Date: May 19th, 5:45pm

Location: The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s, 2748 Post Rd, Darien, CT

(Note our new time for increased networking opportunities)


Innovation World Cafe – Disruptive Technology

Disruptive Technology has been defined as:

Advances that will transform life, business and the global economy. (McKinsey Global Institute)

New ways of doing things that disrupt or overturn the traditional business methods and practices. (Business Dictionary)

A technology that significantly alters the way that businesses operate. A disruptive technology may force companies to alter the way that they approach their business, risk losing market share or risk becoming irrelevant. (Investopedia)

Disruptive Technology experts will discuss the technology advances that will change our lives:

Analytics and Big Data – Norm Jacknis

Big Data is the means to an end – Analytics is the end.   Technology has allowed us to harness the power of data to understand, predict, and prescribe the world around us.  The focus for this table will be on:

  • The new ways that analytics and big data can improve the operations of your enterprise
  • How analytics can change decision making, marketing, and customer service
  • The role of the CIO in deploying analytics technology
  • Analytics as a way of building the long desired learning organization that is always optimized itself

Internet of Things (IOT) – Greg Fell

The rise of analytics for business optimization and insights has expanded the need to collect more data. One emerging area for data collection is the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart sensors provide information which is used to monitor nearly every aspect of our lives. Our table will discuss the use of these low cost sensors and discuss the business opportunities that exist for this new technology.

Drone Technology and Automated Transportation – Mark Mathias

Moving people and things from place to place is becoming more automated.  From delivering packages with drones to self-driving cars, many forms of automated transportation are disrupting not only businesses but our personal lives.  Hear and discuss how drones and other automated transportation technologies are emerging and how they intersect with your lives.

Mark will have a drone on site for you to check out!

The Future of AD-Technology (Mobile Technology) – Sean Cross

The days of newspaper coupons and television ads as primary ad campaigns are coming to an end.  Companies now use targeted ads to known customers, and specialized campaigns with unique products to keep their customers loyal.  The data that is collected and understood about you is staggering.  This table will give you an understanding of emerging technologies in ad-tech and help you better position your company to leverage and survive the disruption happening in this space.


Network Hour Sponsored By:


About the Speakers:

Sean M. Cross:  Sean brings to Silicon Alley Advisers deep digital expertise in commerce, advertising and revenue growth, with over 25 years of senior management experience working with start-ups and top Fortune 500 companies centered in the technology, media, private/growth equity and venture communities. He is a proven business and technology strategist and marketer who has worked with companies in capital raising, M&A, sales, branding and advertising, product development and business partnership development, partnering with companies such as Google, Newscorp, Samsung, YouTube and Bank of America.

Sean is also a partner at Eaglepoint Advisors, in partnership with Kurt Salmon, a 75-year-old global management consulting firm with over 1,600 professionals. Working with middle-market companies and their constituencies our partners are seasoned CEOs who have delivered dramatic business model transformation,  even in messy, complex situations where fast, incisive change is required for clients such as Goldman Sachs, Cerberus Capital, Blackstone Group, Credit Suisse and The Oppenheimer Funds.  

Prior to starting Silicon Alley Advisers, Sean was a Managing Director at a boutique investment bank in New York City and also served as a Senior Partner at MediaLink LLC, as the Head of the Private Equity, Restructuring & Investment Advisory Practice, providing critical counsel and strategic direction focused broadly on the Media, Entertainment, Information and Technology industries.

Prior to joining MediaLink, Mr. Cross served as the Executive Vice President and Operations Officer for iAmplify, where he led the company through substantial growth and three rounds of funding, before exit. Prior to iAmplify, he led the strategic technical initiatives for the sales, marketing, editorial, publicity and international divisions for Newscorp / HarperCollins Publishers. In addition, he drove technical distribution initiatives for clients such as Scholastic Books, including the Harry Potter book series. Mr. Cross began his career founding and running a tech consulting company in Los Angeles, owned and operated restaurants in New York, then returned to strategic consulting founding and building a firm with clients such as Bear Sterns, Sanwa Bank/UBJ and INET/Instinet (Reuter’s).

An active speaker and moderator at conferences, he makes select investments in early stage companies and serves on boards and advisory boards of several companies including: The Mobile Majority, Cydentify, Secured Worldwide, BlackRidge Technologies, Social Life Management, Pando Networks, PageDaily, Proclivity Media, Streamworks, OneClique, CrazySexyWellness and CrazySexyCancer.

Sean lives on the water in CT with his wife Marla and three children and enjoys sailing, tennis, skiing, soccer, surfing, mountain climbing, martial arts, kayaking and jumping out of planes. Sean has a BS in Information Systems and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine.


Greg Fell:  Greg Fell is currently a General Partner in The Investors Collaborative, a Boston based Venture Capital group. As a trusted leader, he formally advises several technology startup companies, and mentors young entrepreneurs on the challenges in starting a technology business.

Mr. Fell served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Terex Corporation from 2006-2013, where he led a strategic transformation of the IT Organization.  Terex is a manufacturer of industrial equipment that employs 23,000 persons in 50 manufacturing locations around the globe.

Before joining Terex, Mr. Fell spent nearly 20 years with Ford Motor Company. He started as a developer, and worked his way through a variety of management roles supporting the global Engineering and Manufacturing functions of the company. He has domain expertise on CAD/CAM/CAE systems, Lean Manufacturing, and Control Systems.

Mr. Fell is a graduate of Michigan State University, and spent several years on staff in the College of Engineering as a Senior Research Programmer, and Instructor.

Mr. Fell is active in the CIO community, and is frequently quoted in books and periodicals for his knowledge of implementing ERP projects, and general IT leadership strategies. He is the current Chairman of the Fairfield Westchester Society of Information Managers, a former Board Member with Junior Achievement, and has mentored high school students through the First Tee Program.

His book “Decoding the IT Value Problem” was published by John Wiley and Sons in August of 2013. The book has gained positive reviews for its research into the management issues and solutions required to make IT projects more successful.


Dr. Norman J. Jacknis:  Dr. Jacknis has decades of executive and leadership experience in the public and private sectors. He has successfully led organizations to adopt innovations, upgrade technologies, and embrace data-driven cultures.

Dr. Norman Jacknis is currently Senior Fellow at the Intelligent Community Forum as well as the National Association of Counties. He is also the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Gotham Innovation Greenhouse, a collaborative cross-disciplinary group that blends technology and design for exciting new urban experiences. He is on the faculty of the Executive Masters programs in technology at Columbia University.
Before that, starting in 2008, Dr. Jacknis was Director of Cisco’s IBSG Public Sector Group, where he worked extensively and in-depth with governments and businesses around the world on open innovation and pro-bono strategies.

Before joining Cisco, he served more than ten years as CIO and commissioner of Westchester County, NY government, where he was responsible for all technology, analytics, Internet and broadband activities, as well as technology-based economic development. In addition to the County government, he provided these services to municipalities and other non-profit community organizations. He also was co-chair of Technology and Enterprise Architecture in New York State Government’s CIO Council and a member of the Partnership For Intergovernmental Innovation.


Mark Mathias:  Mark Mathias is a career IT professional, with more than 35 years experience.  He has worked for Fortune 500 companies as well as started and run a company for 10 years.

He has lived and worked in the United States, Canada, France and Belgium.

Mark is the founder and co-chair of Remarkable STEAM, a company focused on job creation and closing the education gap, the founder and co-chair of the Westport Mini Maker Faire and in his 13th year as an elected member of the Westport Public Schools Board of Education.