From Crisis Management to Building for the Future: Lessons Businesses Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic


June 30, 2020
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Virtual Event


From Crisis Management to Building for the Future: Lessons Businesses Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 30, 2020
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

As the economy progresses into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have started to shift their focus from crisis management to longer-term planning strategies. In this webinar, we will hear from business leaders in the New England region on the important business lessons they learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and how their companies are preparing for the future.


11:00 am – Introductory Remarks
11:05 am – Panel Discussion
11:50 am – Audience Q&A (via chat)

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Executive Vice President, and Chief Investment Officer, Connecticut Innovations

Dave is responsible for managing the investment function at CI, which includes staffing, portfolio and risk management, outreach, budget planning, and performance measurement. He also is responsible for oversight of the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF) and the Regenerative Medicine Research Fund (RMRF).

When he joined CI in 2009 as senior managing director of investments, Dave had extensive senior-level experience in operations and finance, including more than 10 years as executive vice president, treasurer, and CFO of CuraGen Corporation, a former CI portfolio company. Dave guided the biotech company through its initial public offering and helped raise more than $700 million. Dave was also involved in negotiating strategic and business development alliances with several pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including Roche, Bayer, and Amgen-Freemont (Abgenix). He helped to grow CuraGen and its technology development subsidiary into an operation with more than 500 employees and market capitalization as high as $5.3 billion.

Dave began his professional career with Coopers & Lybrand in Hartford, Connecticut (now part of PricewaterhouseCoopers), where he held various accounting and managerial positions.

CEO, The Predictive Index

Mike Zani is CEO of The Predictive Index, the leader in talent optimization. Prior to The Predictive Index, Mike was CEO of ShapeUp, a social SaaS wellness platform that was sold to Virgin Pulse in 2014. Previously, Mike served as president of LEDCO, a manufacturer of rugged computer peripherals, where he led its acquisition and eventual sale to Havis, an industry leader in police radio consoles. It was at LEDCO where Mike, a customer of The Predictive Index, developed his passion for the company’s vital management tools. Mike is a co-founder and partner of Phoenix Strategy Investments, a private investment fund that acquired LEDCO in 2004, ShapeUp in 2009 and The Predictive Index in 2014. He also worked as a strategic consultant at the marketing firm Digitas. An avid sailor, Mike began his career in marketing and sales with Vanguard Sailboats and was a coach for the 1996 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team. He holds a B.S. from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard.

CEO, Continuity Control

Michael (Mike) Nicastro is the Chief Executive Officer and a Director of New Haven, CT based Continuity, a FinTech company providing compliance management solutions in the growing RegTech sector. Mike is also the owner and Principal of Coppermine Advisors, LLC a business advisory firm offering services such as strategic plan development, capital acquisition, and succession planning.

A veteran of banking and FinTech, Mike most notably, retired as Senior Vice President & CMO of Open Solutions Inc. a company that he helped launch in 1994. Mike was responsible for OSI’s entire product strategy and was involved in every phase of the company’s growth, including 20+ acquisitions, a 2003 IPO, and a private equity sale in 2007 valued at $1.4 billion.

During his career, Mike also served as SVP/CMO of COCC, President/CEO of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, Product Manager with the Data Services Division of the NCR Corporation (recognized in 1992 with the “Chairman’s Customer Satisfaction Award) and worked in the banking industry with Bristol Savings Bank, as well as Citicorp.

Mike served on the board of the former Simsbury Bank & Trust (SBTB) and has served for 14 years as a member of the Governing Board and current Board Secretary of the Tony Award-winning Hartford Stage Company. An Eagle Scout, he is a Trustee and Past Board Chairman of the Connecticut Rivers Council, BSA. He also serves as a Director & Treasurer of The American Clock & Watch Museum. Mike is a past member of the board of Charter Oak State College, as well as a past president and director of the Association for Financial Technology, a national financial technology trade association.

Mike is an Entrepreneur in Residence and a member of the faculty at the CCSU, School of Business. He has been a guest lecturer at Yale University, School of Management and a Moot Court Judge at Western New England University, School of Law. He also serves on the CT Next Higher Education Advisory Committee.

Craig Colson
Investment Associate, Connecticut Innovations

Craig Colson is an Investment Associate at Connecticut Innovations. Craig helps to identify and support investments in digital health, InsurTech, and enterprise SaaS. As an analyst, Craig works closely with founders and managers in conducting due diligence and writing investment memos for prospective seed and series A venture investments.

Prior to joining CI in 2019, Craig worked as a Corporate Strategy Analyst at Taco Comfort Solutions, where he was responsible for managing the company’s M&A funnel, conducting market and industry research, competitor intelligence, and supporting the development of annual and multiyear strategic plans.

Craig received a bachelor’s degree in International Business from Bryant University, with Summa Cum Laude honors and a dual concentration in Finance and Economics.


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