Dr. Anthony J. Margida, Ph.D.
Anthony is executive director of CentreWorks and founder & CEO of TechGrit. He is a visionary and accomplished entrepreneurial ecosystem architect, who brings energy and expertise to customizing startup programing for communities, universities, and corporations. His depth of experience spans business accelerator design, equity investment, private/public partnerships, company formation, and organization sustainability. As CEO of the Akron Global Business Accelerator, he envisioned and spearheaded its transformation into an entrepreneurial super-hub creating 450 new jobs and securing $75 M in equity investment while securing over $10M in grant funding to ensure multi-year operations.
His 30-year career in innovation has focused on developing/commercializing new technologies and the creation of companies spanning the specialty chemical, advanced material, cleantech/energy, IT, medical device, and food/agriculture industries. As Director of Technology at HB Fuller he led development and global commercialization of a waterbased footwear adhesive offering an alternative to a highly abused toluene-based staple. His Magnetorheological Fluid (MR) patents are widely cited and are core to GM’s Magneride suspensions on over one million vehicles.
A nationally recognized thought leader, Dr. Margida serves on the US Council on Competitiveness, currently teaming with top US innovation experts to develop policy and programing for the National Commission on Innovation. He is a certification instructor for Entrepreneurial Center Directors with the International Business Innovation Association (INBIA) He is also President of LaunchTown Experience™, a program designed to promote entrepreneurship for students. He has served on the Akron ARCHAngels Deal Flow Committee and the University of Akron Research Foundation Spark Fund Board focusing on investment of University technologies. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of Wooster, Dr. Margida received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Akron and his business education from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Andrea Margida, M.S.
Andrea is Executive Director of CentreWorks, an initiative of Centre College, designed to partner with the city of Danville and the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. Andrea led the effort to design CentreWorks as a catalyst to build community, establish resilience, and stimulate economic growth. CentreWorks programming, built on a foundation of the entrepreneurial mindset, has been customized to provide collaboration, ideation, education, mentoring, skills enhancement, and investment opportunities.
Andrea has a strong pedigree as an entrepreneur and educator. She is majority owner and President of TechGrit, an entrepreneurial ecosystem design consultancy. She also serves as President and CEO of The Valentine Project, a nonprofit that supports families affected by childhood chronic illnesses, including cancer.
Andrea received a B.A. in history from the College of Wooster and earned an M.S. in food science and nutrition at Ohio University. Her entrepreneurial skills have been certified by the prestigious Cornell University Women’s Entrepreneurship Program and INBIA’s International Business Incubation Management. She is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, serves on the Board of Directors of LaunchTown Experience™ and is a graduate of the Women’s Network Community Leadership Institute. As an educator, she has taught language arts and science to middle and high school students as well as science, technology, and nutrition at Ohio University, West Virginia University, and Walsh University.
Andrea founded the LaunchChef™ competition to create opportunity and to elevate the food startup scene. She has a vast array of experience, ranging from quality control in the food industry, to development of innovative food products for the marketplace. She has been a leading advocate for the promotion of farm-to-table, locally sourced, and low-carbon-footprint food. She has had the privilege of hosting farm-to-table and entrepreneur workshops for groups of international diplomats in conjunction with the U.S. State Department. Andrea continues to share her passion for ecologically sound food production on Morning Mist Farm, which she established in 1999 as a model of sustainable agriculture, using farm practices to promote good stewardship of agricultural lands.