Mentors and Advisors

The startup ecosystem is built on networks of people that help each other out. Mentors and advisors are vital to a startup's success. Meet the eHub's mentors and advisors that volunteer their time and will offer guidance and support to you and your venture.

Our mentors are a group of entrepreneurs, business and industry executives, and alumni who devote a few hours each month to help our aspiring entrepreneurs in a range of topics and in various aspects of developing and scaling their businesses.

photo of michael cartona

Michael Cartona

Michael is an Intellectual Property Attorney. He counsels a wide variety of technology-based companies in the development and implementation of effective intellectual property strategies. Michael has over a decade of experience drafting and prosecuting patents and has prepared patentability, non-infringement, invalidity, and freedom-to-operate opinions in the mechanical, electro-mechanical and computer arts. Technical areas of Michael’s practice include medical devices, consumer products, home appliances, telecommunication equipment, metalworking machinery, rail vehicles and vehicle control systems, and sensors. In addition, Michael has experience in the exploitation, transfer, and licensing of technology, including experience in the preparation and negotiation of patent and trademark license agreements, asset purchase agreements, technology transfer agreements, and material transfer agreements.
Michael also maintains a comprehensive trademark practice, which includes advising clients on the selection, clearance and registration of trademarks throughout the world, as well as representing clients in both transactional and adversarial trademark matters.
Michael received his J.D. cum laude from the Quinnipiac University School of Law, where he was a recipient of the Distinguished Academic Achievement Award and Excellence in Clinical Work Award. He held internships in the legal department at a Photronics, Inc., a semiconductor technology company, and at the Quinnipiac University School of Law Tax Clinic, where he represented indigent clients in all stages of the Internal Revenue Service’s administrative process. Before law school, he received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut.
Michael is admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the state courts of Connecticut and New York, and the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.
Michael is active in the Greater Hartford community. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The UConn Club (currently serving as its vice president), and a member of the Board of Governors of the Connecticut Intellectual Property Law Association (having previously served as its president).

Legal (IP/trademarks/copyrights)Legal (company formation/NDAs/contracts/equity)


Michael Curtis

Dr. Curtis co-founded Agricultural Green Energy Systems and Circular Energy Group. These LLC’s have been successful in the development of large Agricultural Anaerobic Digesters in CT and NY. Prior to this, Dr. Curtis was Director of Project Development at Quantum Biopower, a CT merchant Anaerobic Digester company. There he created and pursued several large digester developments in the dairy industry and developed great expertise in ‘Organic Soils’ creation. From 2013 to 2022, Dr. Curtis was a Visiting Professor at Trinity College, teaching courses in Entrepreneurship.

He spent 26 years at Fuss & O’Neill Consulting Engineers of Manchester, CT. At F&O, Dr. Curtis was the Executive Vice President of Strategic Development, and he led a staff of 100 professionals in 8 different business units. There he developed five adjunct LLC’s bringing a suite of profitable businesses together in creation of a renowned Industrial Service Group. His background includes five years with the Connecticut DEP Bureau of Water Management's Planning Section followed by two years at the University of Connecticut Civil Engineering Department. His work touches nearly all aspects of the AD field, ranging from process efforts to optimizing energy and solids off-take and sales.

Pertinent Info
BS - Biology – UCONN 
MS – Civil Engineering – UCONN
Ph.D. – Environmental Engineering – UCONN


photo of islam mosa

Islam Mosa

Dr. Mosa is a scientist, entrepreneur, technology enthusiast, TEDx speaker, and 40 under 40 honoree. He has co-authored 18 research papers in prestigious journals and two US patents. His breakthrough work on graphene-protein supercapacitors and energy harvesters has led to the development of VoltXon Inc. He has received more than 10 local, national, and international awards for his research.



sam nanayakkara photo

Sam Nanayakkara

Sam Nanayakkara is a technology professional with 15+ years of experience leading teams and marshalling resources for IT projects that have resulted in productivity, efficiency, revenue and profitability improvements.

He has a track record of leading projects through the entire business solution life cycle with a focus on delivering results ahead of schedule and under budget while meeting customer specifications. He has been consistently assigned to spearhead engagements for key clients based on well-developed skills in research and planning, communication, human relations, organization and leadership.

He is an expert in gaining internal consensus, fostering cooperation and resolving conflicts, and he thrives on opportunities to drive people, processes and technology in challenging situations.

He has a strong analytical and math competency with knowledge and experience in systems engineering concepts and tools; practical application of engineering principles; custom software development; planning, installation and maintenance of voice and data networks; and wireless communications.

Business AnalyticsTechnicalProject Management


Joe O’Connor

Joe O'Connor is currently a Strategic Business Advisor at VisorPoint and Board Member / angel investor at the Angel Investor Forum (AIF), the largest angel group in CT. He was a former DreamIt Ventures NYC Accelerator 2013 cohort, leading business development for a SaaS startup. Later that same year he joined the cohort at MassChallenge Accelerator Boston cohort where he served as business development lead for Rifiniti, acquired by FM Systems in 2019. He also serves as frequent judge for MassChallenge from 2021 to the present and also a former judge at CleanTech Open Northeast and past mentor for startups at both CT Next and PowerBridgeNY. And finally he was an early and longstanding member of Cisco Systems sales team leading pre-sales engineering and business development teams in the enterprise.

His experience is centered in Strategy (startup and early-stage business, growth and scaling), Business modeling (business models, revenue models, value propositions), Venture funding (pre-revenue and in revenue), People management (founding teams/company culture), Marketing and branding and Pitch training.



Adam Silverman

Adam Silverman helps businesses and their investors close transactions. From start to sale, Adam provides practical business advice tailored to his clients’ growth stage and industry. As a partner in the firm’s corporate department, he often serves the role of outside general counsel, providing guidance on a broad scope of matters, from formation to commercial agreements, VC financings, mergers and acquisitions, governance, and all things in between. He often helps his clients leverage technology to manage their legal needs more efficiently.

Adam’s clients range across many industries, including technology, life sciences, manufacturing, digital assets (NFT, crypto, blockchain), and food and beverage, with a focus on early-stage companies and their investors. Adam also obtains federal regulatory clearance of mergers and acquisitions under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act.

When not lawyering, Adam likes to hang out with his friends and family, mountain bike, ski, play and listen to music, and enjoy good food and wine.


Interested in providing mentorship?

We're always looking for great mentors. If you are interested in working with the eHub and helping our aspiring entrepreneurs, fill out our Mentor Exchange Submission Form and we will reach out to you.