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The School of Engineering at Fairfield University and IACT Present:

Who: Moderator, Mark Nowotarski, President Markets, Patents & Alliances LLC
Panel: Cliff Thier, Mark Donne & Jason Maloney, Doug Lyon, Ph.D., Jim Vellano & Jen Vellano
What:  Crowdfunding Your Invention – The Panel
Where: Fairfield University Dolan School of Business DINING ROOM (104A)
When:  Thursday, May 23, 2013; 7:00 PM. Admission is free.

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Crowdfunding Your Invention - The Panel
Connecticut Crowdfunding Success Stories

Subject: Mark Nowotarski will moderate a panel of several Connecticut entrepreneurs who have successfully raised funds for new projects using crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a way to use the internet to raise money from relatively large numbers of people who each contribute a relatively small amount of money to back a project. Major crowdfunding sites include Kickstarter.com, Indiegogo.com and Rockethub.com. The panelists will discuss what drew them to crowdfunding, how they were successful and what they have learned since they raised their money. Their projects include a new type of keyboard for iPads, a new type of wallet for iPhones, a new type of circuit board for making unique music, and a tasting room for a unique catering service.

Speaker Bios:

Cliff Thier is President of West Hartford-based iKeyboard, Inc., maker of the TacType™ keyboard. The TacType keyboard (formerly called the iKeyboard) piggybacks over the virtual keyboard of the Apple® iPad®. The TacType keyboard gives the user the ability to touch-type on the iPad. iKeyboard raised $26,000 on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter in June 2011. These funds were used for industrial design and to produce the initial production run. In addition to inventing, Cliff has his own commercial law practice in Connecticut. He has a Juris Doctor from Widener University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from SUNY Stony Brook.

Mark Donne & Jason Maloney are cofounders of diffr3nt, makers of the diffr3nt™ wallet. They are based in Fairfield, CT. The diffr3nt wallet is a handmade fabric cover for a smart phone that also holds money and credit cards. Diffr3nt raised $4,609 on Kickstarter in November of 2012. These funds were used to produce the initial production run of their product. Prior to diffr3nt, Mark worked for Apple Computer in their West Hartford Store. He has a Bachelor of Arts, New Media Marketing from Fairfield University. Jason Maloney currently works for IBM as a client research analyst and has a Bachelor of Arts, Marketing from Fairfield University.

Doug Lyon, Ph.D. is Chairman of the Computer Engineering Department at Fairfield University and the inventor of the Arduino Digital Signal Processing Shield (DSP for Arduino). He is based in Fairfield CT. The DSP for Arduino is a programmable circuit board that helps musicians make unique sounds and helps students learn the basics of digital signal processing. Doug raised $7,859 on Kickstarter in March of 2013. He is using the funds to feverishly produce the first run of his product even as we speak. Doug is also a senior member of the IEEE, President of DocJava, Inc., CTO of Lyon-Ratafia, and President of the Inventors Association of Connecticut (IACT). He received a Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. degrees in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Jim Vellano & Jen Vellano are founders of Maison Privé, a boutique catering company based in Greenwich CT. They raised $14,920 on Kickstarter in March of 2013. They are using the funds to build a tasting room in their facility. Prior to Maison Privé, Jim was a Chef de Cuisine at Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. He has a Grand Diplome, Cuisine Patisserie from Le Cordon Blue in France. Prior to Maison Privé, Jen was Chef de Partie at Per Se in NYC. She has a Culinary Arts certificate from Institute of Culinary Education and a degree in Wildlife & Fisheries Biology from University of Vermont.

Moderator and Meeting Organizer:

Mark Nowotarski is president of Markets, Patents & Alliances LLC in Darien CT and a registered US patent agent. Mark has several patent clients with crowdfunding projects and has given training seminars and webinars on crowdfunding through the ABA, IACT, SCORE and the UK based CIPA. Mark is a former Corporate R&D Fellow at Praxair Inc. He has a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford and a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace, Mechanical Sciences and Physics from Princeton.

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