Our Team

image of the SBTDC technology commercialization team

Nicole Schwerbrock | Michael Carnes | Diana Martinez | John Ujvari | Chris Veal

Nicole Schwerbrock, PhD
Director, SBTDC Technology Development and Commercialization

image of Nicole SchwerbrockDr. Nicole Schwerbrock is Director of Technology Development and Commercialization at the SBTDC. She and her team assist with the formation and growth of businesses based on technological innovations, providing strategic and tactical advice to pre-venture entities, university start-ups and small businesses. The Technology Development team works with entrepreneurs, particularly those in the life sciences, to develop opportunities for technology commercialization, identify and leverage strategic resources within community and support student engagement. Nicole has direct experience with technology commercialization processes, university technology transfer and startup company formation, SBIR / STTR programs, and student engagement.

Prior to joining the SBTDC, Dr. Schwerbrock served as the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellow at the UNC-Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy (ESOP), where she engaged in identifying, supporting and promoting viable technology commercialization opportunities originating from the School.  During her tenure, the School spun out four companies and submitted several successful SBIR/STTR grant applications. Previously, Dr. Schwerbrock served as an R&D scientist for both early-stage and commercial-stage pharmaceutical corporations. She served as Senior Scientist (and sole employee) for Qualiber, an ESOP spinout company as well as a drug development scientist at Sanofi (formerly, Hoechst AG; Frankfurt, Germany).

Nicole is multi-lingual and -cultural, as she holds undergraduate degrees in Math and Biology (Alexander von Humboldt School, Mexico City), a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences (University of Amsterdam), and a PhD from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-CH.  She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Kathleen Caron at UNC School of Medicine.

Michael Carnes, MBA
Counselor, SBTDC Technology Development and Commercialization
SBTDC @ NCSU (Raleigh) | mcarnes@sbtdc.org

mcarnesMike Carnes is a Technology Commercialization Counselor at the North Carolina SBTDC, a business development service of The University of North Carolina. Mike supports the SBTDC’s technology development and commercialization initiatives by providing business counseling, training, grant and equity capital formation support to NC entrepreneurs and small businesses. Mike has regional SBTDC responsibility, representing forty counties from the Research Triangle to the coast. He is known for his passion in helping businesses commercialize science and technology to solve real problems for real people. Mike also enjoys identifying and connecting entrepreneurs to statewide resources, helping them along the path to commercialization.

Mike earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology in 2006, a Professional Science Master’s in Microbial Biotechnology in 2012, and a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in 2013 from North Carolina State University. During his graduate education, he worked with a variety of hi-tech startups helping to drive strategic decision making and business planning. Before that time, Mike used his scientific and analytic skills as a bench researcher at a large agricultural biotechnology firm and NCSU’s Department of Plant Pathology.

Diana Martinez, MBA
Counselor, SBTDC Technology Development and Commercialization
SBTDC @ ASU (Boone / Hickory) | dmartinez@sbtdc.org

image of d. martinezDiana Martinez is a Technology Commercialization Counselor serving the 36 counties in the Western Region (West of I-77) for the North Carolina SBTDC. In that role she provides counseling services to companies working to commercialize new technologies as well as working collaboratively with the state universities in the region to facilitate technology transfer/commercialization activities. Diana worked as a General Business Counselor in the Boone/Hickory Region for two years before joining the Technology Commercialization Team.

Prior to joining the SBTDC, Diana worked as an independent consultant providing services to established and emerging biotech companies and as a Senior Commercialization Analyst for Foresight Science and Technology Inc. Before starting her own consulting firm she worked in the medical device industry for seventeen years where she gained extensive experience in business development, technology assessment, and product development. As the Biologics Specialist at both Abbott Spine and Zimmer Spine she was responsible for business development activities including technology assessments and market validation of new and emerging technologies for potential licensing or acquisition.

Diana holds a B.S. in Liberal Studies with a Minor in Molecular Biology from the University of Central Florida, an M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico, and an M.S. in Technology Commercialization from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.

John Ujvari, MBA
Counselor, SBTDC Technology Development and Commercialization
SBTDC @ UNC-Chapel Hill |  sbir@sbtdc.org

image of John UjvariJohn Ujvari is the SBIR Program Specialist with the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC). His primary responsibilities include counseling clients on the effective use of this federal funding program and supporting and promoting SBIR educational opportunities throughout the state via numerous outreach efforts. These efforts include the publication of a monthly SBIR-focused newsletter, planning and execution of training events statewide, meeting clients one-on-one and reviewing proposals prior to submission. He also leads the SBTDC’s MBA summer internship program. Since joining the SBTDC in 2001, SBIR and STTR awards in North Carolina have increased 5-fold.

John earned his MBA degree from Wake Forest University’s Babcock Graduate School of Management Prior to returning to graduate school, John held the position of Research Associate at Westat, a contract research firm in Rockville, Maryland. John earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.

Chris Veal, MBA
Counselor, SBTDC Technology Development and Commercialization
SBTDC @ WSSU (Triad) | cveal@sbtdc.org

image of chris vealChris Veal is a Technology Commercialization Counselor at the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC). Chris supports the SBTDC’s technology development and commercialization initiatives by providing business counseling, training, grant and equity capital formation support to entrepreneurs and small businesses in North Carolina. Chris covers an area in the middle section of the state that stretches from Research Triangle Park west to Statesville (Research Triangle Park to I-77). With nearly 20 years of experience in management in private industry and government, including two entrepreneurial ventures, Chris is well equipped to address the issues facing small businesses. He also spent some time as an engineer, which provides a technical element to his experience. Chris’ experience has been in a variety of industries, including textiles, aviation/airport management, photography, and construction.

Chris earned a Bachelor of Science in Textile Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1994, an Associate Degree in Aviation Management in 1999, and a Masters in Business Administration from Wake Forest University in 2003. The blend of technical and business backgrounds through his education and work experience enhances his ability to assist companies with the commercialization of new technology and the business development to support such commercialization.