Entrepreneurial Best Practices Series: Opportunity Recognition & Startup Competitions Launch

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Date(s) - 10/01/2014
6:45 pm - 8:30 pm

Banatao Auditorium - Sutardja Dai Hall

This session will focus on opportunity recognition. There are lots of opportunities out there – how do you know which one is right for you? This panel discussion will feature three entrepreneurs who have made their choices and are developing their companies. They will tell you how they found their opportunity and the decisions they made in starting or joining their ventures. Many entered our startup competitions – come hear why you should too.

For more information about the Entrepreneurial Best Practices Series, call 510-642-4255 or email lester@haas.berkeley.edu.


Steve Hahn Stephen F. (Steve) Hahn
Research Fellow
The Dow Chemical Company
Steve joined the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan in 1982 and has worked in a variety of business and corporate research and new business development functions at Dow prior to assuming his current role in 2007.  As Research Fellow, Steve leads Dow’s effort to identify emerging, strategically aligned chemical, materials and energy related business opportunities.   He is focusing on the US West Coast region and is currently located in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley area of Northern California. Steve has a B.S. in Chemistry from Michigan Tech and an M.S. in Chemistry from Central Michigan University.  He holds 38 issued U.S. Patents, has 40 publications in refereed journals, and 6 chapters in text /reference books.  Steve was named a Dow Inventor of the Year in 1990 and 1996, the Distinguished Alumni Lecturer at Michigan Tech in 1996 and 2003, and received the Dow Excellence In Science Award in 1999.  He was a Visiting Professor of Chemistry and IPrime Scholar at the University of Minnesota in 2002.  He has represented Dow on Advisory Boards at the University of Connecticut at Michigan Tech.  He received the American Chemical Society Cooperative Research Award in 2008 and the Council for Chemical Research Collaboration Award in 2010. Steve also serves on the Global Social Venture Competition Advisory Board.
Kevin Kopczynski Kevin Kopczynski (MBA 08) President & CEO, Enki Technology
Kevin brings diverse experience across technology commercialization, management, manufacturing and finance. Prior to joining Enki, he was a Partner at RockPort Capital Partners, where, over five years, he led a number of investments in the materials, agriculture, oil and gas and solar value chains. Prior to RockPort, Kevin spent four years leading product development efforts for IQuum, a medical diagnostics company acquired by Roche. During which time, the company grew from four to forty employees, he obtained $1.2 million in SBIR funding and one issued patent. Kevin began his career as a Consultant in the Technology and Innovation practice at Arthur D. Little and also worked for Lazard in M&A and strategic advisory. He is an advisor and guest lecturer at UC Berkeley on energy and entrepreneurship, and a Board Director of Ascension Industries, a closely-held manufacturing company serving the industrial, filtration and energy markets. Kevin earned his BSE in Mechanical Engineering cum laude from Princeton, an MS in Engineering from Stanford, and an MBA with honors from UC Berkeley, where he was a Venture Fellow and recipient of the Appel Award for leadership in entrepreneurship.
 Brian Feth Brian Feth (MBA 13)
CEO/Founder, Xcell Biosciences, Inc.Brian Feth is co-founder and CEO of Xcell Biosciences Inc., a San Francisco-based life science company dedicated to bringing an innovative set of cell culture products to the market.  The company formed in 2012 around a key cancer-focused application of the technology, the ability to grow miniature tumors from a simple patient blood draw, empowering breakthrough cancer research, drug discovery, and personalized information for any patient without the need for a biopsy. Prior to Xcell, Brian built value across a variety of life science companies in private equity with Strategyn Equity Partners, and in management consulting with L.E.K. Consulting where he focused on advising clients in corporate strategy, product strategy and planning, and transaction support. Brian has also lived and worked in several countries in Africa with the non-profit, TechnoServe, where he wrote a grant for and led the launch of a $13M program funded by the Gates Foundation and Coca-Cola to double the incomes of 54,000 farmers. Brian earned his Masters of Business Administration from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, his Masters in Bioscience from the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Sciences, a member of the Claremont Colleges, and Bachelor of Science degrees with honors in molecular biology and chemistry from Purdue University.
 Aashi Vel Aashi Vel (MBA 13)
Co-CEO, Traveling SpoonAashi Vel is the co-founder and co-CEO of Traveling Spoon, a new service that connects travelers with local, vetted hosts in their homes to share the joy of a homemade meal and learn about cultural and culinary traditions passed down through generations. Aashi  is a food and travel enthusiast with a deep passion for creative problem-solving and product innovation. Aashi has 11 years of experience as an industrial design professional managing teams of designers and engineers developing life-changing products. Her expertise in user-centered research, and experience in product development enables her to transform consumer insights into marketable products. A patent holder, Aashi has designed products that have received the IDEA, Good Buy, and Institute of Packaging Professionals awards. Aashi is a magna cum laude graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design and received her MBA from Haas.
Event and Registration Information

The presentation time is 7:00-8:30pm. Registration is required and will open onsite at 6:45pm. Please see the registration button at the top of this page. For more information about the Entrepreneurial Best Practices Series, call 510-642-4255 or email lester@haas.berkeley.edu.