Entrepreneur in Residence Mentor Program
The Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) mentor program offers one-on-one mentoring with highly experienced entrepreneurs and executives. The Center’s EIR mentor program brings practical help to entrepreneurs as they develop their business plans and launch their entrepreneurial ventures. This service is offered free of charge to FAU Students, faculty and alumni.
The Entrepreneurs in Residence mentors have a wealth of experience in new venture development, advising start-up ventures, entrepreneurship education and a history of innovation in high growth industries. Our EIRs also act as ambassadors to the community providing networking and development opportunities to entrepreneurs. Click here for a list of EIR bios.
Requesting an appointment with an FAU Entrepreneur In Residence mentor:
Our mentors are ready to meet with you! You can meet with an entrepreneur mentor even if you do not have extensive research or a business plan. Please let us know any details you have about the business idea that you would like to discuss. It is helpful to include as much information as you have, as this will help us select the right mentor for you.
Participants registered for the FAU Business Plan Competition during the spring semester are encouraged to make an appointment with an EIR mentor.
- Send request via email to email@example.com; include subject line "EIR Appointment Request"
- Provide the following with your request
- Name and contact information
- Z Number (if student)
- Name of your business (if you have one)
- Description of your business idea
- Any additional information you have about the business
- Questions you have for the EIR mentor
- You will be contacted with the name and contact information of your assigned mentor.
- The appointment can take place at the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship in the DeSantis Pavilion at FAU, or at any location that you agree on with the mentor.
- Please arrive 10 minutes prior to the appointment time.
If you have prepared any information about the topics below, please bring it to the meeting.
- Overview of your product or service
- Plan for sales and marketing
- Capital requirements
- Challenges you think you will have
- Potential customers
- How your product or service helps those customers
Please note, EIR appointments may not be used to request funding. The FAU Business Plan Competition is a source of funding for aspiring entrepreneurs.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the appointment time. If an entrepreneur misses an appointment without advance notice, ACE reserves the right to disqualify the entrepreneur from future EIR mentoring.
- Rarely, an EIR may cancel an appointment. ACE staff will notify the entrepreneur as soon as possible in attempt to reschedule.
FAU EIRs are professionals, similar to investment bankers, venture capitalists, lawyers and accountants they maintain client’s confidentiality and do not participate in nondisclosure agreements. Participants in the EIR program MUST use their discretion when communicating business concepts and submitting business plans it is HIGHLY recommended they Do NOT include trade secrets or confidential information in business plan submissions, oral presentations, or question/answer sessions. Even if the business plan is marked as confidential or proprietary, there will be NO confidentiality obligation or protection for any participant. It is the sole responsibility of the participant to determine appropriate information for disclosure.
Florida Atlantic University urges each participant to confirm with appropriate advisors or legal counsel that any intellectual property described in the participant’s submission is protected (i.e., by appropriate intellectual property filings, notices, (e.g. patent, copyright, etc.) by the owning institution and/or individual). It is each team’s responsibility to ensure that its submissions do not violate the intellectual property rights of any third party.
If you are interested in becoming an Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR) please fill out and submit your application:
Throughout a twenty year career in acquisitions and divestitures, Terence Bentley
has managed or closed over 40 transactions, ranging from VC investments to individual
transactions up to $3 billion, for Automatic Data Processing, Lucent Technologies,
Siemens USA and others. These transactions included applications services, network
software, fiber optics, network equipment, LAN switching systems, semiconductors,
aerospace components, and manufacturing technology. He has served as VP Marketing
for a fiber optic LAN startup, and is currently involved in several emerging technology
energy startups. Currently, he serves as a Mentor for StartupQuest, and has led teams to Business Plan wins in these events. He’s considered hundreds of business plans during his career.
Bentley is active in the technology corporate development community, having co-founded
the New Jersey chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth and served on the Boards
of ACG’s New York and New Jersey chapters. He has delivered seminars on Corporate
Development to diverse audiences, including the MBA programs at NYU-Stern and Wharton.
Terence has served on industry panels and participated in numerous speaking engagements.
He has been published in Corporate Dealmaker and M&A magazine, and is a twenty-year
member of the IEEE. In 1998, he became a co-founder, investor, and board member of
Starlight Resources, a successful energy company sold in 2006 to a private equity investor.
Prior to entering corporate development, he developed a practical understanding of
corporate operations as a product
manager, delivering more than 30 products to market in local and wide area networks, and cable television network systems.
Terence holds an MBA in strategy and finance from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.
Michelle Salas founded Lady Green Miami Recycling Co in 2010 with a goal to protect the environment and help people and businesses through waste reduction in our communities. Currently, Lady Green Miami provides waste pickup and recycling services to over 1,000 locations throughout Miami-Dade County. Michelle brings 19 years of management experience, including 11 years of executive management working with top business leaders. Prior to founding Lady Green Miami Recycling, Michelle was part of a successful start-up company that is now a leader in the U.S. for deploying greenhouse gas reduction projects and renewable energy projects. Michelle received a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration in 2007 from Jones College and later pursued her Master’s in Environmental Studies at Florida International University. During her first year in graduate school, Michelle found much inspiration from her professors, peers and education, that she felt it was time to launch her recycling dream. She decided to drop out of grad school and fully invest her time and resources into creating her vision. Understanding the real value in education, Michelle continued to ‘sit’ in classes to learn the material without having to pay the cost of tuition. In Feb 2019, Waste360 announced Michelle as a recipient of the 40 Under 40 Award due to her inspiring and innovative contributions to the waste management and recycling industry.
Mr. Cohen has extensive experience in leading accelerated organic growth, corporate acquisition and harvesting businesses for both VC and Fortune 50 companies, including Mercedes-Benz, Merrill Lynch, Ford, KPMG, and HSBC creating over $1 billion in shareholder value. Transitioning from Public Accounting, Mr. Cohen’s first company started with $500k of venture capital and sold to Mercedes-Benz for over $10 million four years later. Following successive growth within the Daimler organization Mr. Cohen grew to lead DaimlerChrysler’s Western Finance operations, responsible for the profitability of a $15 billion commercial and consumer finance portfolio. After being recruited by the President of Ford as CEO of FordDirect he led the growth of Ford’s Dealer Internet operation growing internet sales from 2% of Ford’s sales to over 9%, beating plan 11 consecutive quarters. After moving to Florida Mr. Cohen created a company which raised $7 million of capital, acquired internet marketing companies until ultimately going public and selling to Yahoo for over $200 million. Since then Mr. Cohen has been working in industries as varied as Native American economic development to Commercial Aviation Repair for major Airlines. In addition, Mr. Cohen has been a Board member for Draper Fisher Jurvetson and August Capital Companies.
Jaime Legagneur founded her business, Flint Stone Media, as a digital marketing firm before discovering podcasting in 2014 and establishing her first show, Curve the Cube. She began working as a Production Coordinator for the Horse Radio Network in the summer of 2017, learning more of the business of podcasting. With this new foundation, Jaime then refocused her company as a podcast production house, helping other independent podcasters launch shows. In November 2017, she established the Florida Podcast Network, which now boasts five shows - three of which Jaime hosts - Finding Florida, People of Florida, and Florida Podcasting News. Since then, Jaime has also been the organizer of the Palm Beach Podcasters MeetUp group and the Director of the Wedding Biz Network. She also speaks regularly on a variety of podcast-related topics. Most recently, Jaime earned the privilege of being the first Podcasting Instructor for the Connecticut School of Broadcasting and the recipient of Podfest's 2020 High Achiever Award.
Craig Davis is an entrepreneur and business executive with broad experience in all aspects of small business management. Hands on experience with technology, management, sales, marketing (online and offline), and finance including angel funding, VC funding and private equity. Previously, Craig was a member of the CBOE and has been a stock, options and futures trader for over 17 years.
Yara Gonsalves is a strategic business leader and highly credentialed professional
who has consistently climbed the corporate ladder in the male-dominated field of general
aviation parts and service. Ms. Gonsalves started in the aviation field as a purchasing
agent with American
Eagle - providing urgent service and parts to get the aircraft “back in the air.” She continued with Aviall (a retired subsidiary of Boeing) as inside sales for Latin American markets. In 2000,
Gonsalves was promoted and relocated to South Florida as outside sales, quickly advancing to
customer service manager and senior management supervising a 25-member team. Her skills took her to Boeing Global Services where Ms. Gonsalves’ specialized competences earned her the designation of Subject Matter Expert (SME). She was tasked with short term, targeted projects for analysis, review and turnaround efficiencies as a sales operations analyst. She was promoted to business development channel manager responsible for $15 million in individual parts numbers and services. Gonsalves administers two complex global inventory management programs throughout global markets of North America, Brazil, Australia, UK, Norway and Poland. Ms. Gonsalves has experience in many different business sectors and is constantly seeking her next opportunity. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2006 and earned an MBA from Florida Atlantic University where she received a certificate in Big Data Analytics.
Larry Kimmelman - an accomplished retired McDonald’s pioneer Franchisee of 45 years.
My years as a McDonalds Franchisee gave me hands on experience and knowledge in franchisee issues, operations, advertising and marketing, consumer trends and more. Throughout my career I held numerous elected leadership positions representing my fellow operators on Regional, Divisional and National levels.
Over my 45 yrs, I received and was recognized by McDonald Corp and my peers for my restaurants operational achievements and as a Brand Ambassador. One of the highlights is being in Ray Kroc’s book “Grinding It Out”.
The most rewarding part of being a franchisee is being a Mentor and Confidante to my managers and employees thru their personal issues and encouragement on their next steps and future plans.
An investor, entrepreneur and executive with 40 years of business experience in the software development, financial and transportation industries;
Angel investments/advisory positions include OrthoCore, Talk2Rep, CallMiner, Shadows in Darkness, MCC, Inc. (Miles Consulting, HugeMagnet & PayPerCloud,) AutoFuse (acquired by ADP), Nexland (acquired by Symantec), Institutional Deposit Corp., EdVerify, Healthwise Travel, Fourbit and Depot86 (eBay’s 10th largest seller);
Founding member of The New World Angels investment group and serves as a member of the Enterprise Florida SBIR/STTR Steering Committee and the Florida Atlantic University Technology Transfer Advisory Team and as one of the finalist judges for the 2011 Cade Prize.
Expert in business plan development and angel investing and its potential impact on your business.
Tom Mersch is a Partner in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale Office. Tom has extensive experience in providing advice and guidance on Business Transactions and Data Privacy and Security Matters. In addition, Tom plays a key role in the firm’s marketing and business development efforts.
Tom has over 30 years of experience as an attorney, corporate counsel, entrepreneur and businessman in multiple sectors including information technology, e-Commerce, finance, travel and government.
Hired as the general counsel for a large internet retailer in need of restructure, Tom navigated their business both legally and operationally from near collapse to solid growth. In 2002 Tom founded and funded an online asset recovery services firm that he sold in 2008.
Tom has held influential legal leadership positions with a number of firms, formerly serving as attorney for the Delta Airlines Dream Vacations Program, General Counsel and Vice President of Business Development for UCS, Inc. (a software company that was eventually acquired by SunGard Data Systems) and as President and founder of an internet-based business services outsourcing company with over 300 employees worldwide. For the five years immediately prior to joining Kelley Kronenberg, Tom was General Counsel for Channel IQ a rapidly growing Chicago based “Big Data” software provider for over 300 of the Worlds’ largest manufacturers. Tom was also the managing director of Channel IQ’s Spanish subsidiary.
Tom is a licensed attorney in Florida and Mississippi, earning his JD from the University of Mississippi and his BA from Southern Methodist University.
Tom contributes his time and talents as a founding mentor to Florida Atlantic University’s Tech Runway Accelerator and FAU’s Adams Center for Entrepreneurship. He has advised start-ups and rapidly growing businesses including the past winner of both the FAU and Enterprise Florida Business Plan Competitions. Tom is also a judge for The Cade Innovation Prize competition.
Ronald Rosenzweig is currently a member of the Board of ANADIGICS and was previously Executive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer for ANADIGICS, a position he held since co-founding the Company in 1985. ANADIGICS designs, manufactures and sells high speed, gallium arsenide (GaAs) analog integrated circuits (ICs) used in wireless and broadband communications applications. ANADIGICS is a NASDAQ listed company.
He is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a proven track record in directing
the process of creating a successful business based on state-of-the-art technology.
In addition to ANADIGICS, Mr. Rosenzweig was also a co-founder of Microwave Semiconductor
Corporation (MSC). He served as President & CEO
of MSC for 15 years. MSC, a market leader in microwave silicon and GaAs transistors and amplifiers, was a publicly
traded company, which was later acquired by Siemens Corporation.
Mr. Rosenzweig is currently a member of the World President’s Organization (WPO). He is a trustee of the New York Museum of Contemporary Art and Rhizome, an online resource for people who are interested in new media art.
He has served on the Board of Directors of both Quake Technology and the Board of the General Semiconductor Corporation and currently serves on the board of Maxtena, a start-up that develops and manufactures satellite antennas and other wireless communications systems for the government and commercial customers.
He was named in 1994 winner of New Jersey’s Master Entrepreneur of the Year founded by Ernst & Young, and sponsored nationally by Inc. Magazine and Merrill Lynch.
Mr. Rosenzweig also has experience in digital marketing within the fashion industry, and has worked closely with fashion icon Rachel Zoe with her online presence.
Mr. Rosenzweig is a graduate of the City College of New York where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering. He is a former member of the Engineering Advisory Board at his alma mater and a Board of Overseers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Entrepreneur, Investor, Mentor, and Executive with over 20 years of business experience in the retail, medical, hospitality, and marketing industries. Guest Speaker on entrepreneurship.
Claudio Sorrentino left the nation’s largest MedSpa to found Body Details and become its Chairman and CEO. Claudio is a born entrepreneur and innovative thinker with broad-based expertise in operations, finance, marketing, leadership, and business development. He has a proven ability to quickly analyze key business drivers and develop strategies to grow the bottom-line. He has more than 21 years of leadership, marketing, sales and hospitality experience and 12 years of medical industry experience. Mr. Sorrentino graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a dual major Bachelor’s degree. Body Details is currently the largest provider of cosmetic laser services in Southeast Florida.