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.
Chief Financial Officer
Peter brings over 20 years of experience in finance and accounting and as an advisor and mentor to start-up companies, and an angel investor, to his role as CFO at Synchrony. During that time he has enjoyed increasing responsibility in various finance roles in diverse industries, most recently with a premier strategy and innovation consulting firm and technology companies. Peter is a CPA who started his career with the Big 4 accounting firms where he mostly concentrated on high-growth enterprise software and technology companies.
Peter has had a keen interest in innovation, technology and the start-up community as a member of the one of the largest angel investing groups in the country, a judge and mentor to early stage companies as part of MassChallenge (“the world’s largest accelerator program”) and the MIT100k Competition, and as an independent advisor. He knows a thing or two about marketing strategy and effective go-to-market approaches having co-founded and run a boutique marketing consulting firm.
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.
Ph.D., Chief Statistician
Dr. Wu he is a tenured Professor of Computer Science at Wentworth Institute of Technology who has published extensively in the fields of statistics, biostatistics & computer science. He has extensive experience working with programing languages and major statistical packages and in recent years has worked on a wide range of projects in both statistical analysis and software development. Dr. Wu has a Ph.D. in Biostatistics from Boston University and a M.S. in Computer Science from Ohio University
John is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Wentworth Institute of Technology, who for 8 years served as Department Chair. Prior to joining Wentworth, John worked for close to fifteen years in a variety of IT roles in both financial services and public health research. He has extensive experience in database design and development, having served as a systems integrator as well as data warehouse architect. John is a member of the Association of Computing Machines (1995), a Member of the Council of Fellows of the Text & Academic Authors Association and has held various roles in the Consortium of Computing in Small Colleges. John holds advanced degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science.
Marketing and Operations
Melissa brings diverse marketing and communications experience to her marketing and operations role at Synchrony Innovations.
Melissa has held several positions with emerging startups. At 3rd Space, Melissa was extensively involved in marketing, and helped develop its corporate name, brand identity, logo and tagline. In addition, Melissa consulted with RoomZoom, a roommate matching website, where she gathered customer feedback on User Interface and User Experience and directed social media outreach on Twitter and Facebook.
Melissa graduated from Tufts University in 2013 with degrees in English Literature and Psychology. As an undergraduate, she managed the operations of Ears for Peers, Tufts’ student support hotline. During her term as advertising coordinator, she increased the hotline’s call volume by 20% and the organization received a record number of volunteer applications.
In her spare time Melissa is a writer and graphic designer. Her work has been featured at one point or another in almost every Tufts University student publication. In her professional life, she continues to write poetry in the form of tweets and e-mail subject lines.