HudsonAlpha launches biotech mentoring program for entrepreneurs

February 11, 2020 (Huntsville, Ala.) – The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has launched a new mentoring program to help strengthen biotech and life sciences entrepreneurs as business leaders in North Alabama, capitalizing on the wealth of business talent in the region.

The program, called Navigate, was established in the fall of 2019 and is modeled after MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service program which has been successfully mentoring entrepreneurs for more than 20 years. Through careful, thoughtful and deliberate selection, Navigate matches growing entrepreneurs with teams of c-suite executives, experienced entrepreneurs and subject matter experts from North Alabama to provide them a group of confidential and conflict-free advisors.

“HudsonAlpha founders Jim Hudson and Lonnie McMillian were both serial entrepreneurs and mentors to countless entrepreneurs, including some of the Navigate mentors,” said Carter Wells, vice president for economic development at HudsonAlpha and Director of Navigate. “Navigate is a way for us to bring the entrepreneurial and mentor spirit that created HudsonAlpha to entrepreneurs looking to grow in the life sciences community.”

Navigate’s first class of mentors includes a who’s-who of business executives, serial entrepreneurs and civic leaders. The current mentors are:

-Paul Gierow, Founder, GATR Technologies
-Matthew Parker, PhD, Associate, Maynard Cooper
-Kevin Gold, Operating Partner, Integrated Openings Solutions
-Steve Hettinger, Former engineer, manager and public servant
-Irma Tuder, Founder and CEO, Analytical Services, Inc.
-Patrick Shields, Senior Vice President, Morgan Stanley
-Gary Bolton, Vice President Global Marketing, Adtran
-Barry Derrick, Product Manager, Adtran
-Danny Windham, COO, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
-Peggy Sammon, CEO, GeneCapture
-Rex Vaughn, President, Madison County Farmers Federation
-Michelle Stark, Marketing Director, Red Sage Communications
-Brian Pollock, CEO and Founder, Kailos Genetics
-Tom Young, CEO Kord Technologies
-Richard Marsden, Shareholder, Maynard Cooper

“I’ve been involved with HudsonAlpha for a number of years as a board member and ambassador, and I’m excited for the opportunity to bring my experience as an entrepreneur and business leader to the innovative companies at the Institute,” said Irma Tuder, Founder of Analytical Services, Inc.

After completing its pilot phase, the program will later be available to companies across North Alabama. Companies must be involved in biotech or life sciences for consideration. If you are interested in learning more about Navigate, email 

About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to developing and applying scientific advances to health, agriculture, learning, and commercialization. Opened in 2008, HudsonAlpha’s vision is to leverage the synergy between discovery, education, medicine, and economic development in genomic sciences to improve the human condition around the globe. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres nestled within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. The state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education and fosters more than 40 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit

Media Contact:
Margetta Thomas