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Melinda Richter, Executive Director
Melinda Richter is the founder and CEO of Prescience International, a firm dedicated to the commercialization of science through starting and managing research centers, incubators, foundations and institutes.

Prescience International is dedicated to fostering innovation through entrepreneurship so that the best of science and technology can reach the people who need it.  As part of Prescience International, Ms. Richter started and currently directs the San Jose BioCenter, co-founded and directs the University of California at Berkeley’s BioExec Program, co-founded and directs the California Center for Healthcare and BioMedical Technology Research Foundation.  Ms. Richter has also provided consultation services to commercialization centers such as the US Market Access Center and international agencies such as JETRO, the Canadian Consulate General, and the Finnish agency Global Connexus. Prior to Prescience International, Ms. Richter created and directed the ASTIA Life Science Incubator (formerly the Women’s Technology Cluster).   

Prior to ASTIA, Ms. Richter spent eight years at Nortel Networks throughout North America, the U.K., Europe, Central and Latin America, and Asia. Ms. Richter worked in acquisitions, strategic planning, marketing, contract negotiations, engineering and manufacturing optimization, world trade market development, and general management of an IT business unit.   One of Ms. Richter’s key accomplishments was the successful implementation of a new technology across Nortel Networks’ seven international regions including Nortel Africa, Nortel Asia South Pacific, Nortel CALA (Caribbean and Latin America), Nortel China, Nortel Europe, Nortel Japan, and Nortel U.K. Ms. Richter won several Nortel awards including the highest level CEO Award for People / Emerging Market Development in China. In China, Ms. Richter was responsible for creating joint ventures with locally owned telecommunications companies and, post agreement, she was responsible for developing the management for each joint enterprise.  She also was responsible for general management development for Nortel Asia Pacific, which encompassed the regions of Nortel China, Nortel Japan, and Nortel Asia South Pacific.  Ms. Richter left Nortel to start eTreasurer, a European online financial and accounting hub for CFOs, which operated across London, Paris and Barcelona.

Following, Ms. Richter led business development for high technology companies in Silicon Valley before entering the field of incubation for science and technology. Ms. Richter currently sits on the governing board of the National Business Incubation Association and the boards of University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business BioExecutive Institute and San Jose State University’s Masters of Biotechnology Program.  Ms. Richter holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan and an M.B.A. from INSEAD in France.
[email protected]
Tel (408) 960-3807

Erika Kula, Director, Business Development
Prior to Prescience International Ms. Kula was responsible for sales and management of corporate accounts at Equilar, Inc, the market leader for benchmarking executive and director compensation and providing corporate governance related information to over two-thirds of the Fortune 500 companies.  In her capacity she was responsible for the management of over 200 accounts such as Eli Lily, AutoNation, and Capital One. 
Ms. Kula holds a BA in Biological Sciences and Political Science from the University of Southern California and a Certificate from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Center for Executive Education for their 2008 Business Executive Program.
[email protected]
Tel (415) 828-1498

Richard Fronko, Ph.D, CORE Lab Specialists
Richard Fronko is currently the Operations Director, overseeing facilities and the CORE Laboratory. Richard comes to us with over 15 years experience in the biotech field garnered from two emerging companies, Microcide Pharmaceuticals and Plexxikon, Inc. Richard also was the Manager of the NMR Labs Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has an analytical background with extensive experience managing NMR/HPLC/MS instrumentation in both academia and industry. He has also had lab facility experience, including time spent as a lab safety officer. In his most recent position, he maintained the scientific information infrastructure; deploying databases on the server as well as installing applications on the client end. He has been working part-time while teaching Chemistry at Ohlone College until December 2007, at which point he joined the BioCenter full time.
[email protected]
Tel (408) 960-3807

Chelsea Hewitt, Marketing Director
Ms. Hewitt is the Marketing Director for Prescience Intl, a firm dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship for innovation centers in technology and life sciences. As a senior member of Prescience International, Ms. Hewitt is responsible for the marketing strategy of the San Jose BioCenter. Ms. Hewitt is also responsible for the marketing and co-organization of the BioExecutive Program developed by Prescience International and the Haas school of Business at UC Berkeley Center for Executive Development. Ms. Hewitt has over 10 years of international marketing and project management expertise beginning with London-based multi-media incubator and investment firm, Illuminator Plc.; where she was responsible for the market analysis and due diligence to support the funding of prospective client companies. Prior to the San Jose BioCenter, Ms. Hewitt was the Marketing Manager for ASTIA (formerly the WTC), where she managed all marketing communications, oversaw external program development, and project managed the Annual Venture Conference; an emerging company showcase to over 400+ attendees. Ms. Hewitt was also awarded the ASTIA New Business Award for 2005 for her client and sponsor recruitment efforts. Ms. Hewitt has a BA in History from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Certificate from UC Berkeley�s Haas School of Business, Center for Executive Education for their 2004 Business Executive Program.
[email protected]
Tel (415) 405-6385

Minh Miran, Director, Project Management & Operations
Mrs. Miran holds a BS in Accounting from Saint Mary's College, and brings 14-years of business and operations management experience to Prescience. Her employment portfolio includes American Capital, Ltd., Pacific Media, and State Farm Insurance. Her background includes management of business operations and project management for Prescience International and its projects. She ensures staff and office operations are at the highest level of efficiency. She manages human resources requirements, develops procedures, programs, and best practices and provides general support to the CEO. Her responsibilities include planning, scheduling, and controlling activities to fulfill identified objectives applying technical, theoretical and managerial skills.
[email protected]
Tel (408) 960-2319

�San Jose has long been a global leader for technology innovation and business development that has changed the way the world lives and works. We are committed to working hand-in-hand with the creative young companies at the San Jose BioCenter to ensure they have the tools and the resources they need to succeed and grow in businesses that will be a strong part of our future economic foundation.�

- Ron Gonzales, San Jose Former Mayor
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