business Development - Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Nhat Le is the Chief Operating Officer of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD); she was appointed to this role in 2015. Nhat’s principal function is to connect businesses with available state resources, to help them grow and succeed; her understanding of economic development, knowledge of available funding, and relationship-building skills have created numerous opportunities for growth and success in a wide variety of business sectors. Before joining the MOBD team, Nhat was at State Street Corporation, as an Officer in the Institutional Investor Services Accounting Operations Team; there, she oversaw a team providing the daily and monthly valuations of clients’ portfolios, trained personnel, and instituted procedural and infrastructural protocols for all processes.
Actively involved in her community.
Principal, BerryDunn's Commercial
Bob Leonard is a Principal in BerryDunn's Commercial Practice Group. He provides audit, accounting, tax, and consulting services to clients in a variety of industries, including life sciences, high technology, professional services, and manufacturing. He primarily works with mid-sized, privately held companies with multistate and global operations. He has over 20 years of experience in both public and private accounting practice. He specializes in accounting and Internal Control over Financial Reporting(ICFR) in accordance with US GAAP, financial statement preparation and analysis, and financial due diligence readiness.
Dr. Val Livada
Research Affiliate, MIT Materials Research Laboratory; Founder, Corporate Entrepreneurship Network; Advisor: MassRobotics and Greentown Labs;
Director, Built Environment Coalition.
Dr. Livada has been active in the innovation ecosystem for over 35 years. He has advised Global 300 type companies, research universities, regional organizations and startups on commercializing technology. Val is working with MIT's Materials Research and Deshpande Centers to better connect. academia and industry. He is founder of the Corporate Entrepreneurship Network, sits on the Board of Directors of Aphios Corporation, The Built Environment Coalition, AutoHarvest Foundation and Monarch Antenna. He is also advisory board member for Greentown Labs, MassRobotics, MassInnovation Network, NU's Advanced Manufacturing Group, and Portugal's BGI Incubator. Dr. Livada holds degrees from MIT and Tufts' Fletcher School and has taught at the Sloan School of Management at MIT and the Questrom School at BU.
Dr. Alexander Margulis
Chief Operating Officer,
Dr. Margulis has more than 20 years of science and business development experience in the Life Science industry. Trained as a cellular and molecular biologist, his accomplishments include a dozen authored scientific papers and numerous abstracts. In business development, Dr. Margulis increased sales by 200% within two years in the US and Canada, placing the Capital Equipment instruments into world-class academic and biotech/pharma accounts in the Boston area. He is currently building a world-class life science innovation ecosystem in the Southeastern Massachusetts through Mansfield Bio-Incubator serving as a centerpiece. Margulis has served as a Judge for International BioGENEius Challenge for the past three years.
VP, Strategic Projects & Mobile Solutions, STERIS - NEIA WINNER 2012
Mr. Munroe has over 20 years of healthcare sales and manufacturing experience to the industry. He is a senior executive with expertise in national start-up organizations, strategic relationship sales, and distribution development. He is responsible for establishing consistent sales and marketing processes, tools and techniques. Mr. Munroe’s background includes outsourcing strategy development, organizational leadership, market analysis and sales force training and development. Mark is the Vice President of Strategic Projects and Mobile Solutions at STERIS Corporation; he sets strategic direction for STERIS’s Off Site Reprocessing solutions in North America and in his Mobile Solutions role, he oversees the growth and development of STERIS’s mobile business. Mr. Munroe holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Northeastern University.
Founder & CEO, SmartDiiet
NEIA WINNER, 2019
Christopher graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology with multiple Engineering degrees. He holds multiple U.S. and International utility patents focused on AI and Multispectral camera imaging systems for smartphones and IoT devices. His early career in engineering began with United Engineers and Craig Systems in the fields of design and mechanical engineering. He continued his career with Digital Equipment Corporation where he was principal engineer in worldwide environmental field support. Mr. Mutti’s new venture is in the Health and Nutrition monitoring technology field, which he has been involved with, for over 10 years. He is founder and CEO of SmartDiiet the 2019 New England Innovation Award in “Wellness” and the the 2019 InnoStars World Grand Finals competition. He has won numerous pitch competitions .
CEO and Co-Founder of DeepCharge
THE EDDIES WINNER, 2022
Yousof Naderi, Ph.D., is a visionary entrepreneur and innovation leader who has spent over two decades driving the development of advanced wireless telecommunication and charging systems. As CEO and Co-Founder of DeepCharge, Yousof is leading the intelligent surface revolution and bringing to market infrastructure wireless charging solutions that are transforming the industry. Yousof is at the forefront of exploring the intersection of AI, sustainability, and the future of work. With a proven track record of taking cutting-edge projects from concept research to market, Yousof is a visionary thought leader. His expertise in the industry and ability to build successful teams and partnerships have established him as a key figure in the tech industry. PYousof is dedicated to creating a better world through his work.
Dr. Rupal Patel
Founder & CEO, VocalID
NEIA WINNER, 2017
Dr. Patel is a professor at Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences. In addition, Dr. Patel is Chief Executive Officer of VocaliD, a Belmont, MA, company that custom-builds voices for the speech-impaired; she is dedicated to developing new technologies to assist people with speech difficulties or impairment. Dr. Patel has been the driving force behind other such initiatives such as the Human Voicebank database. Dr. Patel, a speech scientist and technologist with over 15 years of clinical and research experience in assistive technology, is considered the hope of assisted speech. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and is a speaker for TED. Dr. Patel serves as a Member of the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Innovation Network.
Dr. Parthi Rajasekaran
Innovation Lead, Sanofi
As a veterinarian scientist, he enjoys working at the intersection of science and business where he can add value to the product, process and the people involved in bringing next generation medicines to patients. In his current role as innovation lead, he mostly works with early stage innovators and entrepreneurs that work in the infectious disease space. He has over 30 scientific journal and patent publications across various fields including infectious diseases, vaccines, feed supplements, drug delivery and agro-biocides. Parthi has a PhD from Virginia Tech and BVSc from Madras Veterinary College.
Dr. Alexander Sappok
THE EDDIES WINNER, 2021
Currently the CEO of RaySecur, Dr. Alexander Sappok is a tech entrepreneur with a proven track record developing and bringing to market disruptive innovations in historically conservative industries. Previously founder and CEO of an automotive tech startup, spun-out of MIT and acquired by CTS Corporation (NYSE: CTS). Experienced in scaling early-stage tech companies, building start-up teams, securing non-dilutive funding, structuring corporate partnerships and M&A. Active advisor and mentor to technology startups in the Boston area. Strong technical and R&D background with 40+ peer-reviewed conference and journal publications, and over a dozen patents in the fields of energy efficiency, emissions systems, and advanced sensing. Frequent speaker at leading international conferences in the automotive and transportation space.
Founder & CEO, Ichosia Biotechnology
THE EDDIES WINNER, 2021
Lucas Vining is a Founder & Investor. Formally educated as a scientist, Lucas founded his first company, Ichosia Biotechnology, to develop a stem cell and genetic engineering platform for the mass production of laboratory grown red blood cells for clinical transfusions. In addition to being a former Eddies winner, Lucas has received several other awards such as the DC Inno 25 Under 25 for his work transforming Ichosia from a concept to an investor-backed company. Lucas is now the Head of Private Markets at Zenith Wealth Partners and a Junior Partner at Phirst Market Ventures, leading early stage-VC deals in companies led by women of color.