TRACK B- Business Growth:

Building the Team 101

Investors know: “Bet on the jockey, not the horse”.  The team each founder builds is one of the most critical components of a company’s success.  Outstanding teams pivot, refocus, and refine, with passion, resilience and persistence.  This panel of stellar CEOs and investors will discuss their experiences, challenges and lessons learned in building successful teams for a company’s changing needs over time, recruiting key talent in the Southeast and the importance of the team when raising money and evolving from an idea / technology into a customer focused, commercial entity.


Heather Creran
President, Health Acuity
Serving in CEO, President, and COO roles, and with experience as a Board Director and Advisor, Heather is a leader with extensive strategic and operational success driving growth in diverse enterprises, including startup, joint venture, privately-held and public companies.  From 2012 to present, Heather has served as President and Principal at Health Acuity Consulting, LLC, most recently acting as temporary Chief Operating Officer at Lineagen, an independent, privately-held, genetics testing company for children with autism spectrum disorder.  She served in concurrent roles as President and Board Director for Eurofins Scientific’s US Clinical Diagnostics Division at both EGL Genetics, a JV between Eurofins and Emory University, internationally recognized in rare and inherited disease genetic testing, and NTD in the pre-natal screening market.  In her consulting engagements prior to joining Eurofins, Heather was Laboratory Diagnostics Practice Leader at the Broadwell Group, Chief Operating Officer at MicroBplex and Senior Advisor at Lena Biosciences.  Before starting her consulting practice, Heather was President & CEO of CSI Laboratories, an independent, privately held national cancer diagnostics company based in Alpharetta, and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Clarient, Inc., a NASDAQ traded, personalized medicine company in Orange County, CA.  Heather serves on advisory boards and committees with non-profit, industry and government organizations.  She received her B.A. with majors in Economics and Political Science from Duke University.
Chris Fair
EVP & President, ControlRad, Inc.
Managing Director, Medtown Ventures LLC

Chris Fair has over 27 years of senior executive management and entrepreneurial experience in medical device and biologic platforms.  Mr. Fair’s operational experience covers areas such as strategic market plans, product development, sales, marketing, finance and the ability to take platform technologies from creation through commercialization.


Mr. Fair currently is the EVP & President of ControlRad, a radiation reduction technology company based in Atlanta.  Mr. Fair had previously served as CEO and President of Spinal Elements, a private equity backed $100M+ spinal implant manufacturer based in Carlsbad, CA.  Prior to Spinal Elements, Mr. Fair founded and continues to operate Medtown Ventures, LLC, an advisory and investment firm focused on assisting companies in transition as well as identifying unique technologies that are spun out from large companies and universities.  Medtown Ventures and Mr. Fair led the transition and privatization of the University of Miami Tissue Bank operations to a transaction with Vivex Biomedical.  In addition to UMTB, Mr. Fair and Medtown Ventures licensed assets from Georgia Tech and founded CellectCell, Inc, a company focused on developing the first label free, stem cell isolation research tool.  Prior to Medtown Ventures, Mr. Fair founded Amniox Medical, a spin out company based on amniotic tissue therapies for markets outside of ophthalmology. Mr. Fair’s career also includes leading the commercialization efforts of Medshape Solutions and St. Francis Medical Technologies and the launch of the XSTOP technology.  St. Francis Medical Technologies was acquired by Kyphon for $725M after the first year revenue in the US.  Mr. Fair spent his initial 10 years of his career with DePuy Spine in various sales and marketing leadership roles.  Mr. Fair currently serves as a Director for VetGraft, 510Kardiac, CellectCell (Chairman), and is an Advisory Board member of Georgia Tech Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience.  Mr. Fair has a B.S. Business Administration from the University of Richmond.

Matt Gevaert, PhD
CEO & Co-Founder, KIYATEC, Inc.

Dr. Matthew (Matt) Gevaert is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of KIYATEC, Inc., a clinical stage company commercializing a predictive medicine technology platform positioned to significantly improve cancer patient outcomes.  As demonstrated in published clinical data, using each cancer patient’s unique live tumor tissue KIYATEC’s 3D cell culture technology can create patient-specific information that accurately models and predicts their individual response to drug therapies prior to treatment.   Under Matt’s leadership and with the support of an incredible team, KIYATEC has earned national recognition for innovation. The company has pioneered a novel “in-hospital startup” model to solve intrinsically complex healthcare problems for the betterment of cancer patients, developing elegant solutions that will ultimately work both for the hospital “down the hall” as well as across the continent. Through a dedicated focus on direct relevance to cancer patients, KIYATEC has successfully attracted multiple rounds of private sector investment, more than $5M of competitively awarded federal funding including contracts from the National Cancer Institute, prestigious clinical collaborators at leading national cancer institutions and relationships with premier biopharmaceutical companies developing the cancer therapies of the future.


Matt is a graduate of the University of Waterloo (B.Sc., Chemistry) and of Clemson University (M.S. and Ph.D., Bioengineering). He serves on a number of professional and community boards, and occasionally teaches an MBA graduate course in technology entrepreneurship.

Chris Lee, PhD
Chairman & CEO, Huxley Medical, Inc.

Chris Lee  is the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Huxley Medical, Inc., a startup commercializing a flexible electronics platform with the mission of providing patients continuity of care regardless of location or healthcare provider. He is also a serial entrepreneur that has founded and seeded seven healthcare and life science startups. Most notably, he  was the co-founder, President, and CEO of Vertera, Inc., which was acquired by NuVasive, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUVA) in 2017 (40x TTM revenue, 16x total capital raised). Prior to the acquisition, Vertera developed, manufactured, and sold the first  FDA-cleared load bearing porous polymer device that mimics the mechanics and structure of bone.  These porous implants have improved the lives of over ten thousand  patients around the world suffering from  chronic neck and back pain and  received a unique ICD-10-PCS code series from CMS. Chris has been awarded the Emory Entrepreneur and Georgia Bio Deal of the Year awards and inducted into the Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni at Georgia Tech. He also serves on the external advisory board of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. His peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and issued patents have been cited nearly 1,000 times. In his spare time, Chris founded and serves as Chairman of the Woodbridge Foundation, a nonprofit that has provided donations and mentorship to doctorial students and post doctorial fellows that aspire to commercialize their medical research. Chris  received his B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University in 2007 and his Ph.D. in  Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University in 2012. 

Emily Morris
Founder & CEO, Emrgy Inc.

Emily Morris is the Founder & CEO of Emrgy Inc., an energy technology company that is disrupting distributed power generation and delivery using modular hydropower systems. Since founding Emrgy in 2014, Emily has secured over $7 million in funding to bring Emrgy’s solution to market.


Within one year of launch, Emily led Emrgy to become the first company inducted into the City of Atlanta’s Innovation Center to demonstrate new technologies on municipal infrastructure as well as the first company to receive equity investment directly from the City of Atlanta. In 2017, she led Emrgy to install the first distributed hydropower array in the United States with the City of Denver and the US Bureau of Reclamation.


Emily is the Principal Investigator on US Department of Energy-sponsored contracts valued over $1.9 million, including a cooperative agreement focused on “Research and Development on Innovative Technologies in Low Impact Hydropower”. She is also named as an inventor on 5 patents pending. Emily Morris comes to Emrgy from AMT, Inc., where she managed over $10 million in research contracts to build new technologies for energy, military and transportation innovation over 6 years. Emily has been active in a range of entrepreneurial activities and has founded, advised, and/or led multiple startup for-profit and non-profit ventures totaling over $1 million in annual proceeds.


The Atlanta Business Chronicle named Emily “Top 30 Under 30” in 2015, and she was awarded the Female Entrepreneur Award at WICERs 2016. Emily led Emrgy to be awarded Georgia’s Top Startup in 2017 as well as a top award at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Industry Growth Forum and Emerging Markets Day in 2018. The Company has won 2 venture capital-backed cleantech startup accelerators.


Emily graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human and Organizational Development with a Minor in Corporate Strategy from Vanderbilt University. In her community, Emily serves on the Board of Directors for Blue Skies Ministries, Inc. as well as a Childcare Volunteer Coordinator for the City of Refuge women’s homeless shelter.

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