IEEE 7th World Forum on Internet of Things
14 June–31 July 2021 // New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Entrepreneurial Program

Attendee Information >>>

The program schedule will cover six days from July 26 until July 31. Presentations each day will start at 10:30 and end at 12:30 US Eastern Time. We will start on July 26 with a presentation on the IEEE Entrepreneur Program and an overview of the Entrepreneur Process and the resources that are available to support the aspiring Entrepreneur.

Each following day will provide a Speaker that can give their experience in creating a IoT based Start  Up.

On the last day, July 31, we will have a spirited competition of Start Ups making their “Pitches”.  The Audience will give honest feedback to help these Start Ups learn and perfect their individual Pitches.  Please let us know if you would like to become one of our Start Ups.

Please register and join the session free of charge.

Register now!

US Eastern Time (EDT), Virtual and Live Online

Date Time Session Speakers and Presenters



July 26th, 2021



10:30-10:40 EDT


Welcome Lee Stogner, Managing Partner and CEO, Vincula Group, Greenville, SC USA
10:30-12:00 EDT


“IEEE Entrepreneurship Explained” Ken Stauffer, Co-Founder Technology Assurance Labs, Toms River, NJ US


“Entrepreneurship in IoT” Panel Discussion Randi Sumner, Moderator and Strategic Director, IEEE Entrepreneurship
Federic Bastien, VP Artificial Intelligence of Things at Aspen TechVictor Dewulf, Founder, Recycleye
Ken Ehrman. Founder and Managing Partner, Halo Collar
Romi Gubes, CEO, Sensi.AI
Chris Howard, Founder and CEO, Softeq
12:00-12:30 EDT


“Overview of the World of Entrepreneurship. Lee Stogner, Managing Partner and CEO, Vincula Group, Greenville, SC USA

July 27th, 2021

10:30-12:30 EDT


“Venture Capital and how it enables Innovation and Entrepreneurs.” Mark Gorenberg, Founder and Managing Partner, Zetta Ventures, Partners, San Francisco, CA USA

Eileen Tanghal, Managing Director at In-Q-Tel, San Francisco, CA

Rick Grinnell, Founder and Managing Partner, Glasswing Ventures, Cambridge, MA USA

Mike Majors, Managing Partner, Data Point Capital, Boston, MA USA

Scott McDonald, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, McRock Capital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


July 28th, 2021

10:30-12:30 EDT


“Development of a IoT based company specializing in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Human Augmentation.” Yu Yuan, Founder and CEO, Senses Global Labs & Ventures, Los Angeles, CA USA

July 29th, 2021

10:30-12:30 EDT


“Development of a Polymer-based Sensor for IoT Applications.” Robert Fields, Co-Founder, SmartSense, Greenville, SC USA

July 30th, 2021

10:30-12:30 EDT


“The IoT Entrepreneur Business Model.”  

Ray Sheen, Principal, Vincula Group, Greenville, SC USA



July 31st, 2021

10:30-12:30 EDT


“The Future of IoT in the Manufacturing space: How Hardware Startups Make it Happen.” Sabrina Sasaki, Session Mediator, Principal at Monozukuri Ventures, Zurich, Switzerland

Tomo Yamashiki, Tech Panel Facilitator, Venture Partner at Monozukuri Ventures, Tokyo, Japan

Chris Wentz, CEO and Founder, Everykey

Jason Guss, CEO and Co-Founder, Iterate Labs

Vivek Kulkarni, CEO and Founder, ARIN Technologies


The closing event of the Entrepreneurial Program is a spirited competition of Start Ups making their “Pitches”.  The Audience will give honest feedback to help these Start Ups learn and perfect their individual Pitches.  Please let us know if you would like to become one of our Start-Ups with a Billion Dollar Pitch.

Who Should Participate?

A general audience with an interest in the business aspects of IoT, consisting of individuals responsible for innovation within existing companies, or the art of starting new companies focused on IoT solutions and applications. Participants are welcome from Government, Academia and Industry including recent graduates and those with decades of experience.

Note: Before the Workshop, the Audience is encouraged to review several free online resources that will provide reference information from world-wide business sources. These resources can be found at IEEE Entrepreneurship & Innovation / Venture Capital / Startups by Lee Stogner.

We especially encourage participation from the IEEE IoT Initiative and the participating and sponsoring IEEE Societies. IEEE IoT Initiative Sponsoring and Participating IEEE Societies include: IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc); the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA); the IEEE Reliability Society (RS); and the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS), IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS); the IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS); the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IES); the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S); the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) and the IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS).



Entrepreneurship and Innovation have become two highly searched for words on Google. Almost every country, region, city, and university have established entities that promote the growth of Start Ups that they hope will create new industries and jobs. Similarly, almost every company in the world has people focused on what they can do next to grow their business. The IEEE has established a Board Level committee that is promoting Entrepreneurship and the development of resources for its members that want to create opportunities within their own company or take the risk and create a StartUp venture.

This Workshop will detail the process for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, resources, and how the Internet of Things is the foundation for the biggest growth of Start Ups that has ever existed.

The event is intended to inspire, educate, enable, and empower researchers, industry professionals, and students who have the ‘Start Up bug’ in turning their ideas into new products and services but are not sure of how to go about it. You cannot learn everything in one day; however, the participants will become a part of an IEEE led ecosystem that will provide much-needed ongoing support to launch their initiatives while being realistic about their envisioned ideas and products.

If you are an IEEE Member or not, this Workshop is just the beginning of what we will do together.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Learn about the tools and resources that will help develop ideas, manage goals, find investment, and go to market as a new company.
  • Examples of IoT Entrepreneurs and how they started their companies.
  • Competition of StartUp Pitches that promote practice and learning.  The audience will be encouraged to provide their feedback.
  • IEEE Entrepreneurship Network. How to become a part of the growing Network of IEEE professionals that are developing new ideas and industries.


Lee Stogner, Managing Partner, Vincula Group; Chair of IEEE Digital Transformation Working Group, P2023,

Thomas Monaco, Project Manager, IEEE Entrepreneurship Initiative,



Ken Stauffer, Co-Founder Technology Assurance Labs, Toms River, NJ USA

Ken Stauffer is a serial entrepreneur in life!  His professional career spans 16 years at AT&T Bell Labs, and then another 20 years as an entrepreneur—first with a $480M startup in Florida and then with several other start-ups, which took in venture capital funding. Stauffer is the Co-Founder of Technology Assurance Labs and was the CEO for 15 years.

Ken was part of the volunteer team charted in 2014 by then IEEE President J. Boisson Roberto deMarca to develop a plan for IEEE to improve our engagement of entrepreneurial members. Ken then helped lead the initiative as 2015-2016 Chair of the IEEE Entrepreneurship Steering Committee. In his past-chair role, he has continued to provide guidance and vision to both the 2017 Steering Committee and IEEE Entrepreneurship 2018 Steering Committee. In 2019, He was appointed by the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee as a Liaison to the 2019 IEEE Entrepreneurship Steering Committee following his efforts to promote IEEE and Entrepreneurship with the IEEE Africa Initiative. He is an IEEE Senior Member and Life member benefiting from his IEEE affiliations for over 35 years.

Ken is Chair of the Board of Trustees of Vaughn College, an institution steeped with a history of aeronautical and aviation engineering innovation as well as a focus on mechatronics and related fields.

Outside of his professional life, Stauffer was born and raised in Tanzania, is a native speaker of Swahili and English, taught celestial navigation, studied philosophy, was a serious rock climber, and an Actor’s Equity Stage Manager.

In addition to his efforts in launching and chairing the Entrepreneurship Community within IEEE, Ken is a judge and coordinator within the IEEE Entrepreneurship Stars Program (previously known as the IEEE N3XT Stars Program,) was a co-judge of IEEE N3XT® 2016 Austin and IEEE N3XT® 2015 Toronto. He has served on the 2017 IEEE Entrepreneurship Steering Committee and 2018 IEEE Entrepreneurship Steering Committee.  Ken has presented on Entrepreneurship within IEEE numerous times including at an IEEE Signal Processing Event for Young Professionals interested in Entrepreneurship and in Rwanda for a 5-Day Workshop on Entrepreneurship. Ken is also the Chair on the 2020 IEEE Entrepreneurship Steering Committee.


Lee Stogner, Managing Partner and CEO, The Vincula Group, Greenville, SC USA

Lee Stogner serves in Executive Positions in several corporations that drive improved business performance using technologies that include Business Innovation, Digital Transformation, Project Management, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. Lee has over 35 years of design, consulting, project management and business development experience across a range of industries. Lee has driven growth at companies that include Digital Equipment, Fluor Corporation, Rockwell International and the Vincula Group. Customers around the world have benefited from Lee’s expertise and leadership. Throughout his working career, Lee has been active in both local and international professional activities. Lee is the Chair of the Carolinas’​ Engineering Cluster and a past Director of the IEEE Board of Directors. Today, Lee is active in promoting the development of the Internet of Things through his participation in the IEEE Internet Initiative, the IEEE Digital Transformation Standard, P2023 and as a Senior Member of the IEEE.


Mark Gorenberg, Founder and Managing Partner, Zetta Venture Partners, San Francisco, CA USA

Mark Gorenberg is the Founder and a Managing Director of Zetta Venture Partners, a seed and early-stage fund, focused on the intelligent enterprise.

Mark started his venture capital career when Hummer Winblad Venture Partners began investing its first fund in 1990. Over the last 20 years Mark has served on the boards of numerous successful Hummer Winblad start-ups, including Omniture (IPO; subsequently acquired by Adobe), AdForce (IPO; subsequently acquired by CMGI), NetDynamics (acquired by Sun Microsystems), Scopus Technologies (IPO; subsequently acquired by Siebel) and Crowdfactory (acquired by Marketo). He continues to serve as a director of various companies including analytics companies Domo, Domino Data Lab, Follow Analytics, InsideSales, and Teem.

In 2011, appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), a 21-person advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers (

A member of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation, the MIT Investment Committee (MITIMCo.), a member of the Steering Committee of Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT, the Leadership Board of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. (


Yu Yuan, Los Angeles, CA USA

Senses Global Labs & Ventures (also known as Senses Global Corporation or 0xSenses Corporation in different countries) is a multinational technology company specializing in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Human Augmentation. Dedicated to “Creating Better Worlds” as its long-term vision, the company is developing technologies, infrastructures, ecosystems, and resources needed for massively multiplayer ultra-realistic virtual experiences. The company is also engaged in technology consulting, technology transfer, and system integration services to help with the Digital Transformation of its clients in various industries. It has been proactively supporting standards development for emerging technologies (VR/AR/MR/XR, Blockchain, AI, IoT, Big Data, Digital Twin, Smart Lifestyle, etc.) in collaboration with many other companies and institutions.


Robert Fields, Partner, SmartSense, Greenville, SC USA

Entrepreneurship is built into the DNA of Robert Fields. Growing up in Tulsa, OK, Robert was taking notes from his father on how to start, bootstrap, and operate a small business at the early age of five years old. Robert’s brand of supportive and dynamic entrepreneurship thrives in the rapidly growing technology sector in Greenville, SC. Robert has built a dynamic and multi-layered business network and defines what it is to be a strategic operator and leader. With an innovative approach that is an invaluable asset to the SmartSense organization, his balance of structure and collaboration make for a dynamic environment.

With an Economics Degree from Duke and an in depth understanding of what it takes to drive a business forward, Robert’s insights and battle-tested background, along with his intuitive ability and passion for connecting the right people to build the necessary bridges for success, make him a substantial asset and critical component of SmartSense’s strategic direction.



Ray Sheen, Principal, The Vincula Group and previously Founder and President, Product and Process Innovation, Inc., Taylors, SC USA  

Ray Sheen is president and founder of Product & Process Innovation, Inc. He is a veteran business leader with over 35 years of executive, engineering management, and project management experience working in GE, the US Air Force and as an independent consultant in innovation and digital transformation. Ray has several engineering degrees and a graduate certificate in Digital Leadership and Strategy. The focus of Ray’s work has been the management and deployment of different technologies in various industries and business functions including marketing, engineering, manufacturing, service, IT, and Finance. Ray is a Fellow with the Institute for Digital Transformation.



Eileen Tanghal, Managing Director at In-Q-Tel, San Francisco, CA  

Eileen Tanghal is a partner at In-Q-Tel, the strategic investor that identifies and invests in innovative technology startups to support the missions of the U.S. Intelligence and Defense communities. Since joining IQT in 2018 she has led investments in computers, communications, and sensing technologies.  Prior to joining IQT, Tanghal was at ARM Holdings where she served as Vice President within the New Business Ventures group and was responsible for the discovery and cultivation of investment opportunities and acquisitions in new growth areas.

Prior to ARM Holdings, Tanghal was Managing Director of Applied Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Applied Materials, where she led an international team managing $250M in nearly 50 portfolio companies. During her tenure she and her team led several investments and strategic collaborations for Applied Materials in the semiconductor, solar, display, and whitespace areas including life sciences and medical. These efforts opened several billion-dollar market opportunities for Applied Materials. Before joining Applied Materials, Eileen was an investment director in the London office of Kennet partners and an associate at Amadeus Capital Partners.

Prior to entering venture capital, Tanghal was one of the first engineering team members of the semiconductor consulting firm, PDF Solutions, which went public in 2001.

Tanghal holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT and a master’s degree from London Business School.



Rick Grinnell, Founder and Managing Partner, Glasswing Ventures, Cambridge, MA USA 

Rick Grinnell is Founder and Managing Partner of Glasswing Ventures, focusing on investments in AI-enabled security and enterprise infrastructure. Rick has led investments and serves on the Board of Directors of Allure Security, Armored Things, Black Kite, and Terbium Labs.

As an experienced venture capitalist and operator, Rick has invested in some of the most dynamic companies in security, storage, analytics, and SaaS applications during his 20 years in the venture capital industry. In his previous role as Managing Director at Fairhaven Capital, Rick led investments and served on the Board of Directors of Digital Guardian, EqualLogic (acquired by Dell, a unicorn and fund returner), Prelert (acquired by Elastic), Pwnie Express, Resilient Systems (acquired by IBM), TrackVia (acquired by Primus Capital) and VeloBit (acquired by Western Digital). He also has deep operating experience having held senior marketing and engineering roles at Adero (acquired by Inktomi), ClearOne Communications (acquired by Gentner Communications, later renamed as ClearOne), and PictureTel (acquired by Polycom).

Rick is a member of the Educational Council at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is active with the entrepreneurial programs at Harvard and Tufts Universities and is a frequent judge at MassChallenge. Rick’s contributions to the broader community include serving as a member of the Board of the Advanced Cyber Security Center, New England’s public/private security collaboration, and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Advisers at the Museum of Science in Boston. He previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.

Rick has been recognized by New England Venture Network with the Community Leadership Award for his philanthropic work and contribution to the community. Rick holds BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from HBS.



Mike Majors, Managing Partner, Data Point Capital, Boston, MA USA  

Mike Majors is a Managing Partner at Data Point Capital. Mike has spent more than 15 years as a venture investor and has significant operating experience. Most recently, Mike was a Managing Partner at Siemens Venture Capital where he was the founder and head of the $100 million early-stage, Industry of the Future Fund, and head of the later-stage Industry Fund. At Siemens, Mike’s investments included Encelium (acquired by OSRAM), Wurldtech (acquired by GE), Lagoa (acquired by Autodesk), Polarion (acquired by Siemens), CyActive (acquired by PayPal), LogRhythm (acquired by Thoma Bravo), Black Duck (acquired by Synopsys), Electric Cloud, CounterTack, and Digital Guardian. Mike served on the boards of Encelium, LogRhythm, Electric Cloud, Polarion, and CyberFlow. Before joining Siemens Venture Capital, Mike was the CFO of Visible World (acquired by Comcast) as well as the CFO of Indeed (acquired by Recruit). Mike started his venture career at Brand Equity Ventures, a fund focused on software, digital media, and consumer Internet opportunities. Mike’s investments at Brand Equity Ventures included Retail Solutions (acquired by VeriSign) and MaxPreps (acquired by CBS). Mike received a B.S.E, summa cum laude, in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in Machine Learning and Robotics, supported by a Fulbright scholarship, from Cambridge University.



Scott McDonald, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, McRock Capital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada  

Scott is an entrepreneur at heart and a venture capitalist by training. An early pundit on the digital transformation and venture investments in the industrial sector, he wanted to create the world’s first investment firm focused exclusively on the Industrial IoT. In 2012, he co-founded McRock Capital and his dream was alive.

Scott embraced diversity & inclusion as a competitive advantage from the very inception of McRock and has long been a champion for underrepresented groups in private capital. In particular, he has strongly advocated for an increase in female representation on public and private company boards.

He currently serves on the boards of ThoughtTrace, SkySpecs, Worldsensing, Invixium, Serious Integrated and the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA). He previously served as Chair of RuggedCom (acquired by Siemens), Chair of RtTech (acquired by AspenTech and Vinci Energies), director of Pure Technologies (acquired by Xylem), and director of PPIC (acquired by Pure).

Prior to co-founding McRock, Scott was a Partner with a Zurich-based venture capital firm and Managing Director in the venture capital subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation, a large North American utility. Scott represented Canada at the 1989 and 1991 World Gymnastics Championships and was a voting member of the Canadian Olympic Committee for the quadrennial leading up to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.



Sabrina Sasaki, Principal, Monozukuri Ventures, Zurich, Switzerland
Sabrina Sasaki, Principal, Monozukuri Ventures.  Over 14 years of experience in marketing and customer-centric business, working alongside entrepreneurs and corporate leaders from the US, Japan, France, Latin America & Scandinavia. In the last 6 years, as the first employee in the company, she has supported early stage hardware startups in Japan & the US, from pre-seed to series A. Before joining the VC firm, her work experience roles were Client Partner and Project Manager at several digital agencies.




Tomo Yamaskiki, Venture Partner, Monozukuri Ventures, Tokyo, Japan
Tomo Yamaskiki, Venture Partner at Monozukuri Ventures. A scientist (PhD Physics, University of Tokyo), serial entrepreneur, and innovator with expertise in advanced materials, semiconductors and in the food industry, Tomo has extensive experience in both American and Asian companies, ranging from small garage startups to large corporations. Tomo’s combination of rich experience with corporations, solid technological background, and business acumen is being applied as he works with innovative Japanese companies exploring the commercial opportunities for B2B enterprise startups.




Chris Wentz ,CEO & Founder at Everykey

Chris Wentz CEO & Founder at Everykey. During his BS in Computer Science, Chris started his current startup. In addition to CES, he made a strong showcasing at the national Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Days business competition in NYC, while running a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $25,000 in just two days—going on to also launch an Indiegogo campaign that collectively pulled in more than $250,000 in initial funding. Expertise in: Crowdfunding, Press, Fundraising, Cybersecurity challenges.




Jason Guss, CEO & Co-Founder at Iterate Labs

Jason Guss, CEO & Co-Founder at Iterate Labs. Advisor at Cornell eLab Accelerator, PhD in Biomedical Engineering focusing on human performance, biomechanics, and orthopedic disease, Jason is now focused on Artificial Intelligence for Factory Workforces. Prior to Iterate Labs, Jason was one of the first engineers at a robotics company in the hospitality industry called Maidbot. Expertise in: Manufacturing and Industry AI – Workforce Shortages in manufacturing, Overall Labor effectiveness and the importance of focusing on our workforce.




Vivek Kulkarmi, CEO & Founder at ARIN Technologies
Vivek Kulkarmi, CEO & Founder at ARIN Technologies. MBA at Carnegie Mellon University. After his undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering in Mumbai, he was offered a full scholarship at The University of Cincinnati. Alumni at AlphaLab Gear, a leading hardware and robotics accelerator in Pittsburgh, Vivek tested its first pilot in the local warehouse and is now expanding his customer base to global companies.