Founder & CEO
Adam brings a wealth of experience as an entrepreneur, mentor to entrepreneurs and corporate strategy consultant to his role as Founder and Managing Director of Synchrony Innovations. He was motivated to establish the firm in 2006 by his observation of the failed promise of strategic CVC investments and his realization of the need for standards and best practices in the quickly-evolving fields of Open Innovation and Strategic Investing.
Prior to Synchrony, Adam was Managing Director of Venture Management Advisors (VMA), a consulting practice focused on helping entrepreneurs and senior managers create and execute corporate and capitalization strategy, which he also founded. While with VMA, Adam worked with senior management and investors in many early-stage firms, including Zipcar, MedCool , Jarg and London Taxi of North America, where he served on the Board of Directors.
Prior to VMA, Adam was the founder and CEO of HubNet Communications, a media and web services company which in 1995 created ‘citidine.com’, one of the first 10 database-driven sites on the web, and the most successful local dining information and hospitality services website in the country at the time.
Prior to HubNet, Adam was the founder and president of Boston Mac Group, the first microcomputer systems integrator serving the New England pre-press community, where he helped pioneer the use of Macintosh computers in place of the multi-million pre-press systems which dominated high-end 4- and 6-color commercial printing operations at the time.
Adam is a prolific writer, and has had articles published in Global Corporate Venturing, The Boston Business Journal, Mass High Tech, and numerous online publications. He has been quoted in The Boston Globe and interviewed on PBS’ ‘The News Hour,’ as well as numerous other local and industry-focused publications. He has been an active member of the MIT Enterprise Forum, where he has served on several committees, been a mentor in the MIT $50K competition, and judged numerous entrepreneurship competitions such as Brown University’s ‘Entrepreneurial Extravaganza’ and the ISCTE-IUL / MIT Portugal Venture Competition. Adam has spoken at numerous conferences, including having served as keynote for the 2009 IBF Corporate Venturing and Strategic Innovation Conference, and Chair of the ENG Strategic Technology Venturing & Innovation Excellence conference in Berlin Germany in October of 2012. He has also spoken at the Technology Capital Network and Harvard Business School’s Entrepreneurship Conference.
Adam is an avid cook, a skill he learned while working his way through college at many fine restaurants, including time spent in Chris Schlesinger’s kitchen at The East Coast Grill in Cambridge. He considers himself a mediocre golfer, an often-disappointed Red Sox fan, and a proud champion of progressive causes and other thoughtful exercises in common sense. He is married to Dr. Rebecca Yang, who is an accomplished surgeon and Director of the Lahey Clinic Breast Health Center.
Adam holds a BA in philosophy from Bates College. In 2003 he founded the Boston Bates Business Network, the most consistently successful alumni group in the history of the college.
Executive Vice President
Joe Mikhail brings extensive experience in corporate ventures, corporate incubation, technology spinouts, and CVC programs to his role as Executive Vice President at Synchrony. In addition, he is a seasoned entrepreneur who has successfully founded and directed several software startups and has also been an advisor and consultant for a variety of other firms, from startups to mid-sized companies.
Prior to joining Synchrony, Joe led and helped create the Corporate Venture Capital program at Flextronics, focused on Series A/B strategic investments in support of a broad set of business units with diverse objectives. Also at Flextronics, he co-founded and led internal incubation and innovation efforts, generating a successful joint venture, Jamdeo, and a SaaS spinout, elementum, among many other innovation programs.
Joe also brings strong general management, corporate development and product strategy expertise, as he has previously held management positions in software strategy and product development at Avery Dennison, as well as the successful development and sale of Dandem Corporation, a software reliability company, in the role of CEO.
Joe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.
In addition to his passion of building successful businesses and leading teams to outstanding performance, Joe also enjoys fitness, golf, soccer, coaching basketball, reading and travel.
Director of Client Services
Hayden brings six years of experience in academic research, product development and technical sales to his role as Director of Client Services at Synchrony.
After earning Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and neuroscience from Brandeis in 2006, Hayden joined the lab of noted neurobiologist Jeffrey Hall to complete, and ultimately publish, research he started as an undergraduate. Following this, he joined the product development team at Cell Signaling Technology, a mid-sized biotechnology company in northern Massachusetts, where he built and validated diagnostic tools for cancer screening. After several years in product development, he joined the sales team, where he managed partnerships with major pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and academic clients; in this role he also developed sales analytic tools, which contributed to his being named top sales person in 2011.
Hayden holds Bachelor of Science degrees in both biology and neuroscience from Brandeis University, with a minor in history. He recently finished an MBA from Northeastern University, with a concentration in high technology business environments.
In another life, Hayden was an EMT for a local ambulance company. In his (limited) spare time, he is an avid reader.
Associate, Market Development
Avery Lu is a highly-driven, performance-focused and award-winning senior management professional with 19 years experience in Silicon Valley & the semiconductor industry (Business Development, Segment Marketing, Product Marketing, Global Account Management, Field Applications), collaborating with and directing multi-disciplinary stakeholders at all organizational levels to deliver successful business outcomes in alignment with corporate objectives:
Demonstrated success in capturing market opportunities, building alliances, meeting strategic objectives & driving long-term revenue growth.
Broad knowledge of technology marketplace & extensive industry experience selling to and supporting Tier 1 OEM, as well as Distribution customers for Digital, Analog & Mixed-signal products, as well as standard, application specific standard product (ASSP), semi-custom, custom, complex programmable logic device (CPLD), field programmable gate array (FPGA), application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), system-on-a-chip (SoC) & customer-owned tooling (COT) IC products.
Tier 1 OEMs include: Apple, RIM, Nokia, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson, Kyocera, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Palm, Intel, IBM, Lenovo, Dell, HP, Lexmark, Kodak, Seagate, Western Digital, Hitachi Global Storage Technology, Cisco, Oracle, Google, FaceBook, SuperMicro, Sony, Microsoft, IGT, nVidia, AMD, Daktronics, YESCO, Tesla, Delphi, Siemens VDO, TRW, Omron, Enphase, SolarBridge, Sun Edison, Power-One, GE Energy, Delta Energy, Emerson, Whirlpool, Honeywell, Mattel, Hasbro.
Consistent track record of leading and managing cross-functional teams to assess customer needs, managing P&L budgets totaling $xxxM, delivering new design wins totaling $xxxM, increasing company market share and exceeding multi-$M sales quotas, all the while maintaining company profitability.
International/multi-cultural experience working for multi-national companies and working with Tier 1 customer’s ODMs & CMs in Asia.
Marketing & Operations
James brings significant administrative and marketing experience to his role as Marketing & Operations at Synchrony. Trained in a variety of CRM and CMS systems, database reporting software, and multimedia planning, James is in charge of day-to-day operations, marketing efforts, office management, email exchange, web content, and social media.
Before joining Synchrony, James was responsible for the Research & Planning department at Gregory Welteroth Advertising, providing market research, analytics, sales data, and media intelligence to Fortune 500 companies such as Bosch, Thermador, Pella, and STIHL. James also worked in the Office of Admissions and Recruitment at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, providing communciations and outreach for prospective students from around the world.
Outside of work, James enjoys reading, writing, and all things culinary, acting as a food writer, blogger, and newspaper correspondent.