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UB IEEE Innovation & Entrepreneurship Panel Seminar: Event

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Last Updated: Sep 16, 2019 1:15 PM

RSVP for the event

Interested in founding your own business, but not sure where to begin? Join us for an enlightening workshop to discover campus and IEEE resources, tips to be successful, and the role of research and patents in empowering entrepreneurs.

The panel will feature accomplished entrepreneurs, the director of the Technology Transfer Group, the engineering and patents librarian, and faculty from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School Law.


Join us on Tuesday, September 24th in the Law Library (O'Brian Hall, second floor) from 6-8pm. 

Bring a question and be entered in a raffle to win one of many great prizes! Light refreshments will also be served with the opportunity to network after the event.


Questions? Contact Erin Rowley, Engineering Librarian, at or 716-645-1369.

Featured Panelists (in alphabetical order)

Jeff Dunbar joined the University at Buffalo Technology Transfer office in 1999 as a licensing manager and was named director in 2005.  Tech Transfer’s mission is to commercialize technology emerging from the research activity conducted at UB for the benefit of the public good and to facilitate research and development activity with industry.

Technology Transfer works with UB inventors to identify and protect (e.g. patents and copyrights) new technologies with promising commercial potential. Commercialization may include identifying an established company that will license and develop the technology, or formation of a startup company.  Technology Transfer administers UB’s Bruce Holm Memorial Catalyst Fund and participation in the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund program.  In 2014 Tech Transfer assumed responsibility for all industry contracts and in 2016 launched UB SWIFT to facilitate more efficient engagements with industry and the UB Small Business Innovation Award, which provides matching funds to Phase I SBIR/STTR subcontracts to UB. Jeff is Co-PI for the UB Center for Big Data and Health Sciences and a member of UB’s STARTUP NY review committee.

Jeff is a former Sr. Product Manager and Sr. Financial Analyst for Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals and worked in production management and engineering for Dunlop Tire Corporation.  Jeff holds a M.B.A. with concentrations in marketing and finance and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, both from the University at Buffalo, and is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers and Licensing Executives Society.

Alan Hunt is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University at Buffalo. He comes to the department from a 20 year career in software development, leading global teams in application development and innovation.  He is the president of the Inve[n|s]t club, a multidisciplinary club focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and experiential learning.  He has a passion for technology and mentoring the next generation of innovators.


Matthew Pelkey headshotMatthew Pelkey is a business attorney representing investors, high-growth startups, innovative entrepreneurs, and established public and private businesses throughout New York State. From raising capital, structuring deals, regulatory compliance, and securities offerings, to advising clients on internal investigations, conflict resolution, and crisis management. 

Matthew is an active member of the Western New York startup ecosystem dedicating time to helping organizations such as Upstate Venture Connect, TechStars, Startup Grind, Founder's Institute, LaunchNY, and Blackstone LaunchPad. Outside of the startup community, Matthew is also a strong advocate for sustainable land use and community development where he serves on several boards and committees for local nonprofits dedicated to regeneration of Western New York.

As a faculty member at the University at Buffalo School of Law, Matthew teaches startup law and innovation through the Entrepreneurship Law Center. He is a regular lecturer to faculty, students, and founders on how to start and grow a business, and the various legal issues that can present challenges along the way. 

Matthew's dedication to business and community has resulted in being recognized as the 2019 Buffalo News Next Generation Professional; 2018 Buffalo Business First 40 Under 40; 2018-2019 Super Lawyers Rising Star; 2018 Finalist for Upstate Capital Association of New York Dealmaker of the Year Transactional Professional; Three-time finalist for Upstate Venture Connect Community Catalyst Award; 2016 Emerging Business Leader Award by the Amherst Chamber of Commerce; and the 2014 Young Professional Leadership Award by the Amherst Chamber of Commerce. 

Erin Rowley headshotErin Rowley is the Head of Science and Engineering Library Services at the University at Buffalo and serves as the Engineering Librarian. Before coming to UB, Erin was the head of a research team at a consumer products testing laboratory specializing in international standards and regulatory research. At UB she assists faculty, students, and staff with library resource instruction and engineering-related research including standards, technical reports, and patents.  

Erin's research interests include the role of librarians in engineering education, entrepreneurship, and the role of technical industry standards in academic libraries. She holds the Master of Library Science from the University at Buffalo and B.A. degree in Communication from SUNY Geneseo.

Phil Schneider headshotDr. Philip Schneider graduated with his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Buffalo in 2018. Currently, he works at one of the nation’s fastest growing startups, ACV Auctions, managing their Research and Development Division. His previous roles have included co-founding a product development company “La Salle Concepts” as well as working at as a scientist at Qualcomm’s Advanced R&D division. He holds accolades ranging from SUNY Chancellor’s Recipient as well as being a Western New York Prosperity Fellow. To date he holds 23 scientific publications and 10 patents. He plays an active role in the WNY community sitting on a number of educational boards as well as cultivating STEM for youth in the community. 


Ruth Wolfish, IEEE Client Services Manager, provides training for IEEE online products, distributes informational materials to drive usage, and answers all usage questions. She works with IEEE's academic, government and corporate accounts in the eastern U.S.

Her specialty is working with Intellectual Property issues and Patent offices. Over the past 10 years, she has visited the USPTO at least 4 times per year and has also worked with various European & Asian Patent offices. In 2011 she was an invited panelist at the AALL (American Association of Law Librarians) conference, the topic was “Searching for and locating Scientific Literature: Finding a Needle in a Haystack”.

Ms. Wolfish came to IEEE in 2001 from Lucent Technologies. Her 18-year career with Lucent and its predecessor companies included roles as Bell Labs Reference Librarian, management trainer, and administrator of education, information specialist for business systems, and electronic content coordinator for Lucent's Digital Library.