Team

BBCetc was formed as Biotechnology Business Consultants in 1990 to assist early-stage life science companies with technology commercialization strategy and implementation. Since then, the company has evolved and grown, now training and consulting with a wide range of clients from individual companies and entrepreneurs to universities, SBDC’s and tech-based economic development organizations across the U.S. We are a team of 10 with expertise in all 11 participating federal agencies as well as grants/contracts management and commercialization planning.

Becky Aistrup, MBA

Managing Partner & Co-owner

SBIR/STTR training, commercialization planning and SHARPhub Principal Investigator

Kris Bergman

Managing Partner & Co-owner

BBCetc business management, grants and contracts management, budget consulting and administrative support for all agencies
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Becky joined BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting as a Principal Consultant in 2012 and became a Managing Partner and co-owner in 2016. She is a well-known SBIR/STTR program expert, regularly speaking at national conferences and frequently serving on proposal review panels for NSF, DOE and USDA. Becky conducts SBIR/STTR-related training for BBCetc clients throughout the U.S. and consults one-on-one with companies on proposal development, offering special expertise in the DoD, NIH, NASA and DHS programs.

As a previous VP and Corporate Officer for a successful SBIR firm, Becky is uniquely able to relate to the issues faced by SBIR/STTR applicants. Her professional background includes over 30 years of experience working within the medical, biotech, advanced materials and electronics industries helping companies successfully win SBIR/STTR funding. Becky also served as SBIR/STTR Program Director for the state of Minnesota. She holds a BA in Chemistry, an MBA in Marketing Management and a Master’s Certification in Interactive Marketing. becky@bbcetc.com

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Kris is a Managing Partner and co-owner of BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting. Prior to purchasing the company in October 2016, Kris was Principal Consultant for Grants and Contracts Management, having joined BBCetc in 2000. In addition to BBCetc’s financial and business management, Kris assists clients in preparing to receive and manage federal grant and contract funds. This includes advice on financial policies and procedures, DCAA compliance, budget development, indirect cost negotiation, Just-in-Time response, using QuickBooks and preparing for government audits. Prior to joining BBCetc she owned and operated two different service startups before becoming the Global Sales Administrator for a major software development company. kris@bbcetc.com

Andrea Johanson, Ph.D.

Sr. Principal Consultant

NIH program manager, resource creation and knowledge base expert

Shannon Bass

Principal Consultant

NIH, commercialization planning, post-award management
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Andrea is a BBCetc Principal Consultant with over 25 years of experience in leading international collaborative research projects. Prior to joining BBCetc in 2006, she was responsible for developing a portfolio of agricultural biotechnology projects at Michigan State University’s Institute of International Agriculture, and for reporting to federal funding agencies about the program. Andrea has also served as a consultant on a broad range of issues relating to international agricultural development, biotechnology, biosafety, intellectual property rights and technology transfer. She holds a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Reading University, UK, a Masters in Plant Pathology from Cornell University, and a Master of Arts in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, UK. andrea@bbcetc.com

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Shannon Bass joined BBCetc as a Principal Consultant in April 2018 bringing with her 28 years of management experience in the biotechnology industry and as an independent SBIR/STTR Consultant. Shannon’s career began with an animal health start-up out of the University of Kentucky, which was later purchased by Neogen Corporation. She continued in senior management with Neogen for 17 years in the areas of quality control/ assurance, regulatory, pharmaceutical manufacturing and technical services. Later she became CEO of a biotech start-up which brought to market a veterinary research device and president of another medical device firm developing a product for treatment of late-stage lung cancer. A PI on multiple research grants, Shannon has assisted numerous start-ups in developing competitive NIH grant submissions, post-award management, commercialization, project management and building an effective team. She holds B.S degree in Agriculture from Murray State University in Kentucky. shannon@bbcetc.com

Jerry Hollister

Principal Consultant

DOE, NSF, DOD, DHS, NASA, USDA and commercialization planning

Megan Varnum, Ph.D.

Principal Consultant

NIH
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Jerry Hollister is a BBCetc Principal Consultant, having joined the company in 2017 with 30 years of leadership experience in government, higher education, non-profit and for-profit enterprises. After earning an engineering degree from the University of Michigan, he served as commissioned Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps and a warranted Contracting Officer for the Dept. of Defense. Prior to joining BBCetc, Jerry was Chief Operating Officer for Michigan-based Niowave, a developer of superconducting electron accelerators, where he worked to build the successful start-up company from 2008-17. Jerry was instrumental in Niowave receiving $20 million in SBIR awards. Niowave was named the 2010 SBIR/STTR Small Business of the Year by the Dept. of Energy and, in 2016, was honored with the S.B.A.’s Tibbetts Award, which recognizes the best in SBIR achievement. Before joining Niowave, Jerry served in a number of non-profit and educational roles following his honorable discharge from the Navy. jerry@bbcetc.com

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Megan joined BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting as a Principal Consultant in 2019 with a wealth of experience in leading biological technologies on the path to commercialization. As CEO of FibrosIX Inc., a Michigan company developing compounds for the treatment or prevention of fibrosis-related disorders, Megan was involved in all aspects of planning and operation of the company. This included writing an STTR grant proposal, which was awarded from the National Cancer Institute. Her prior experience includes serving as an Entrepreneur in Residence for Michigan State University’s Spartan Innovations where she assisted MSU researchers in translating their technologies into startup businesses. While at MSU, she managed the launch of two startups and assisted in preparation of both NIH and NSF STTR proposals. A former Research Associate of the Scripps Research Institute, Megan received a B.S degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a PhD from Boston University. megan@bbcetc.com

Julie Nagel, Ph.D.

Principal Consultant

SHARPhub Program operations

Marisol Rodriguez

Program Manager

SHARPhub
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Julie S. Nagel, PhD, joined BBCetc in 2018 as Principal Consultant with operational responsibility for the Sustainable Heartland Accelerator Regional Partnership (SHARP) Hub. A regional biomedical consortium, SHARP Hub is designed to promote an entrepreneurial culture serving Central Region IDeA states (KS, OK, NE, SD, ND) with the goal of helping university technology transfer offices and their innovators in biotechnology fields toward successful product commercialization. It is an NIH-funded collaboration between BBCetc and the University of Kansas (KU). Prior to joining BBCetc, Julie was President of KU Innovation and Collaboration and Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. She had also served as Executive Director of Corporate Partnerships while at KU. Prior to that, Julie was Managing Director of the Oncological Sciences Center in Discovery Park at Purdue University. She also has startup experience with University of Michigan spin-out, Rubicon Genomics, and, before moving to Kansas, worked as a BBCetc SBIR/STTR consultant. Julie has a BSE degree from John Brown University, an MS degree from Oklahoma State University and a PhD from the University of Tennessee. julie@bbcetc.com

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Marisol U. Rodriguez joined BBCetc in 2019 as Manager for the Sustainable Heartland Accelerator Regional Partnership SHARPhub. A regional biomedical consortium, SHARPhub is designed to promote an entrepreneurial culture serving Central Region IDeA states (KS, OK, NE, SD, ND) to help university technology transfer offices and their innovators in biotechnology fields toward successful product commercialization. It is an NIH-funded collaboration between BBCetc and the University of Kansas (KU). Marisol’s professional background includes over 10 years of experience helping companies obtain funding including conventional financing as well as SBIR/STTR grant awards.

Marisol served as SBIR/STTR Program Director for the SBDC in Nebraska, and recently she led the volunteer engagement strategy for First National Bank of Omaha. Marisol holds a BS in Accounting, an MS in Economics, and she is Certified Economic Development and Finance professional. marisol@bbcetc.com

Jayne Berkaw

Director, Marketing and Outreach

Marketing, communications, outreach and training programming

Amy Davis

Program Support Director

Michigan SBIR/STTR Assistance Program coordination
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Jayne joined BBCetc in 2012, bringing with her over 30 years of marketing and communications experience. She has managed public, media and investor relations programs for corporations and non-profit organizations in a variety of industries including banking, publishing, pharmaceutical and real estate. In addition to developing communications strategies for major announcements and crisis situations, Jayne has developed and managed employee communications, websites and social media programs, written numerous corporate annual reports and promotional materials, and coordinated many types of events. She has a B.A. from Michigan State University. jayne@bbcetc.com

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Amy joined BBCetc after 13 years at medical research company and multiple SBIR awardee, NeuroNexus Technologies, where she was most recently Senior Sales and Marketing Associate. In this role, she was responsible for development of trade show and promotional materials, web presence, management of customer and distributor relationships, order processing and revenue tracking, and other marketing tasks. At BBCetc, Amy focuses on the Michigan SBIR/STTR Assistance Program, which makes BBCetc’s training and one-on-one proposal support available to Michigan-based technology companies. She handles outreach to partner organizations and other stakeholders, manages BBCetc’s Michigan training programs, and manages marketing communications. Amy is a graduate of Washtenaw Community College. amy@bbcetc.com

Jodi Bergman

Administrative Manager

Contract management and customer engagement
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Jodi joined BBCetc in 2016 to help us with such things as CMS maintenance, billing support, contract support/management, training arrangements, webinar support, and other needed assistance to keep us organized and running smoothly. In addition to her behind-the-scenes responsibilities, Jodi is also the first point of contact for many of our callers, providing information and connecting them with the appropriate consultant to respond their inquiry. Her positive attitude and readiness to help enables the BBCetc staff to focus on the needs of our clients and operate more efficiently. jodi@bbcetc.com