University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance

Meet the EIRs

Adrian “A.J.” Beach, MBA, MS, PMP, has over 18 years investing in and helping build small businesses. His passion is strategy, alignment and organizational management. Early in his career he founded a handful of small companies ranging from legal research to online database access companies. This ground level exposure helped him gain a wide range of experience in business development. After successfully selling the last of these companies, he started working for an SFO, where he was charged with buy-side investments. This role dovetailed into small business consulting, where he found himself advising investors and small business owners how to strengthen their organizations. As a consultant, he worked for companies such as AT&T, Crown Castle, Springfield Venture Fund, Valley Venture Mentors and the University of Massachusetts. AJ is a proponent of evidence based decision-making, Lean Management and Theory of Constraints. He has a bachelor’s degree from University of Alabama, a MS in project management from Northeastern University, and an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He also holds a PMP designation with the Project Management Institute. He enjoys spending time with his family and cycling the scenic roads of New England.




Eric Crawley Photo Eric Crawley is well-qualified for his position as Entrepreneur-in-Residence. He holds a B.A. degree in Systems Science and an M.S. in Engineering Management and over the last three decades has worked for Rockwell International, Wang Laboratories, Symbolics, Ford Motor Company, Wellfleet Communications, Bay Networks, Juniper Networks, Funk Software, BigBand Networks, Akamai Technologies, and a variety of startups.  But his labor of love was always startups. “I’ve always felt it was a whole lot of fun to take a brand new startup company and build it into a going venture.”

As Crawley readily suggests, “Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Only a few people are qualified and able at it. But even those who fit the bill need a lot of support. Nobody starts a company by himself or herself. Networking is a big key. They come to me to find out if entrepreneurship is something they really want to do and if their ideas are worthwhile.”




Christina DeMur, MS, is Vice President of Digital Health for Redpine Signals, a wireless systems company looking to explore the IoT by leveraging their core technologies. In her role at Redpine Signals, she is guiding the development of their digital and mobile healthcare strategy plan.

Her deep clinical and design/development experience gives her insight into understanding and translating end user problems and challenges into product realization opportunities. She is passionate about solving challenges in healthcare by leveraging technology, systems and solutions.

Christina brings to her professional endeavors as a healthcare executive more than 25-years of experience in global medical/healthcare device design, development and commercialization. Formerly at Draeger Medical Systems, based in Andover, MA, she held various roles over a 12-year period including serving as the Vice President of Research & Development responsible for the patient monitoring and systems portfolio of products. Included in that portfolio are hardware and software technology focused on telemetry, bedside monitoring and central stations. 

Prior to joining Draeger Medical Systems, she began her career in Boston’s medical community  as a clinical engineer in the Operating Room, first at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and then at Tufts/New England Medical Center.



Jay Schwartz, PhD is a proud UMass Amherst alumnus (Microbiology '85). He has been a successful academic at MIT, venture backed life science entrepreneur with exit to large pharma, business advisor at MIT VMS and angel investor with Boston Harbor Angels.  He has extensive fund raising experience including coordinating the first round of investment in the largest biopharmaceutical angel investor supported exit ever.  Jay has a background in research and development, business development and commercialization across the domains of drugs, devices, diagnostics, and combination products. Dr. Schwartz has a track record of identifying and driving commercially viable, early-stage technologies through clinical development to acquisition. He recently coauthored an article which was designed to assist academic researchers new to translational development more successfully navigate commercialization of their technology. "So, You Think You Have an Idea: A Practical Risk Reduction-Conceptual Model for Academic Translational Research" Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 29; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020029.



Steven Willis is an engineer, executive and co-founder of networking companies such as Wellfleet and Argon. At BTU Engineering, he developed protocols allowing clusters of microprocessor based diffusion furnaces to communicate.

From 1982 to 1986, he worked as a developer at Interlan, one of the original Ethernet controller companies, developing commercial implementations of the XNS and TCP/IP protocols. In 1986, he co-founded Wellfleet Communications, an early Internet router company, where he ran software development for Wellfleet's high-performance, multi-protocol routers. In 1989 he started Wellfleet's Advanced Engineering Group that developed new networking standards and technology, such as the silicon based forwarding engine, for the next generation of Wellfleet technology. Wellfleet went public in 1991 and merged with Synoptics to create Bay Networks in 1994. In 1997, he co-founded Argon Networks, a maker of high-performance SONET based Internet core switch/routers, which was purchased by Siemens in 1999. In 2001, he joined Datapower, a company focused on innovative XML processing and data transformation, as the VP of Advanced Technology. In 2009, he co-founded Overlook Networks, a venture addressing new networking technology in the data center. His most current project is in the area of optical packet switching. Steve has contributed to the standardization of network management, BGP, IS-IS, ATM, Point-to-Point protocols, QOS and traffic management.

He co-authored "Cryptographic Rule Based Trading" in the 2012 Journal of Financial Cryptography and Data Security.  He is a member of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service; a co-founder of Valley Venture Mentors; and an advisor to Solano Labs, Philo, and other startups in the Boston area. He holds multiple patents in the field of computer networking.

Steve received his B.S. in BDIC with a concentration in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1978.